Hardware store

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Entrance of a hardware store in Germany
Interior view of a hardware store in the USA
Interior view of a hardware store in Japan
Inside view of a typical hardware store in Soignies ( Belgium )

A hardware store is usually a large supermarket that specializes in home improvement materials. Construction stores were conceptually taken over from the USA , where they are known as the “hardware store”. In the business context, the "DIY industry" (abbreviation for: Do it yourself ) is often used .

You got earlier example, tools and nails exclusively to the ironmonger , colors and wallpaper from the specialist paint shop, wood from the timber merchant and construction materials in the building materials trade , we can now in a hardware store almost everything in one place get.


The first German hardware store was Bauhaus . The company was founded in 1960 by Heinz-Georg Baus in a garage in Mannheim . In 1968 Otmar Hornbach opened the first combined DIY and garden center in Germany in Bornheim (Palatinate).

Market situation today

Europe and worldwide

OBI hardware store in Vienna - favorites with approx. 10,000 m³ sales area (opened in 2014)

Today Obi is the market leader in Europe. Castorama , part of the Kingfisher group, is market leader in France, Italy and Poland.

Market share of the three leading DIY trading companies (DIY = Do It Yourself ) in six European countries (as of 1998):

  • Germany: Obi, Praktiker, Bauhaus - together 21.7%
  • France: Castorama / Brico Dépôt, Leroy Merlin (Auchan), Domaxel - together 39.2%
  • Great Britain: B&Q (Kingfisher / without Castorama), Homebase (since 2002 part of Argos Retail Group, a branch of GUS plc ., London), Wickes - together 60.1%
  • Italy: Bricocenter (Rinascente, incl. 4 Leroy Merlin outlets), Obi (Tengelmann, D), Castorama (F) - together 5.1%
  • Netherlands: Intergamma, Praxis, HDB - together 56.6%
  • Spain: Leroy Merlin (Auchan, F), AKI (GIB, B), ATB (Franchise) - together 57.2%

With over 30,000 m² of retail space, the Bauhaus in Frechen near Cologne is currently (as of October 2010) the largest construction market in Europe.

The US American The Home Depot Inc. , based in Atlanta, is the market leader in the US and claims to be the largest DIY chain in the world. Your biggest competitors in the US market are Lowe's and Ace Hardware .


In 2005, 104 new DIY stores were opened in Germany, according to the industry magazine “diy”. This increased the number of DIY and DIY stores to 4,392. According to the definition of the BHB (Federal Association of German DIY, DIY and gardening stores), however, a DIY store must offer at least 1,000 square meters of sales area and have a certain product classification in order to be recognized as such by the BHB. According to this definition, there were 2520 DIY stores in Germany in 2005.

According to the "Dähne Information Service", the ten largest DIY stores in Germany are Obi, Praktiker (with Extra and Top-Bau), Bauhaus, Hornbach, ZEUS (Hagebaumarkt, WERKERS WELT, Floraland), REWE Group (toom, B1), Marktkauf, Globus, Max Bahr and I&M Interbaustoff (status: end of 2005). In 2005, these companies generated sales of around 17.7 billion euros, which is almost 80 percent of total industry sales.

In 2007, the Rewe chain took over all Marktkauf hardware stores and converted them into Toom or B1 hardware stores.

The industry now employs around a quarter of a million people.

The DIY stores with the highest turnover in Germany
Companies Seat Number of
branches in 2012

Gross sales in Germany in 2012
(to the Tengelmann Group based in Mülheim an der Ruhr )
Wermelskirchen 344 3,750 million euros
bauhaus Belp (Switzerland) 126 2,730 million euros
Toom Baumarkt (with B1 Discount Baumarkt)
(to the Rewe Group )
Cologne-Porz 352 2,437 million euros
ZEUS headquarters for purchasing and service with hagebaumarkt , WERKERS WELT and Floraland Soltau 671 2,430 million euros
Hornbach Bornheim (Palatinate) 91 2,050 million euros
globe St. Wendel 79 1,263 million euros
Hellweg (DIY store)
(joint purchasing association DIYCO with BayWa AG)
Dortmund 135 963 million euros
Eurobaustoff Handelsgesellschaft (i & M Bauzentrum) Karlsruhe 324 950 million euros
EMC professional location 307 764 million euros

The poor financial situation of many hardware stores, poor market positioning and the intense price war are putting the industry under pressure. A study by the auditing firm Ernst & Young predicted in 2005 that of the 14 major DIY chains in 2015, depending on the choice of their future strategy, seven in the best case, and only three in the worst case, would remain. In view of the insolvency of the DIY store group Praktiker in 2013 and the associated almost simultaneous disappearance of three DIY store chains (Praktiker, Max Bahr and extra Bau + Hobby), this forecast actually came true, at least in part.

During the corona crisis , the hardware stores in the states of Bavaria, Saxony, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had to temporarily close for private customers. The different regulations in the individual federal states were criticized. On April 4, 2020, the hardware stores in Lower Saxony were reopened to private customers after just under two weeks. Lower Saxony's Minister of Health, Carola Reimann, justified the opening of the DIY stores with the curbing of shopping tourism to North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and the Netherlands.


