Ace Hardware Corp.’s paint program is going through a major makeover with Valspar stepping up as a supplier and taking over the co-op’s paint manufacturing facilities.
Ace and Valspar announced a long-term deal, under which Valspar will manufacture and supply Ace-branded paint products to Ace dealers. The companies also announced that Valspar has acquired Ace Hardware’s paint manufacturing assets, including two manufacturing facilities located near Chicago.
Minneapolis-based Valspar will also make available to Ace dealers a comprehensive line of Valspar-branded paints.
The announcement made no mention of Benjamin Moore, a paint brand which has long had a close relationship with Ace. In an article last month at homechannelnews.com, Benjamin Moore senior VP strategy and retailing Edward Klein told HCN that his company wanted to stay with its “selective distribution” business model. Ace, on the other hand, “[wanted] a national brand that they could sell in all their stores.”
With Valspar, Ace says its dealers can expect quality and performance from Ace-branded paint products while also benefitting from Valspar’s color expertise, enhanced sales support for retailers and a competitively priced product assortment.
Introduction of Valspar paint products is expected to begin in the fall of 2013. Ace will retain ownership of its existing paint brand trademarks, including Clark+Kensington and Ace Paint, but Valspar will manufacture Ace’s product lines exclusively for the retailer.
“Ace Hardware is pleased to enter into a long-term supply relationship with Valspar,” said Ray Griffith, chief executive officer, Ace Hardware Corporation. “Our relationship with Valspar will allow Ace to create an enhanced customer experience that generates more paint sales for our valued owners. We have ambitious goals for our paint category, and this step puts Ace on the path to growing market share in liquid paint and increasing revenue opportunities for all Ace retailers.”
The companies said Valspar will immediately begin manufacturing and distributing Ace’s existing portfolio of Ace-branded paint products. Over the next year, Ace and Valspar will collaborate with retail owners to enhance their paint departments, according to Ace.
Valspar Chairman and CEO Gary Hendrickson, chairman and chief executive officer of Valspar added: “This new business also positions Valspar well for further growth as the U.S. housing market continues to recover.”