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EDRA/GHIN New Year’s Letter 2021

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Dear EDRA/GHIN Members, Colleagues and Friends,

We have just come to the end of a tragic year. The Global Covid-19 pandemic has been raging through countries, bringing with it death, illness, economic hardship, and isolation. Our thoughts are with all people who have suffered in this pandemic.

EDRA/GHIN was swift in its response to Covid-19. As early as the 18th March we persuaded EuroCommerce, the voice of retail in Brussels, in their first press release on Covid-19 addressing the “decision makers”, to include our sector as “essential retail”. We followed this up with our own EDRA/GHIN press release on the 26th March highlighting “The Essential Role of Home Improvement Stores.” Furthermore, we created a shared document for all of our members that provided up-to-date information on the “Impact of Covid-19 on the Home Improvement Industry” as well as providing details on the safety measures and innovative initiatives being taken by our members. We held webinars for all members, promoting learning from each other, including inviting one of the world’s leading authorities on the Global Economy to give an overview of the effects Covid-19 could have on the economy and what we may expect in the future. In addition, we held four interviews in the “Meet the CEO’s” series, which were exceptionally well attended and informative.

I know I speak for the whole industry when I say that we are all so very thankful that during this pandemic our retail stores were categorised as “essential retail” and, generally speaking, our customers continued to be able to visit our stores. It seemed that due to all the Covid-19 restrictions, alongside the need for social distancing, people rediscovered the importance of their homes, a topic we also published a manifesto about, and our members were there to support them.

Everybody is now talking about “the light at the end of the tunnel” based on the distribution of vaccines that by all accounts may bring this pandemic to an end. Let us hope this will be the case.

We, as a networking association, have had a most difficult financial year following the postponement of the hugely successful Global DIY Summit and almost all trade fairs we support and attend. On top of this, we were not able to meet each other physically at the Annual General Meetings.

From my own experience I have realised how very much I have missed the personal contact with our members and look forward to the day when we can all meet again. Zoom and Co. can never truly replace the physical contact that we all know is missing from our lives. 

January 1st also embodies a time to look forward, and we are looking forward with hope; there is good reason to. The vaccine programme is being rolled out, our industry has gained a new relevance with customers around the world and our members have shown that they  are able to adapt to challenges at unprecedented speed. As the year progresses, we are looking forward to hopefully meeting internationally again, with the Global DIY Summit and International Trade Fairs preparing to welcome us in 2021.

It only remains for me to thank our members, colleagues and friends for their continued support this year and assure you that my team and I remain passionately dedicated in providing our members the most up-to-date information from our sector and delivering the best service possible, as well as being a predictable, fair and reliable partner for all the other businesses and people with whom we come into contact.

On behalf of the EDRA/GHIN Board Members and our team I wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2021.

John W. Herbert
General Secretary

EDRA/GHIN is the voice for the home improvement industry. Our mission is to improve the quality of home improvement retailing globally through our network. Today EDRA/GHIN represents 215 home improvement companies operating over 33,000 stores in 74 countries.

Source : EDRA/GHIN

Image : John W. Herbert - General Secretary - EDRA/GHIN 

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04 January 2021

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