European DIY trade body chief to discuss employment issues at GCA

The General Secretary of both the DIY-Retail Association (EDRA) and the Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN), John Herbert will speak at the GCA's golden jubilee event in January.

John Herbert
John Herbert

Herbert will advise delegates at the event, which takes place from January 24-27, 2016 on about how to succeed with employees.

He said: "I will be presenting on topics based on my lifetime experience in retailing and my presentation to delegates will be entitled: ‘The huge difference – dedicated employees’.

"I will go through why some retailers are successful and others are not. How inspirational leadership can make the difference and where the family-owned business has a huge advantage over other retail conglomerates.

"I speak from personal experience having enjoyed managing a family business, Knauber, which was voted one of the best stores in the world by a USA leading trade magazine and then having worked in the world’s fourth largest retailer, Home Depot EXPO Design Centre, as President, West Coast USA.

"I’ve been visiting retailers all over the world for more than a decade, on average 35 times a year, and moderating annually a global congress with 750 delegates from more than 50 countries.  

"I will touch on how the Internet will continue to effect shopping habits and what the stores of the future look like…and its not all for the best. But in my opinion there are huge advantages for garden centres going forward."

Herbert added: "Coming from leaving school aged 14 and having the career I've had, it has left certain scars on me about how people treat people. I've learnt to reat everyone with respect so everyone goes home and thinks they can contribute to the company. This is one of the most neglected area. Many CEOs don't even recognise their people though there are many examples of garden centres, such as Bents and Barton Grange where they have a totllay different culture. You can double your workforce without employing anybody extra if you can get people behind you." 

In 2000, Herbert was appointed divisional president of the Home Depot EXPO for the West Coast USA.

By 2002 he became managing director of the BHB, the German DIY Retail Association, and two years later he took over the recently formed European DIY Retail Association EDRA, which became an independent Association in 2009.

He later founded the Global Home improvement Network, which became an independent association in 2015. 

EDRA and GHIN have 127 of the largest home improvement retail companies from around the world as members operating in 99 countries with over 22,000 stores and members sales in excess of $250 billion.

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