With a record-high turnover of HUF 47.5 billion for the fiscal year closed on April 30, 2006, OBI reinforced its position as the market leader in the Hungarian home development market; while it is also number one in terms of geographical coverage. This figure means a 25% turnover increase compared to the previous year for the German-owned DIY chain. This significant growth was partly based on the consumer-oriented structure of products offered, partly on a strong expansion policy; and finally on the well-skilled staff of the company. OBI keeps focusing on expansion in the next 12 months to come: they will add up to 4 new stores to the existing 18; while some existing units shall undergo some refurbishing to keep pace with the changing requirements.
The total revenue of HUF 47.5 billion achieved in the 2005/2006 business year is a fruit of a dynamic expansion - says László Reiter, country manager of OBI Hungary. "Opening five new stores and renovating/refurbishing another two existing ones within just over one year were worth the effort. It was partly thanks to this strategy that we could increase our turnover by 25% compared to last year; the number of consumers having visited an OBI store grew by 32% to 14.5 million; and the number of actual customers grew by 27% to 7.3 million. This could only be done by always focusing on the consumers' actual demands".
OBI gave assignment for the most comprehensive market research of this segment completed in 2005. The survey involved 5450 persons and covered questions on general market demands, the recognition of OBI, and client satisfaction. "We are aware that such a quick growth and an expanding organization means growing requirements concerning our every single staff member. Their engagement was confirmed by the "Best company to work for" survey prepared by Hewitt and Figyelő for years by now - where OBI showed development in all aspects covered by the survey for 2005 and was the best among all companies researched concerning the rate of development (year by year basis). "I am confident that based on such a reliable and dedicated pool of skillful colleagues we can safely launch our 4 new stores to be opened up in the new business year; and can meet the growing consumer demand for high quality services and a wide product scale - adds Mr. Reiter.
The aim is countrywide coverage
OBI plans to open up to 4 new stores in Hungary in the 2006/2007 business year. Construction works have already commenced at Budapest's Eastern edge on Fogarasi út – this outlet can already operate at "full speed" in the Christmas season which brings in a lion's share of the annual revenues. To service customers living in the other side of the city the company will establish a large store on Bécsi út. The fundaments of the new unit in Nyíregyháza, North-Eastern Hungary are soon to be laid; and also this year construction works of a Salgótarján (Northern Hungary) store shall begin. These steps - resulting in a chain of up to 22 stores throughout Hungary - bring OBI closer to its earlier set goal of deploying a network of up to 25-26 outlets covering almost all parts of the country. Parallel to this expansion OBI carries on with its program of renewing older stores where the main points are the enlargement of the sales area and widening the range of goods and services offered.
Customer information is a priority
Recently OBI has considerably improved its consumer information systems leading customers to just_the_right_product which best suits their needs and financial means. At the department stores guidance among the over 70 thousand articles is provided by means of color codes. Remote inquiries are served by the company's website (www.obi.hu) and the OBI Info system, launched last March which can be reached from anywhere in the country at local rates (OBI Info: 06 40 OBI OBI, 06 40 624 624).
Thinking of future generations
As a responsible corporate citizen OBI kept working towards its clearly set goals in the just closed fiscal year again: the company is committed to environmental issues, while its scale of goods services offered are compiled with a view to encourage environmental consciousness. It also carries on with its beaver-reintroduction program and the on-site environmental information lessons for elementary school pupils. The popular "beaver classes" serve not only the development of environmental awareness among kids but also make them familiar with a species that lives in well organized communities and makes great efforts to make and maintain a home.
Further, in the communities where OBI has an outlet it joins efforts with the local governments to improve the surroundings of the store. On the 10th birthday of OBI Hungary the company launched a playground-building program which is still rolling: thus each settlement where OBI opens a new store shall be given a new, EU-standard playground established in cooperation with the local government.