DIY format: history, characteristics, products and features

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The name of the DIY (or D.I.Y.) format is an abbreviation of the famous English expression Do It Yourself, that is, “Do it yourself.” This format appeared in the economies of Western countries back in the 50-60s of the last century..

DIY format: history, characteristics, products and features

Initially, the category “Do it yourself” included all those activities that a person did independently, most often at home. For example, making furniture with your own hands, various design elements of the interior, and so on..

Today, DIY networks most often mean construction hypermarkets offering a wide range of goods – from dry mixes, concrete and plywood to plumbing fixtures, lamps and various items for home improvement and decoration, that is, everything that will help a person independently or with the help of professionals to carry out renovate the apartment and equip your home.


The ancestors of DIY construction supermarkets can be called small hardware stores, where residents of nearby neighborhoods bought nails, metal utensils, kitchen utensils and other craftsmen’s products. It was possible to meet such shops, where the craftsman himself often remained the only seller, in Europe, the USA and the Russian Empire..

The first building supermarkets appeared in the United States, Great Britain and other European countries in the 1950s. In general, the construction boom began in European countries immediately after World War II, when the demand for materials and interior items was higher than ever. For a long time, large retail stores that could fully satisfy customer demand did not exist and DIY stores became the real pioneers in this area..

In the Soviet Union, the Do-It-Yourself format was popular like nowhere else, since the lack of a choice of goods in stores that could meet demand forced citizens to independently resolve issues with the arrangement of an apartment or house. The popularity of the format was also promoted by the wide distribution of such circles and magazines as “Young Technician” and so on. But the construction shops themselves, which can be classified as DIY, appeared in Russia already in the 90s..

And although this format for Russia and other CIS countries is a fairly new phenomenon and began to develop actively only a little more than ten years ago, today the DIY chain is already represented in our country by numerous large hypermarket chains, in which each buyer can choose everything he needs for repair and arrangement at home.

Western companies that began to actively conquer a new market became pioneers in the Russian market for building stores. The most widespread, large chains include: OBI, Leroy Merlin, K-Rauta, Castorama and Home Center.

DIY format

Russian hypermarket chains are, first of all, Vimos, Metrika, SuperStroy, Domocenter, Stroylandiya, Domovoy, Maksidom and others. It should be noted that almost every Russian region has its own construction retail chains.


As mentioned above, a very wide range of goods and products can be attributed to the DIY format, in particular:

  • goods intended for interior decoration and renovation work. This includes wallpaper, varnishes, accessories, roofing, drywall, floor and carpet coverings, grouting, dry mixes, nails, cement, insulation, adhesives, sealants, solvents, and much more;
  • entrance and interior doors;
  • work clothes, gloves, rubber shoes;
  • wood products: panels, lining, plywood and other types of goods;
  • security systems, intercoms and alarms;
  • electrical engineering: lighting devices, bulbs, cables, transformers and other electrical appliances;
  • water supply systems, including plastic pipes, various valves and so on;
  • tools, hand and electric;
  • furniture – kitchens, tables, chairs, and so on;
  • plumbing – baths, sinks, showers, taps, mixers and the like.

And this is not a complete list of DIY goods, in general, the category of goods for the garden and vegetable garden, for example, flower pots, tools for working on the site, even fertilizers and seeds.

Features of DIY format in Russia

It is worth noting that construction hypermarkets in Western countries are really aimed at ensuring that the buyer can, using the purchased products, independently complete the repair. The services of specialists in Europe are quite expensive, therefore, in most hypermarkets, directly on the screens installed in the sales areas, visitors are instructed in detail: how to change the tap on their own, stick wallpaper or equip an open veranda.

In Russia, the format of construction supermarkets could be called Do it for me, that is, “Do it for me”, since large projects, such as major repairs of a house or furnishing a bathroom, we increasingly trust professionals, and the owners of the house only choose materials or interior items.

DIY format

In addition, experts note that if before the main category of buyers of construction stores were men, now more and more often women make the choice of goods in the category “Do it yourself”. Perhaps this is due to the further expansion of the range, which may include dishes, curtains, curtains, vases and other little things that become an interior detail..

The time-tested DIY format, convenient for buyers and profitable for owners, is now becoming more widespread in all regions of Russia, and new supermarkets of already well-known chains open annually.

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