If I go to my local Home Depot
store on a Saturday, I’ll see a full parking lot and a packed store. Many Americans, including myself, think do-it-yourself projects are fun. Need to replace a garbage disposal? You can DIY in under an hour. Want to replace the hardware on your cabinet doors? You can DIY. Unfortunately, this DIY spirit isn’t as strong in China, and Home Depot is down to just seven stores in the country after closing its last Beijing store in January.
A new article on MSNBC.com’s Behind the Wall
examines Home Depot’s challenges in that country, which essentially comes down to one issue – the DIY spirit, or lack thereof. Alan, a landlord in Beijing, was interviewed for the story.
“I want the best service but lowest price. Home Depot in China, I think it’s not attractive to me. If I decorate again, I will probably have a friend who lives in the area introduce me to a company so I know I can trust it to give me a fair price and service. I think Home Depot needs to invest money in teaching Chinese people about DIY.” Source: MSNBC.com
Alan is definitely on to something. At first glance, DIY is a bit intimidating. However, my local Home Depot has workshops every weekend to help homeowners learn more about a variety of DIY projects. One of the workshops offered this month, Bath Makeover: Renew & Redo Your Bath For Less, will help you learn about installing a new vanity, light fixture, updating faucets and more. The Home Depot also offers kids workshops and Do-It-Herself Workshops. I wonder if similar classes are offered in China.
The MSNBC.com story goes on to explain that many American companies are seeing an increase in profits coming from Chinese-based stores. Although Chinese-generated profits are on the rise, some business owners are finding that tailoring their products and services to meet the needs of the Chinese people can be a challenge. Home Depot obviously has a solid grasp of the DIY industry, as is evidenced by their success in the United States and abroad, but success in China is proving to be elusive.