Integrated Annual Report 2021
Integrated Annual Report 2021
Builders is a sub-Saharan Africa leader in Home Improvement, DIY and Building Materials. Our stores with their own personalised feel and service offering, which is complimented by our online platform, cater to different markets. Builders’ stores offer exceptional value, a comprehensive range of competitively-priced products with helpful service.
2020: R13.9bn
020: 35.9%
2020: R1,032.6m
118 stores
in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
DEC 2020: 120
* Excludes inventory write-offs as a result of the civil unrest.
** Business unit trading profit/(loss) includes Corporate allocations.

2021 Highlights

  • Increased our new known customers by 20.4% year-on-year
  • Increased our total number of transactions by 4.8% compared to 2020
  • Increased our customer satisfaction with an NPS up 8.5% to 64.9% and a 9/10 rating for Voice Of the Customer
  • Pickup fulfilment capabilities made available at 113 stores
  • Improved and enhanced online capabilities and the Builders website
  • Launched the Builders mini-app within the VodaPay Super App
  • Re-opened six of the eight stores impacted by the civil unrest during the year
Our Customer Value Proposition (CVP)
Lead on range: with relevant project complete solutions, quality products and materials solutions
Differentiate on experience: with remarkable, reliable and innovative project complete solutions that are intuitive and personalised
Compete on price: enabled by a price that makes this possible, resulting in a positive price perception
Invest in seamless channels: to create an easy interconnected way for our customers to engage and shop with us in a way they want to
2021 Strategy
  • Greater omnichannel reinforcement through improved fulfilment and customer service
  • Continued expansion of Builders Private Brand sales participation
  • Drive for non-cyclical new revenue and expand services offerings in the commercial space
  • Roll out of GK OmniPoS, the point of sale solution to underpin our omnichannel strategy
  • Strengthen the retail experience and offerings through our extensive store revamp programme and continued new product and merchandise roll out
  • Open new Builders’ stores in pursuit of market share and relevancy in current markets
  • E-commerce platform expansion through product range extension and mobile app design and implementation
  • Cost containment through focus in key areas
  • Greater supplier engagement with a keen focus on service levels for improved in-stocks levels


The challenges we faced
  • Yard sales have performed below our expectations during the year. While there has been recovery with larger customers, there was a significant decline with the ‘bakkie builder’ type customers
  • The performance of the Builders Warehouse Kenya store was disappointing. The challenges faced by this store continued into its first year of trade, with the pandemic playing a significant role in the formation and implementation of improvement interventions
  • As expected, our margins contracted due to the normalisation of yard and retail trade mix post the impact Covid-19 had on our trading mix
  • The Covid-19 pandemic continued to have an impact on all facets of life. While the intensity of lockdowns eased compared to 2020, the economy recovery was slow and stagnant. While the vaccine roll out has been challenging, it is key to the attempted recovery. Store operations have been under the most pressure throughout the pandemic, as front-line associates navigate the additional safety requirements (and the threat to their own safety) in addition to keeping the store ready for our customers
  • Eight stores were impacted during the civil unrest
  • Estimated lost sales of R76.7 million, with an estimated lost trading profit of R37.7 million due to the civil unrest


Read more detail on our year of unique challenges


Our progress during the year
  • Our on-time and in-full customer order fulfilment was 90.2% for 2021, a significant improvement on 2020 performance (79.4%)
  • Builders grew Private Brand sales participation to 22.3% (2020: 21.2%) through continued innovation in range
  • The sales earned from non-cyclical new revenue streams was R306.0 million for 2021; our expanded service offering included an additional 17 service counters in stores, the development and testing of the new Board Shop and My Order service counters
  • All our South African stores are now equipped with the new GK OmniPoS system, despite the challenges experienced during the roll out
  • The revamp programme for 2021 was below expectations as only one-third of store revamps were completed. In addition to the re-prioritisation of capital expenditure due to the civil unrest, challenges were also experienced with the availability of steel and price increases, significant council delays and developer-related headwinds
  • New products comprised 2.5% of total sales. The travel restrictions experienced by our merchandise teams and vendors were significant and while there has been innovation it was far less than in previous years
  • Our ongoing improvement in the online capabilities on the Builders website resulted in 34,885 products being made available to our customers. The Builders mini-app, which was also successfully launched in September 2021 (within the VodaPay Super App), generated R1.1 million of sales for 2021. This contributed to a 48.3% increase in online sales
  • Good expense management resulted in expense growth being lower than sales growth
  • Overall stock service levels improved by 3.0% in 2021 compared to 2020


Our strategic focus in 2022
  • Revitalise and restore the fleet; expand the Builders’ footprint; serve a broader customer base; and remodel stores to refresh our in-store experience
  • Enhanced customer relationships, strengthen our relationship with our customers and ensure store locations are optimally leveraged to provide the maximum possible return on our assets. This will be achieved through the known customer strategy, and yard and trade sales focus
  • Best in market direct and bespoke ‘made for you’ offering: Enable greater scale and customer significance, and supporting an improved trade-customer relationship. This will be attained by establishing a central capability to drive direct-to-site bulk loads and special orders, and the establishment of Builders as the preferred channel for specialised products
  • An enriched CVP to maximise our footprint and our customer relationships over the total customer lifecycle, fostering loyalty. This will be realised through enriched merchandise assortment, provision of relevant installation offerings, improved customer service, advice and ‘counter’ experience


Future outlook

In the short to medium term Builders will focus on yard trade and regaining market share in the contractor customer segment. Builders will, however, continue to invest in building a leading interconnected Retail business. We remain committed to growth through optimising our current footprint, extending our store footprint where possible and growing digitally enabled sales. Our objective is to increase our market penetration by focusing on local relevance to ensure we establish stores that benefit communities. We aim to be the market leader in Home Improvement, DIY and building products and services, with the best long-term prospects on the continent. We will achieve this through focused discipline with a positive mindset, being the most extraordinary Builders we can be, with the customer truly at the centre of everything we do.