“Austria is a country of hammers”

“Austria is a country of hammers”
Franz Koll has been CEO of 3e for a year. (3e/MTMedia)
Image: MTmedien

“Cautiously optimistic” For the 2024 financial year, Franz Koll, CEO of the DIY chain 3e with headquarters in Wels, says: “It looks good, which also has to do with the warm weather.” 2023 was difficult for the industry. During the Corona crisis, demand was exceptionally good, and in some cases there were early purchases. This also became noticeable in 2023. Added to this is the crisis in the construction industry, which is also affecting retailers. The housing package announced by the federal government is encouraging: “The craftsman bonus will help the industry.”

3e with its sales concepts “Let’s do it”, “Bad&Co” and “IPM” has 328 member companies in 13 countries. Sales in the previous year were 711 million euros (501 million of which in Austria), a decline of 3.2 percent. More than 10,000 employees are employed (119 at the Wels headquarters). Koll expects sales to move sideways this year.

Around half of the business comes from private and commercial customers. Some customers are increasingly turning to cheaper products and there is an increased interest in own brands, said Koll on Thursday at a press conference in Linz. Especially people who do a lot of work at home and in the garden themselves would choose higher quality equipment and tools.

Nine tools per household

80 percent of Austrians say that it is important to lend a hand at home: “We are a country of hammers”says Koll. 40 percent of Austrians see themselves as competent craftsmen, a third prefer to trust professionals: These are the results of a survey of 1,025 respondents, carried out by the Linz market researcher Imas on behalf of “Let’s do it” has carried out. On average, there are nine tools in a household, the most common being the hammer (83 percent). On average, a tool is replaced after 7.5 years.

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