After having bought and rebranded Praktiker stores in Romania under Brico Depot brand, UK’s Kingfisher, the home improvement company, has big plans at group level and in Romania by extension.
Kingfisher has launched a new, innovative home improvement concept and a new international brand in London last Thursday, GoodHome, marking the latest step in the group’s makeover. After getting together its supply chain, developing new products and services and investing in improved digital and omnichannel tools, Kingfisher is bringing GoodHome into the pipeline, aiming to help customers cope with the home improvement efforts more easily and to provide a more integrated perspective over the whole process.
So, focusing on the idea of comfort, identity, well-being and affordability, the international DYI retailer based in UK plans to revolutionize the home improvement market by providing unique design-led products and solutions for the customers at affordable prices, focusing on 11 most common home refurbishing projects. (Modernise an existing bathroom, Renovate an internal wall and ceiling, Renovate an internal floor, Create and improve the indoor light, Improve the heating efficiency of the home, Create and improve the home space, Create and improve the home space, Modernise an existing kitchen, Modernise, create and maintain the garden, Secure and automate the home, Tools for the project).
The group is also trialling new GoodHome store concepts, including an express format. The first has now opened in the UK at Wallington, near Croydon.
The GoodHome concept is coming after years of researching the emotional connections people have with their homes, of observing people’s lives in homes of various shape, size and period all over Europe. More precisely, Kingfisher teamed up with the world Happiness Research Institute, under the United Nations umbrella and conducted a study on thousands of people across 10 countries that found out the significance of the concept of home for people and how stressful and complicated home improvement can be.
The research will be released in the first GoodHome report in early June.
“The study found out that if you are a happy with your home, you are formally happy with your life,” said Véronique Laury, CEO of Kingfisher during the Innovation Days event held at Olympia Grand event hall in London on May 16.
Laury argued that people proceed with home improvement for they want a home that is good to live in, but, at the same time, the study also revealed that most home improvement projects are abandoned either before they begin or before they are finished. Each year four out of five home improvers cancel at least one intended project.
“People’s homes are important to them. They want to make them as good as possible and feel proud of them. But all too often home improvement can be complicated and stressful, a nightmare. It might be lack of inspiration, too much complexity, not enough skills, time or money. Too many barriers to create a good home. That’s why we want to shake things up and do home improvement in an entirely new way,” the Kingfisher CEO stated.
“We saw this opportunity three years ago and re-thought every part of how we operate. We started to build the engine and create the conditions for a new, innovative customer experience. we rebuilt out business around the way customers think and the way they actually shop. GoodHome is the exciting next step in that transformation. The point at which it becomes concrete for customers,” Laury argued, stressing that no market player has provided so far an end-to-end home improvement experience and solved the “nightmare”.
“We believe there is a significant potential to grow our market share and to add value”, she said, revealing that the groups aims at becoming leader on the home improvement sector.
The CEO explained that the bottom idea of GoodHome is a new approach, tackled more through a project lens rather than through a product lens.
“The home improvement sector is currently organised in category of product: kitchen, flooring electricity, plumbing. The reality is that home improvement doesn’t work by category.”
The group is ready to deploy resources to invest in research and innovation, by practically designing a self-ecosystem, which will combine digital services at store format and online, with a distinct new store concept, with human interaction and training employees to be able to help customers in their turn have a deep insight on the know-how process.
“To simplify home improvement our colleagues will be there for the clients. We created a training programme, GoodHome Academy, to master skills and break down the know-how barriers,” Véronique Laury pointed out.
“GoodHome is not just a dream, is a business idea, it is the signature of our changes. GoodHome is our new international home improvement customer proposition, based on deep customer understanding. It stands for all our changes – it stands for simple, sustainable, unique and innovative solutions that last and which are affordable. GoodHome is the name we put on everything we are doing to make home improvement accessible to the many, not the few: our new product offer, new services, new store concepts, our training centre and our new charitable foundation.”
In his turn, the CEO of Happiness Institute, Meik Wiking, also attending the event in London, spoke about the importance of hygge, the Danish concept of happiness.
“We were looking at happiness from a scientific perspective, trying to understand how we can measure something as intangible as happiness, to quantify a good life, trying to understand why are some people happier than others and how we can actually improve quality of life, to covert wealth into well-being.
We think happiness is actually closer to home, more than we think. We spend more time in our homes than anywhere else. And yet how are homes impact on our happiness and well-being have been unexplored until now. And they do, our home impact how we feel, our emotions our happiness,” the Happiness Research Institute CEO underlined, quoting a one of Churchill sayings: <First we shape our homes and then they shape us in return>.
“In the GoodHome report we are exploring homes where people find safety and comfort, where we connect with our loved ones, where re-energize.
What we are all searching for is beyond happiness is just homes where we live but home where we actually thrive.
Good Home is trying to reduce barriers that block people from improving their homes, it is a lot of happiness potential to be tapped there. If we are able to reduce these barriers, we’ll also be able to reduce barriers for people to improve their happiness,” Wiking argued.
GoodHome products and services will be available online and in B&Q, Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores throughout the UK, France, Poland and Romania as of this month. More information are available here.
Kingfisher plc is an international home improvement company with over 1,300 stores in 10 countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey, supported by a team of 77,000 colleagues. It operated under four retail brands – B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix, providing DIY and home improvement products and services to nearly six million customers.