In Austria, Lagerhaus , Obi, Bauhaus and Hornbach together have a market share of almost 90%. There are around 870 locations with around 1.57 million square meters of retail space.


Hardware stores in Switzerland
Companies Seat Market entry Number of
branches in 2014
Coop construction + hobby Basel 74
Migros Do it + Garden Zurich 47
Jumbo-Markt AG ( Maus Frères Holding ) Dietlikon 1974 41
OBI ( Migros franchisee ) Wermelskirchen , Germany 1999 10
Hornbach Bornheim (Palatinate) , Germany 2002 6th
Do it AG Chur 1983 4th
bauhaus Belp 2006 3

Large hardware store chains

There are also larger independent garden centers and specialist timber stores that also offer hardware store articles. Some of them belong to other purchasing and marketing associations.

Customer satisfaction

In the Kundenmonitor Deutschland survey, which asks customers about their satisfaction with the service quality of various industries, the DIY and home improvement stores examined achieved a comparatively mediocre satisfaction index of 2.48 on average. Smaller hardware stores were not evaluated because the number of respondents was not representative. Globus and Max Bahr achieved an index of 2.31, Hornbach (2.32), Bauhaus (2.38), Hagebaumarkt (2.46), Hellweg (2.50), OBI (2.53), toom BauMarkt ( 2.56) and Praktiker (2.60).

In 2011, Globus Baumarkt was rated in a representative study by the magazine “Do-it-yourself” in cooperation with the market research company “Konzept & Markt” as the most customer-friendly DIY store in Germany for the fifth time in a row. Globus received 2318 points , Obi 2276, hagebaumarkt 2264, Hornbach 2261, Hellweg 2241, Max Bahr 2222, Bauhaus 2218, Praktiker 2136 and toom 2129.


  • Siegfried Rohn (Ed.): 30 years of construction & home improvement market. Euro marketing in the DIY sector. Beyond the day ... History and future of the do-it-yourself industry in Germany. Siegfried Rohn, Cologne 1998.
  • DIY trade in Germany: DIY store chains, cooperations + hypermarkets; Ettlingen: Dähne (CD-ROM edition or print edition), has been published annually since 1999
  • Egon Huppert, Christoph Schöffel: DIY store report; Documentation of the Eurohandelsinstitut e. V., Verl. DHI, Dt. Handelsinstitut, Cologne 1994, ISBN 3-87257-160-5
  • Gschwantner, Martin: Statistical methods of market research, presented using the example of a customer satisfaction analysis in the hardware store "Hornbach" in Ansfelden; Innsbruck, Univ., Dipl.-Arb., 2004
  • Haberer, Nina: Young women in the hardware store: an assessment of communication policy from the customer's point of view; Vienna, University of Economics, Dipl.-Arb., 2005
  • Volker Hammel, Michael Lerchenmüller: Placement and presentation optimization in the hardware store using the example of the "building block project" of Stinnes BauMarkt AG, Dipl.-Arb. Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences, 1995
  • Sejnoha, Bettina: Instruments and measures of personnel development for the implementation of customer-oriented behavior among employees in retail, illustrated using the example of Stinnes BauMarkt AG, Dipl.-Arb. Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences, Esslingen 1996
  • The "Institut für Freizeitwirtschaft", Munich, regularly publishes important analyzes of the DIY market. Current: "The German DIY market until 2020", "Do-it-yourself market analysis 2007", "Home improvement monitor DIY trade 2003: the 30 largest B + H market groups in the judgment of the do-it-yourselfers" and "Do-it-yourselfers" Monitor DIY Industry 2007 ".
  • The Cologne-based management consultancy IBH Retail Experts publishes numerous market and distribution studies in the home, garden and DIY categories every year.

Web links

Commons : Hardware stores  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Hardware store  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Markt special 2002, Rohn Verlag
  2. Ranking: The largest DIY chains in Germany
  3. ↑ Hardware store statistics 2005  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.daehne.com  
  4. EY DIY store study: DIY stores in the strategy trap. (PDF) Differentiation of the formats as an opportunity. In: ey.com. 2005, accessed December 3, 2013 .
  5. https://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/themen/coronavirus/baumarkt-andrang-ansteckungsgefahr-nrw-100.html
  6. https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/mecklenburg-vorpommern/Baumaerkte-IHK- sucht-Regeln-fuer-ganzen-Norden, coronavirus1198.html
  7. https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/niedersachsen/Lange-Schlangen-vor-Baumaerkten-in-Niedersachsen,baumaerkte104.html
  8. https://www.fr.de/panorama/coronavirus-baumaerkte-niedersachsen-wieder-offen-privatkunden-zr-13610742.html
  9. DIY stores save themselves in the countryside. New strategies are needed. In: orf.at. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013 .
  10. statista.de: Leading DIY stores in Switzerland measured by the number of branches in the years 2010 to 2014 , accessed on November 1, 2015
  11. ^ Ace International Locations ( Memento from August 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive )