400 senior executives from 35 countries attended the 1st Global DIY Summit on 8-9 June in Brussels, which included 35 CEOs of retail companies from around the world.
The President of EDRA Régis Degelcke on opening the 1st Global DIY-Summit stressed the importance of working together with suppliers in satisfying the consumer needs for tomorrow. More than ever innovation is needed to find new products that will be the main source of development. The President of fediyma, Rheinhard Wolff, said that more and more consumers are working on projects to improve their home which will bring opportunities for new products. Generally speaking there was optimism for the future development of the home improvement industry globally.
On the first day the European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik was the guest speaker and his speech set the tone for the eight sessions on sustainability. The presentations from Gregory M. Bridgeford (Lowes, US - pictured right) Michael Wedgewood (Bunnings, Australia) and Robert Dutton (Rona, Canada) were particular highlights, along with the excellent presentation on Globalisation and Sustainable Development by Dr Franz Josef Rademacher, Mathematician and Economist and member of the Club of Rome. For the suppliers Hartmut Jenner, Chairman of the Management Board of Kaercher, spoke about the new challenges for manufacturing companies.
Later on the first day David Sinclair, Director OC&C, talked about the mega-trends that will shape the industry and Ian Cheshire (Group CEO Kingfisher, UK) and Thomas Enckell, President Garden Fiskars EMEA, along with other speakers joined a discussion group brilliantly moderated by Thierry Coeman, Managing Director Retail Dynamics.
The day culminated in the presentation of the 1st Global DIY Lifetime Award, presented to Pat Farrah, the co-founder of the Home Depot. First a truly brilliant laudation speech was delivered by Jack Truong, Vice President of 3M. So perfectly researched and executed, and so very befitting of a "giant" of our time who invented the "big box" DIY retailing that later enriched the lives of so many consumers around the globe. Farrah is a most honest, decent person and so it was no surprise that, choked with emotion, he quickly honoured the first buyer, Rick Mayo, who joined him in the new venture, the birth of The Home Depot. Farrah is passionate, enthusiastic and bursting with energy and, as the seemingly endless standing ovation portrayed, a most deserved recipient of this first global award.
The second day also saw very interesting presentations on new growth markets from around the globe including Sandro Solari, (Corporate CEO Sodimac, Chile - pictured right), Raj Kumar (President Home Centre, India) and Rinat Muhametvaleev (Trest SCM, Russia). Delegates also found the presentation by Joey Kelly of the famous Kelly Family, extreme sportsman, musician and entrepreneur, amusing and inspiring.
George Adams, former President of EDRA, now CEO of Maxeda DIY, and Stefan Hartung, President of Bosch Power Tools, rounded off this most interesting summit with very insightful presentations on sourcing and selling globally.
In the final wrap-up both the Presidents of EDRA and fediyma agreed that this had been a most interesting, informative and successful Global Summit having had a very positive feedback from the participants.