The key leading countries of the DIY market are: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.  The business model with the largest market share is the Big Box (+7000 m2).

2 europa home improvement DIY players

The main players are: Adeo (Leroy Merlin), Kingfisher (Castorama, B&Q), Tengelmann (OBI); Kesko; Hornbach, Maxeda, Praktiker (Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc.) y Bauhaus (

2 europa home improvement DIY players B


Convenience retailing sector

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution is Europe’s leading distributor of building materials, the world’s leading distributor of ceramic and porcelain tiles.

The Building Distribution Sector brands are actively developing and rolling out their online strategy: 

2 europe lider specialist ceramic tile 2


FRANCE: POINT.P Matériaux de Construction, La Plateforme du Bâtiment, Decoceram, Lapeyre, CEDEO, Brossette
GERMANY: Raab Karcher, Keramundo, Fliesen Discount
DENMARK: Brødrene Dahl, Optimera
SPAIN: Distriplac – DP Materiales, La Plataforma de la Construción, Sanigrif, Discesur
ITALY: Vemac
NORWAY: Bergersen Flis
HOLLAND: Raab Karcher, Tegelgroep Nederland BV
POLAND: Platforma Materialy Budowlane
SWEDEN: Kakel Specialisten, Konradssons


Other important players are:


ITALY:  Iperceramica

NORWAY: Modena (without  ecommerce)



1.  Synergy between Brick and Mortar stores and ecommerce (About 42% of Home Depot’s online orders were handled by its stores)

2.  +multichannels +retail segmentation

3.   Strong growth of B2C ecommerce (two digits)

4.   Will Continue the concentration of the retail business and its bargaining power.

5.  The factories and distributors "institutional websites" will disappear because:

The customer wants to see prices, the customer wants to see stock availability and delivery time, the customer does not want to fill a form to know where a brand can find. There are more than 500 ceramic brands available in Europe. Only a few may be on the first page of Google.

6. Ceramic tile industry will remain focused on the product



1.  Segmention, segmention, segmention

Deepen the business model, looking at the customer. Being honest and self-critical. Target by country, language, product benefits, distribution channel, price ...

2.  Distribution is king

Without distribution there are no factories (1 *).

Study the cases: Saint Gobain, Wolseley, Home Depot.

(See in recommended reading)

3.  Internet

Develop an Internet strategy.

Internet strategy is for managers and directors.  It is not a specialists issue.

If the consumer and buyer are permanently online, your company must be the leader on the Internet.


Author:  Julio Sol

(1*) A few years ago, I had the chance to visit the Porcelanosa plant in Castellón. Guided by its main stock owner José Soriano, I dared asking which was the criteria used to choose between owning a shop and having an authorized distributor. Soriano replied that if Porcelanosa had a market goal of, let’s say, a 7%, in each Spanish city, and the distributor at Segovia achieved that share of the market with their brand it was not their desire to open a shop there. What a market vision!