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CONFERENCE REPORT


The Home Depot Matt Schweickert


retail stores across the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the territory of Guam), Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1978, The Home Depot, Inc. is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, posting retail sales of $100.9billion in FY 2017 and earnings of $8.6billion. In his presentation, Mr Schweickert described a rapidly-changing retail environment,


adding that the


continually-evolving landscape will result in only a handful of regularly- shopped retailers. He said: “The average number of retailers people use within a year has gone down from 12 to nine... In years to come we think there’s only going to be a handful of retailers still going.” He stressed that retail customers now expect more from businesses. “They


want improved


seamless checkout and personalised experiences. They are saying ‘please understand who I am as a customer’ and those who don’t evolve and change will become extinct.” He warned delegates: “If you don’t understand your customer and their liquid expectations, you won’t last.” Mr Schweickert talked about evolution in nature, that are not


convergent whereby organisms closely related, independently evolve 8 DIY WEEK 10 AUGUST 2018


A “THE RETAIL


s part of his role, Mr Schweickert is head of strategic business development and IT finance for the chain, which operates 2,285


delivery,


similar traits, as a result of having to adapt to similar environments. He believes we are seeing that same evolution in retail, adding that it is driving a more tailored, customer- centric strategy. Discussing a slide that showed the original states of both traditional retailing and e-commerce either side, with a convergence of the two in the middle, he said “nobody has found this middle yet but it has a ‘known’ customer, a seamless interconnected omni-channel experience, scaled customisation of your assortment to create a localised/personalised offer, and dynamic pricing that takes


into account the customer, channel, location, and competitors.”


Big investment


He also believes the stock of usual tactics or methods that retailers apply has changed hugely. “The retail playbook we had four years ago will not work in the next four years. The siloed, disparate and often-conflicting customer experiences across different channels may be very easy to manage but the customer experience sucked. Instead, we need to make the best interconnected experience we can.” Looking at trends and changes in


HAS CHANGED” PLAYBOOK


Home Depot’s Matt Schweickert delivered a keynote speech at this year’s Global DIY Summit, detailing the home improvement giant’s strategy over the next three years and also warning retailers in the sector to shape up if they want to survive.


The Home Depot’s marketplace and how the retailer is adapting to them, Mr Schweickert said: “In the United States, DIY is starting not to exist. It’s now DIFM (do it for me) or DIWM (do it with me). You need to offer a seamless connected experience that connects, not only the product across channels but also installation.” “We’ve communicated that, as a business, over the next three years we are going to double our investments to $11.1billion to position The Home Depot for the future.” The breakdown of the investment


is $5billion in stores, $2.9billiion in technology/online, $800million in


www.diyweek.net


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