Entrepreneur DIY: Leroy Merlin rebuilds its model

DIY: Leroy Merlin rebuilds its model

In Neuville-en-Ferrain, north of Lille, the visitor who walks through the door of the Leroy Merlin store may, at first glance, have the impression of having made a mistake. Rather than returning to the king of DIY, number one in France and Europe, he could be at Ikea.

His first steps bring him in front of a bedroom adjoining a small living room, which he must cross to access the light beam. A familiar atmosphere at the Swedish furniture giant. But it is indeed the new layout one of the latest in the French chain’s stores, a nugget of the Mulliez galaxy.

Design office

Gone are the huge shoebox models lined with austere aisles of racks filled with screws and bolts. All these shelves are still there, of course, but arranged in a more harmonious way, until the staging for some people. In the sanitary area, reconstructed bathrooms have nothing to envy specialist showrooms. Ditto for kitchens or cupboards. Each of these worlds also has its own design office where, on site, alone or with help, customers can imagine the room of their dreams, and continue this reflection from home on the Internet.

The brand has even recreated a 20 person telesales platform who can, among other things, go to the client’s computer to help him amend his plan.

Become “the obvious habitat”

Leroy Merlin is in the process of transforming its distribution model. A project that the brand wrote in 2017 in its “Vision 2025”, a work carried out, not with a large consulting firm but with employees, insists the CEO of Leroy Merlin France, Thomas Bouret. “It resulted in defining this objective together: let’s build, with everyone, new ways of living in order to live better tomorrow”, continues the leader. With the ambition to be “The obvious habitat” for individuals who wish to build or improve theirs, from the purchase of a house or apartment to their decoration, maintenance and renovation.

“The goal is tooffer the widest possible offer to consumers around the home ”, comments Thomas Bouret. And, to do this, these behemoths in our peripheral areas must adapt to what is commonly called omnichannel, in other words the possibility for the buyer to go through the store as well as the merchant site. or the smartphone application. This implies putting the physical points of sale in synergy with the digital platform. This has just been expanded with a marketplace launched in full containment, with the solutions publisher Mirakl, one of the stars of French Tech and member of Next 40, the club of the 40 most promising French start-ups. .

Marketplace and service platform

With 350,000 references already, including 200,000 specific to Leroy Merlin, it should count twice as many this year. In addition to DIY items, there are home products offered by other Adeo brands, Leroy Merlin’s parent company, Weldom, Zodio, Alice Délice, Kbane, Tikamoon and even Light on line. It is besides the furniture of Tikamoon and the lighting of Light on Line which are presented at the entrance of the store of Neuville-en-Ferrain. The “cousins” of the AFM, the Mulliez Family Association, such as Saint Maclou or Boulanger are also invited to the marketplace.

With the offer, another pillar of this transformation consists of further strengthening the service platform available in stores and on the website. In addition to the installation and home installation or delivery that already existed, rental, repair, DIY courses or workshops, breakdown assistance, repair assistance and interior coach were added. Leroy Merlin relies on a strong ecosystem of 5,550 artisans across France, against 4,000 in 2017, but also young shoots, for example, for last mile delivery.

Local partners

The brand even pushes the model a little further, relying on a local ecosystem. For a year, she is experimenting on a “Let’s talk house” concept on fifteen sites who will be soon generalized throughout the chain. At the store entrance, the 40 to 80 m podium2, until then reserved for promotions, is made available to local service providers: from the real estate agency to the decoration coach, including the loan broker, a cleaning company or a garden planner. The La Rochelle store already has 18 partners.

The goal is to cover all the needs around the house. “We are in the process of becoming no longer a simple distributor of products, but a seller of solutions for the home”, says Thomas Bouret. “But we don’t do it alone, we rely on others”, he continues.

In order to successfully complete this transformation, Leroy Merlin, which had a very good year 2020 despite (or thanks to) the health crisis, is redirecting its investments, the amount of which the brand was silent. Up to now 80% directed to stores, they will see this share reduced to 30%, 40% now being devoted to technology and digital, and 30% to logistics. Over the past three years, 280,000 m2 additional warehouses were created to ensure deliveries of orders taken on the Web with logistics teams reinforced by 1,200 fixed-term contracts placed on permanent contracts and 350 jobs created. As many are to be recruited within three years in new professions (connected objects, artificial intelligence and data) with very technological profiles, announces the distributor.

Solidarity with entrepreneurs

In this difficult period, entrepreneurs and managers of VSEs and SMEs need support more than ever. The Les Echos Entrepreneurs site is making its contribution by offering free information and testimonials for the coming weeks. To stay informed of entrepreneurs and startups news, subscribe to our daily newsletter and / or the weekly newsletter Goodbye to the crisis!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *