Walmart leans on Disney in paint aisle
Walmart has rolled out a new line of Disney paints and specialty finishes available exclusively at some Walmart stores.
The Disney Paint line consists of “112 exclusive colors grouped into three palettes, with imaginative Disney-themed names, designed to give parents and children options at every stage, from infant to tween,” said Jason Stewart, director of softlines product development for Disney Consumer Products.
Colorful names from the pallete include “Eeyore’s Rain Cloud,” “Blushing Piglet,” “Cinderella’s Ball Gown” and “Sulley’s Fur.”
For more than two years, Disney Consumer Products and Glidden brand marketers collaborated on the new paint line. Backed with research that showed more than 48% of parents purchasing bedding were also planning to paint their kid’s room, the colors in the collection coordinate with Disney bedding products, according to both companies.
Glidden says it crafted kid-friendly paint performance, with easy-to-clean finishes, according to Aimee Lawlor, director of innovation for PPG Architectural Coatings, the parent company of Glidden paint. Glitter finishes and chalkboard finishes are also part of the new line.
Disney Paint at some but not all Walmart stores retails for about $13.47 per quart and $27.97 per gallon.
More jobs likely available for teens this summer
Continued employment gains in lower-skilled, lower-paying hourly wage categories are expected to benefit teenagers seeking jobs this summer, according to a new outlook released April 11, 2013, by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Although job-seeking teens are likely to face competition from recent college graduates, as well as from those at the opposite end of the age spectrum, employment gains for 16- to 19-year-olds in May, June and July should surpass last year’s levels, Challenger reports.
Last year, the number of working 16- to 19-year-olds rose by nearly 1.4 million in May, June and July, according to nonseasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That marked a 29 percent improvement over 2011, when 1,087,000 teens found summer jobs. In 2010 only 960,000 teens were added to payrolls—the fewest since 1949, government data show.
“Last year’s teen summer job market was the strongest since 2007, when a pre-recession economy added nearly 1.7 million 16- to 19-year-olds to employer payrolls,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a media statement. “There is a chance we could reach that level again in 2013, not necessarily because the economy is booming but because the types of employers that typically seek out teens are doing better.”
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show increased employment in the retail sector, particularly among food stores, clothing and accessory stores, and sporting-goods, hobby, book and music stores.
Employers in leisure and hospitality also appear to be expanding. The most recent government report on hiring and job openings showed that at the end of February there were 378,000 vacancies in retail and 510,000 vacancies in leisure and hospitality, including 458,000 opportunities in accommodation and food services.
“Earlier this year both Home Depot and Lowes announced they would be adding 80,000 and 45,000 seasonal workers, respectively,” said Challenger. “These openings, as well as those at shopping malls, clothing stores, amusement parks, day camps, etc., are ripe opportunities for teenagers hoping to earn some money this summer. Moreover, an improving housing market could mean that more homeowners plan home-improvement and landscaping projects this spring and summer after postponing such projects during the downturn. This could mean job openings with landscaping companies and contractors.”
But it’s questionable whether more teens will actually pursue them. Youth unemployment remains high, with about one-quarter of teenagers in the labor force unable to find jobs.
However, less than one-third of the nation’s 16,840,000 noninstitutionalized 16- to 19-year-olds are working or even looking for work. A March labor force participation rate of 31.5 percent is up only slightly from the record low of 30.8 percent, recorded in January 2012.
While some teens dropped out of the workforce because of frustration or discouragement, the vast majority appear to be not participating by choice. Of the average 11,162,000 adolescents not in the labor force in 2012, an average of just 1,167,000 indicated they wanted a job.
“Even with more teenagers dropping out of the labor force, competition for jobs will remain fierce,” Challenger said. “Right now, there are more than 1.2 million unemployed 16- to 19-year-olds who are looking for work. There are probably an additional 1.1 to 1.2 million who have stopped looking for work, but still want a job.”
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Sherwin-Williams builds on pro loyalty
As big boxes aggressively target pro paint customers, Sherwin-Williams says its seeing its market share increase.
"The data results that we’ve shared with you and the entire investment community would indicate that painting contractors continue to remain remarkably loyal to the dedicated paint store channel," said Sherwin-Williams chairman and CEO Christopher Connor. He was responding to a question from an analyst about the push from the big boxes to attract professional painters.
During the company’s first quarter, consolidated net sales increased 1.4% to $2.17 billion due primarily to higher paint sales volume in our Paint Stores Group.
P.J. Juvekar of Citigroup pointed out that the big boxes haven’t had much success with contractors in the past, but they’re trying. For example, a new program at Lowe’s targets pros with a Valspar Pro line.
Connor said he had "tremendous respect" for the paint departments of the national home center chains.
"They have compelling product lines and offerings and are continuing to see what we see in the market, which is that the shift toward a professional painting contractor is the primary purchase of architectural paint," Connor said.
He pointed to market share gains during the downturn, which will help Sherwin-Williams during the upswing. He said 20 of the top 25 home builders "are good Sherwin customers. That’s a much stronger position than we were in the last time we went through one of these housing rebounds," he added.
Home Depot and Lowe’s are not sitting still, as evidenced by the Lowe’s move with Valspar.
"We’ll take on this next challenge as we have all the other ones over the past 20 years," Connor said.