Between sport and DIY, consumers have chosen.
According to the study on "Favorite brands of the French" from the strategy consulting firm EY-Parthenon unveiled this Thursday morning, Leroy Merlin, second in the ranking in the last two editions, comes first this year, thus dethroning Decathlon.
His "fan rate" reached 44%, against 43.2% for his sports cousin who belongs to the same group, the Mulliez family.
One thus saw the number of its followers increase by 3.7%, the other decrease by 4.2%.
"I am hardly surprised by this first place for Leroy Merlin, which in 2020 continued to build a brand identity, whether in stores or on the digital", underlines Guy-Noël Chatelin, EY-Parthenon partner.
The group has especially been able to ride on the craze for DIY of the French confined in recent months, sometimes deprived of vacation and who "sought to beautify their habitat, their garden," he continues.
A market up 13%
The 2020 figures prove it: the DIY sector has never done so well. And this despite several weeks of closure during the first containment in the spring (the stores essentially operated in click and collect). From May 2020, the market recorded double-digit growth rates, to the point of ending the year with "a turnover of 31 billion euros, an increase of 13% compared to 2019 , all circuits combined ”, indicates the Federation of DIY stores (FMB). Do-it-yourselfers have mainly focused on tools (+ 28%), paint (+ 22%), hardware products (+ 20%) and decoration (+ 16%).
Study on the “favorite brands of the French”, by the firm EY-Parthenon, carried out in February 2021 on a panel of nearly 8,000 French consumers aged 18, which measures the percentage of fans among customers. 146 brands were rated in 16 different business sectors.
A large part of the stores have obviously benefited from it, but Leroy Merlin, as a leader in DIY superstores, with a 36% market share in 2020 far ahead of its competitors Castorama (14%) and Brico Dépôt (13%), which belong to the Kingfisher group, could not but pull out of the game. It also recorded last year a growth of 5%.
“It was an incredible year when the house acted as a safe haven, confirms Bruno d'Auzac, strategic marketing director of Leroy Merlin.
The French started by repairing the minor problems with their housing, then organizing teleworking spaces or developing their gardens, ”he explains, while some have also embarked on larger renovation projects.
Also popular in gardening
So many small and large projects to which the brand could respond given "the quality and the generosity of its offer, points out Guy-Noël Chatelin of EY-Parthenon.
Unlike Decathlon, which is mainly aimed at beginners or regular athletes, but not really tennis or golf experts, Leroy Merlin reaches a very large clientele: both Sunday DIYers, with basic products not expensive, but also experts and professionals who are looking for more specialized ranges.
The brand has even made a place for itself in the hearts of gardening fans, since it comes second (22%) in this sector just behind Gamm Vert (23.7%).
And it is even in the lead among 18-54 year olds!
Read also Why the urge to garden has exploded with confinement
In a context marked by the constraints of the health crisis, Leroy Merlin has also sought to meet the new expectations of the French, particularly in the e-commerce sector where its turnover has almost doubled. “In particular, we launched our platform in May, which made it possible to significantly increase our online offer with more than 400,000 references offered today. We have also greatly accelerated our home delivery capacity, whether from stores or warehouses, ”explains Bruno d'Auzac, while emphasizing the involvement of the group's 25,000 employees.
The strategic marketing director of the brand also cites the establishment of "new services, such as distance selling which has made it possible to reach new customers or video troubleshooting", but also the development of tutorials "with a total 22 million views on YouTube ”in 2020.“ All of this has allowed us to develop our brand footprint and our relationship of trust with customers, ”he says. And with the arrival of sunny days, enthusiasm is still strong in the 142 Leroy Merlin stores, even if about thirty of them wait until May 19 to be able to welcome the public again.