Frédéric Lamy, General Manager at Leroy Merlin Romania: “Bricolage is an endless story”. The French retailer expects 10 million clients in 2017 and estimates to have profit at the end of the year

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The current economic context, namely the decrease of the VAT rate, the increase of the salaries and of the consumption, is reflected in the sales of the DIY stores on the Romanian market. Considering the better conditions in 2017 compared to 2016 and a boom in the constructions market, Leroy Merlin, one of the leaders of the DIY market in Romania, estimates a two-digit increase for the current year.

“This year we will have roughly ten million customers (purchasing). The population of Romania is officially nineteen million. On average, our clients are coming more than 3 times a month. It means that there is a loyalty”, Lamy stated at a meeting with the press. “We are very confident on this market”, he added.

For Leroy Merlin, the current year also meant a change in the policy regarding the suppliers. The French retailer waived the cooperation with some of its suppliers, those who it wasn’t sure that they will provide it with quality or healthy products. “The Romanian market is more and more qualitative”. “Satisfaction goes through quality”, Lamy stated. Today, 60% of the products sold by Leroy Merlin, especially wooden products, furniture and building materials, are made in Romania. The company’s policy is that “the products have to correspond to the need and the real expectation”. 20% of the retailer’s offer is replaced every year, so that the range of products existing in the store network is completely new after 5 years. “In a booming market, if you are not changing the offer, you are dead”, Frédéric Lamy pointed out.

2017 also meant the opening of a new store in Oradea, it’s the 16th store in our country. For 2018, Leroy Merlin plans to open the second store in Craiova, in the first half of the year, in the western part of the city, by transforming an old Baumax store. In 2019, Bucharest will add 2 new Leroy Merlin stores on its map. “We will be in Pallady. Next to Ikea. And also next to Kika. It’s an area with high potential, thanks to the real estate expansion” Lamy stated.  A 4-hectare land has been already purchased for this store in the eastern part of the city. The team of the store will be formed by 150 people. The second store to be opened in 2019 in Bucharest will be placed in the west of the city, in the Militari area; its location hasn’t been decided yet. For the far future, Leroy Merlin plans to reach a number of 30-35 stores in 2025, of which 10 stores will be in Bucharest. Cluj, Baia Mare, Satu Mare, Focsani, Galati, Braila, Targoviste and Slatina are taken into account for the expansion.

As we already got used to, Leroy Merlin is focused on its team. “I have a good team.  There is a collective work”, Lamy stated. “Our employees are part of the company”, he added. In two or three years, “employees will be shareholders of the company”, Lamy also said. Leroy Merlin currently has 2,000 employees in Romania. In order to improve the team’s performance, the company opened this year the Leroy Merlin Development Center. It is placed within the Colosseum store from Chitila. The opening in the same location of a campus for customers, where specialists can provide them with advices on how to use the purchased materials and products, is also planned for the future.