In a move to boost its competitive footing against the warehouse home centers, Ace Hardware Corp. is planning a paint-and-primer-in-one launch later this year.
Ace executives describe the paint as a "flagship new product" by providing convenience and ease of application. The branding of the new product will be unveiled when the launch occurs, possibly during the third quarter of this year.
Around the industry, Home Depot's paint-and-primer in one from Behr has been described as a big success by the Atlanta-based retailer's merchandise team. And True Value introduced its EasyCare Platinum 2-in-1 paint last month.
At Ace, the paint category is seen as a key arena in its effort to grow sales and boost traffic. "Our goal is very clear," said John Surane, Ace Hardware Corp.'s VP merchandising, advertising, marketing and paint. "Launch an extremely exciting environment and a consumer-relevant program that is more profitable for Ace retailers."
Speaking at the recent Ace Convention and Exhibits in Chicago, Surane said the co-op is engaging its members to fine-tune its program, which employs a two-brand strategy involving Benjamin Moore and its own Ace brads.
Last year, the co-op announced a five-year plan to expand its paint category market share from 4% to 8%. "We cannot back off this 8% number," Surane told retailers. "That's the number that will make us relevant to the consumer and the market for paint.