Inspiring customers and passing on the fire
Bornheim, September 27, 2018. Hornbach Baumarkt AG is celebrating the 50th anniversary of opening its first DIY store and garden center in Bornheim bei Landau in the Palatinate region with a clear commitment to its own strengths and a big thankyou to its customers. Numerous workshops and presentations offered free of charge through to December at all the company’s locations in Germany will focus on the skills and competencies customers need to tackle a wide variety of projects in their homes and gardens. Instead of offering anniversary discounts, the company is extending its permanent low price guarantee. Should the price of a given article be reduced within 30 days of purchase, then Hornbach will with immediate effect automatically credit the difference. And that not only in the anniversary year, but on a permanent basis.
On September 27, 1968, Otmar Hornbach opened the company’s first “DIY superstore” in Bornheim bei Landau in Germany’s Palatinate region. The store had sales areas of more than 4,000 square meters, making it exceptionally large by the standards at the time. As well as size, another aspect also caused a stir in the emerging do-it-yourself sector – combining the DIY store with a garden store was a remarkable pioneering act in Europe, and one that quickly became standard across the sector. “That was a prime example of the courage needed to press ahead with innovations and purposefully move into forward-looking business fields. That approach runs like a common thread through all stages of our company’s development”, comments Otmar Hornbach’s son Albrecht, who together with his brother Steffen is now the fifth generation of the family to manage the company since its foundation in 1877.
Consistent alignment to the needs of project customers
The Hornbach Group now has more than 20,000 employees and operates 158 DIY stores and garden centers in nine countries across Europe. Its product range, advice, prices, services, and stocking policies are all deliberately targeted at the needs of DIY enthusiasts and professionals planning to tackle projects in their homes and gardens. This strategy has been honed with further pioneering acts, such as the launch of the warehouse concept to ensure permanent availability of the larger volumes of goods needed for projects, and the development of the drive-in concept enabling customers to conveniently transport heavy and bulky goods. “We see ourselves as the top address for projects and are consistently working to enhance our successful concept. The sixth generation is already getting ready to pass on the fire”, comments Albrecht Hornbach, CEO of Hornbach Management AG. At present, the company is working on digitizing its retail format and is pursuing this project with absolute determination and great willingness to invest. By dovetailing its stationary and digital services, the company is providing customers with new and additional opportunities to prepare and implement their projects in precisely the way they want. Customers have recently been enabled, for example, to configure and order woodcutting services at the store by placing online orders from the comfort of their own homes.
Hornbach sees to the price comparison – now on a post-purchase basis as well
One key pillar of the company’s project strategy is the permanent low price commitment introduced in 1998. The company claims price leadership for itself, and this claim ex-tends both to the DIY sector and to offerings at discounters and online retailers. Hornbach foregoes discounts and campaign prices, but rather guarantees permanently valid low prices that are compared with competitors’ offerings on an ongoing basis. “We want customers to be able to buy all they need at one location, and that quickly and conveniently, and without having to waste time on extensive price comparisons and useless journeys to various providers”, explains Karsten Kühn, a member of the Board of Management of Hornbach Baumarkt AG. With immediate effect, the company will even see to the price comparison on a post-purchase basis as well. Should Hornbach cut its prices up to 30 days after the purchase, then it will credit the difference to customers. The price comparison covers all goods ordered online or recorded electronically at the stationary stores and deposited in customers’ free accounts. The difference will be credited automatically and the customer will be informed by mail and can use the credit when next purchasing goods at the store or online. “This extended strategy is not a marketing measure, but rather a further component of our strategy to build long-term customer relationships based on honesty and fairness”, adds Karsten Kühn.
Free workshops and presentations at stores
To celebrate the anniversary, Hornbach will be offering even more inspiration, guidance, and passion for projects. From September through to December, all Hornbach stores in Germany will be offering individual programs of events for their customers. Workshops will focus on topics such as building furniture, renovating walls, and new wallpapering techniques. Individual locations will also offer children’s workshops. Customers can find out more about the programs at their stores at hornbach.de/ veranstaltungen.
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