Pet projects on display in Atlanta

Live chicks by the handful were on display in the True Value farm and ranch area.

ATLANTA — Pets, paint and credit figured prominently at the True Value Spring Market here.

"We've talked before about the scope and steady growth of the pet business, which is driven by the fanatical devotion of pet owners to their pets" said Mike Clark, senior VP and chief merchandising officer for the Chicago-based co-op. "We know customers shop multiple channels and retail outlets, and that they make more than 15 shopping trips a year to purchase their pet product needs. That's nearly five times the number of trips the average customer makes to our stores."

It was the second year for a farm-and-ranch emphasis on the show floor, which again included live animals, along with neatly stacked merchandise.

True Value unveiled Stihl as a new co-op vendor. The partnership is expected to kick off in the fall.

New paint in new packaging is in the works at True Value Co., as its interior and exterior paint lines are getting a makeover. The latest iterations of EasyCare and WeatherAll paint were unveiled, along with new color display fixtures and collateral selling tools. One of the most notable changes on the cans of True Value paint are icons indicating the attributes of the product — mold and mildew resistance, extra-rich colors and low-VOC, for instance.

"People want information right away," said Dawn Garrett, product manager of color collateral and design for True Value, referring to the icons on the paint cans.

In credit card news, after completing the planning and the soft launch, True Value Co. plans to launch its Discover credit card program for consumers in stores March 7.

"We soft launched this program in 75 stores the past two weeks with no glitches," said True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann, during the general session. "I actually applied and was accepted for a co-branded card. It was easy and took less than two minutes to apply."

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