This report series covers the 19 leading economies of Europe. In total these countries account for around 95% of all European retail sales, excluding Russia. The remaining countries are either too small (eg Luxembourg) or are not sufficiently well developed to warrant detailed coverage (eg Romania and Bulgaria).

DIY Retailing - Europe – May 2014 includes exclusive consumer research for the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain; profiles of 16 leading DIY retailing groups in Europe; consumer spending data for each of the 19 markets, 2009-13; and retail sales forecasts to 2018 for each of the 19 markets.

This data in its entirety is contained in the single copy 19-country report, which gives a full overview of DIY retailing in Europe. Single country reports, including consumer research analysis, are also available for the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Defining DIY

The focus of the reports is the DIY superstores. While there may be good reason to suppose that in the longer term their dominance may be eroded, at the moment they are the leading players in the sector.

In many markets, core DIY – paint, wallpaper, screws, tools etc. – is now a small part of the DIY sector proposition. Many of the large European DIY retailers are broad-range home-improvement stores with substantial gardening ranges. On the whole it is easier to understand what a DIY store is than to define it. Many, such as Homebase in the UK, are moving towards being broad-based home improvement stores with substantial ranges of homewares and furniture, but we still classify them as DIY stores.


Consumer spending – About Mintel’s market size

Most DIY retailers will sell some furniture – such as kitchens, bathrooms and flatpack – gardening goods, and some electric household appliances. But most do not compete on the full span of furniture or appliances, for example.

Our Mintel potential DIY market size is compiled from spending on various relevant categories, including a fixed percentage of spending in some markets, such as furniture and household appliances. Our market size is based on:

  • 100% of the categories, Tools and equipment for home and gardens, plants and flowers.

  • 100% of the category Materials for maintenance and repair of the home, though if that is not available we take 50% of the category, Materials and services for maintenance and repair of the home.

  • 22% of the category Furniture and furnishings, carpets and other floor coverings, reflecting that DIY retailers compete on smooth floor coverings (such as tiles) and flatpack furniture but not typically other sub-categories such as carpets, beds or sofas.

  • 15% of the category, Other recreational items and equipment, gardens and pets – reflecting DIY retailers’ presence in garden and pets categories.

  • 15% of the category Household appliances, as an estimate of the small electricals sector which DIY retailers do compete in.

Note that where we use a percentage of a category, the same percentages are applied from year to year – so any shorter-term shifts in the category balance may not be reflected in the data.

In consumer spending terms, major relevant categories to DIY retailing are outlined below.

COICOP code Category Definition/notes
4.3 Materials and services for maintenance and repair of the home Goods and services – see breakdown below.
04.3.1 Materials for maintenance and repair of the home Products and materials for minor maintenance and repair, such as paints and varnishes, renderings, wallpapers, fabric wall coverings, window panes, plaster, cement, putty, wallpaper pastes, etc.; includes small plumbing items (pipes, taps, joints, etc.), surfacing materials (floorboards, ceramic tiles, etc.) and brushes and scrapers for paint, varnish and wallpaper.
Excludes materials and fixtures used for major maintenance and repair (intermediate consumption) or for extension and conversion of the dwelling (capital formation).
04.3.2 Services for maintenance and repair of the home Services include plumbers, electricians, carpenters, glaziers, painters, etc.
5.5 Tools and equipment for home and garden Motorised and hand tools – see breakdown below.
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Retail sector

For our retail sector sales and forecast we use the following category under the SIC 2007 categorisation.

SIC code Definition
47520 Retail sale of hardware, paints and glass in specialised stores

Financial definitions

Financial definitions used are:

  • Sales: Turnover as reported by the company, excluding VAT.

  • Operating profits: pre-tax profits plus interest, less non-trading income such as the sale of fixed assets and any exceptional items, including provisions.

  • Pre-tax profits: the net trading profit after deducting all operating costs including depreciation and finance charges, but before deduction of tax, dividends and other appropriations.

  • Operating margin: operating profits as a percentage of sales.

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.

Note that there can be a number of reasons why tables do not sum exactly:

  • Rounding errors

  • Currency conversions if original data for different subsidiaries was in different currencies (companies often provide information in local currencies).

  • VAT (sales tax) – if original data was provided gross (including sales tax), we have extracted VAT at the relevant rates for countries concerned and at the estimated appropriate rates depending on product categories sold.

Information on all subsidiaries is not always available. As a result in some cases we have an entry for the parent company, and subsidiary information on only one part of the business.

Sales per stores, sales per sq m

Sales per sq m is the sales generated during the year divided by the average area traded from during that year.

Sales per store is calculated using the average number of trading outlets during the year.


  • In general, all company sales data are quoted excluding VAT.

  • Consumer spending data and sector sales data (including forecasts) are quoted including VAT unless specifically stated otherwise.

  • VAT-exclusive consumer spending data is used to calculate market shares.

European VAT rates vary, and the recent economic downturn and subsequent public debts have led to a number of VAT increases across the continent. Almost all countries charge a lower rate for some goods, but DIY goods are generally standard-rate products.

Figure 10: European VAT rates, 2011-14
01-Jan-11 01-Jan-12 01-Jan-13 01-Jan-14
% % % %
Austria 20 20 20 20
Belgium 21 21 21 21
Czech Republic 20 20 21 21
Denmark 25 25 25 25
Finland 23 23 24 24
France 19.6 19.6 19.6 19.6
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(a) increased in September 2011. (b) increased to 21% in October 2012. (c) increased to 21% in September 2012.


ACORN A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods
B2B Business-to-Business
Big-ticket categories High-cost products such as furniture, carpets, kitchens, bathrooms, appliances.
CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
COICOP Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose
CPI Consumer Prices Index
DIY Do it Yourself
e Mintel estimate
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Country codes

We sometimes use standard codes to abbreviate country names, as set out below.

Country Code
Austria at
Belgium be
Bulgaria bg
Czech Republic cz
Denmark dk
Estonia ee
Finland fi
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