Brand strategies in a recession-hit international home improvement market

Meg Carter

Global recession has hit hard the international home improvement retail sector - a business dominated by a small number of internationally-owned retail brands. Yet while major Do-it-Yourself (DIY) retailers are being forced to adjust their strategies in markets worst affected by slumping property values, significant pockets of opportunity for growth still exist.

The patchwork nature of the international DIY marketplace is most marked within Europe where consumers in EU member states spent €140.9bn on DIY in 2007. While growth in more mature core markets of Western Europe averaged 12% between 2002 and 2007, sales in emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe soared by more than 55% over the same period, according to Verdict Research, the retail consultancy.