DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

True Value Co. engages outside branding firms

BY Ken Clark

Chicago, Ill.-based True Value Co. has added two new agency partners, Solve and Morningstar Communications, to expand “the breadth of its marketing and communications teams,” the co-op announced. 

True Value said the moves mark the beginning of enhanced branding initiatives for the hardware cooperative in 2013.

The company hired Solve, a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising company, to develop a brand position founded on True Value’s history and independent-owner base. Solve’s responsibilities include leading brand strategy and planning, as well as multimedia planning and buying. Solve’s original brand work for True Value Company is set to launch this spring. 

“Solve brings actionable insights on our emerging, self-engaged customer group and a powerful creative platform to the table,” said Blake Fohl, VP marketing and chief customer officer for True Value Co. 

Morningstar Communications, a Kansas City-based strategic communications and public relations agency, will focus its efforts in the areas of business-to-business strategic communications, public relations and media relations.

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Valspar CEO likes his chances with Ace

BY Ken Clark

After signing a long-term deal to supply paint for Ace Hardware, Valspar CEO Gary Hendrickson expects to ride the recovery to increased sales. 

"The recently announced Ace Hardware acquisition will expand our retail presence in the U.S. and deliver additional revenue from Ace’s private-label paint which we now manufacture and sell," said Hendrickson.   

During a conference call with analysts, Hendrickson said the store-level decisions on stocking Valspar paint lie with the individual Ace members, but the co-op can certainly influence those decisions. 

"The individual storeowner can make their choice of the brands that they want to carry," Hendrickson said. "The co-op makes it a lot easier for them though, to pick the brands that the co-op has agreements with."

Valspar will have a shipment and fulfillment advantage over paint competitors, he said, "and that’s the big advantage." 

Valspar is also planning an expansion in the United Kingdom through an alliance with retail giant B&Q. That deal will put Valspar branded paint in more than 300 stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. But it’s the United States that has Hendrickson most excited. 

He told analysts to stay tuned for a another "significant retail program in the U.S.," but he said he couldn’t talk about it yet.

"The Ace acquisition and the retail program underscore our confidence in the U.S. housing market and will position us well as the market continues to recover," said Hendrickson. "We believe that any investment we make now and the recovery of the U.S. housing market is a good one for the long term."

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A.Glerup says:
Mar-15-2013 09:09 pm

let me save the paintdoctor
let me save the paintdoctor from a malpractice suit.Ace brand paints have outperformed and outtested both ppg and california paints. i will agree on the valspar comment and also remind those that the 20 year contract of Ace with Valspar means that they must continue to make Ace paints to Aces specs and recipes so integrity of paint will not change. Especially since the new paint and primer is number 1 in consumer reports along with their paint only brand being 7th. As for Richbal2, your info seems made up. Truth is Ace had two paint facilities. One built from scratch by Ace in the 80's the other was bought from Sears/Roebuck in the 90,s neither ever being owned by Valspar until now. There was a lot of updating and new equipment needed and there is the reason for the merger as Valspar having the equity to fix these and Ace still keeping there formulas was a win win for all. Employees kept jobs, and product still available for consumers expectations. In my book, America would be better off if more companies would do this instead of moving factories to Mexico like the wonderful PPGs and california paints.

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Do it Best refines best practices in Phoenix

BY Ken Clark

A blend of education, entertainment and relaxation highlighted the recently completed Do it Best Corp. Winter Conference held in Phoenix.

Do it Best Corp. members from around the world attended the event, which was held Jan. 23-24 at the Arizona Biltmore resort. The Winter Conference’s education and training seminars, combined with product knowledge sessions as well as entertainment and relaxation, had co-op members inspired and invigorated by new ideas for their stores, according to the event’s organizers. 

“Winter Conference is an important and exciting opportunity for our members to get their new year off to a great start,” said Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp. “And we believe this year’s mix of training, education, networking and entertainment was as strong as any we’ve offered." 

The Winter Conference’s training sessions were led by business experts Mark Sanborn, author of the bestselling book "The Fred Factor," who shared insights into delivering extraordinary results; motivational speaker Cam Marston who helped Do it Best Corp. members learn about more effectively connecting with customers from every generation; and former television host Ross Schafer who discussed the importance of innovation and proactive retailing. Additional training sessions tapped the experience and expertise of fellow members who shared their own ideas, suggestions and successes. 

Winter Conference attendees also received product knowledge training, with sessions from DeWalt, Rubbermaid, Sherwin-Williams, TAMKO and Valspar.

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