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A TreeHouse grows in Texas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

It’s too early to call it the next big thing in home improvement retailing, but the ambitious Austin, Texas start-up TreeHouse announced plans to open its second location — this time in Dallas.

The retailer opened its doors in 2011, with a 25,000-sq.-ft. store and an eco-friendly slogan of “smart building, better living.” Its focus on curated products and services that promote healthy and sustainable spaces is matched by its reputation for working with innovative brands — Tesla’s Powerwall home battery and Nest smart-home products, among them.

More than just a pretty store (see the slide show at HBSDealer.com), TreeHouse uses a consultative model to work with homeowners on everything from flooring and kitchen design to rainwater harvesting and solar systems.

“Many people have said to us, ‘Sure TreeHouse works in Austin, but what about other places?’” said CEO and co-founder Jason Ballard. “We look forward to showing that quality, beauty, health, a good earth and good homes are universal values.”

Time will tell. This summer, the company closed its largest round of funding to date, which will help it open additional locations, according to the retailer.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: Mixed Thursday

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Some were up, some were down by Thursday's close. Some were even unchanged from yesterday.

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Rust-Oleum under fire from the NAD

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Advertising Division (NAD) is taking Rust-Oleum to task over its Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, but the brand is looking to state its case before the National Advertising Review Board (NARB).

NAD is suggesting that Rust-Oleum discontinue its claim that the product can provide twice as much coverage as competing products, which would require a name change for the spray paint.

Many aspects of the product's branding reinforce this suggestion, including the giant "2X" on the packaging and claims such as: “The breakthrough technology of Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X means you’ll get twice the coverage in a single pass—which means your project will be done in half the time at half the cost of competitive brands.”

 The company used in-house testing from 2008 to back up these claims, and NAD took issue with the methodology because the tests were conducted on products that were no longer in the marketplace, according to the NAD.  When assessing the in-house comparative testing conducted in 2014 and 2015 on Krylon CoverMaxx and ColorMaster spray paints, respectively, NAD determined there were insufficient controls to prevent bias, or guarantee that all product use instructions were properly carried out.

NAD also found that Rust-Oleum's testing showed that Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X achieved 2X coverage only 47% of the time against representative samples of ColorMaster spray paints and achieved 2X coverage against representative samples of CoverMaxx spray paints only 51% of the time.

Rust-Oleum responded with the following statement:

Rust-Oleum “disagrees with NAD’s determination that the product name, Ultra-Cover 2X is unsupported.  Rust-Oleum does not believe that the statement ‘Ultra Cover 2X’ is a claim that  requires, as support, testing evidence that each color provides at least twice the coverage of each color (even non-matching colors) of competing general purpose paints. Rust-Oleum believes that this finding is inconsistent with NAD precedent, reasonable marketing practice and consumer understanding. Accordingly, Rust-Oleum is appealing from this portion of NAD’s decision.”

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