If you look around your current home there are endless projects you can do, and many of them will save you money on your energy bills, or increase the property value. Not to mention there is a good sense of pride knowing that you have upgraded your home, and that you did it yourself. Perhaps this is why big box home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot have done so well here the United States and abroad. Interestingly enough, they are not doing as well in all markets. Okay so, let’s talk about shall we?
On September 15, 2012 the Wall Street Journal had an article “Home Depot: Chinese Prefer Do-It-For-Me” by Laurie Burkitt. It turns out that in China citizens prefer often enough to pay someone else to do the work rather than do it themselves, and the article noted that Home Depot is considering closing all 7 of its stores in China.
You would think that the Chinese would enjoy doing things themselves, and also wishing to save the money. Many come from humble beginnings, and families who were engaged in farming, they had to do everything themselves, and make do. Nevertheless, city life has changed much of that, and perhaps this is why the home improvement centers and big box stores of this type just haven’t caught on in China. Maybe they will the future, but that is an unknown that large corporations can’t risk with shareholders equity, or the need to maintain quarterly profits in their Chinese operations.
It’s not that the Chinese are not resourceful people, they very much are rather they would simply wish to put their trust in a tradesman, a specialist who knows what they are doing. In many regards this is good for small business development, and it shows a respect for the craftsman. Still, small businesses looking for building materials and supplies are more apt to go to a wholesale distributor rather than a Home Depot big box home improvement center. Do you see that point?
You shouldn’t be too surprised with this as all cultures are different and each values different things, and different groups within their own society often have different thinking. Middle-class Chinese would rather hire someone who specializes to come in and do the work for them rather than doing it themselves and perhaps screwing it up.
They wouldn’t want anything that wasn’t done correctly, and they probably do not trust themselves doing the job because they don’t have a decade or more of experience in that particular home improvement skill. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.