Brands, B.O.M.s and Building Business

True Value reveals assorted tactics and strategies in Denver.
Gen Session True Value
Dealers filed into the True Value general session.

Denver, Colo. — A record number of new assortments. Big deals with brands like Toro and DeWalt. An upgraded bargains of the month (B.O.M.s) program. These were among the highlights delivered to True Value nation during the Chicago-based distributor’s general session Friday morning.

CEO Chris Kempa; SVP of Merchandising and Inventory Jake Kalnitz; and SVP of Sales Eric Lane took turns sharing new programs and promoting the power of flexible and robust assortments that allow DIY customers to get what they need in one store visit.

Touting 600 new stores since 2021 and a $100 million reduction in corporate debt, Kempa delivered a message of financial strength and growth opportunity for dealers. 

"The entire True Value team is committed to bringing you the best solutions to help your business profit, grow and thrive," he said.

A key to growth and profitabiliy — and displayed in dramatic fashion front and center on the market floor here at the Colorado Convention Center—was a refreshed and reorganized collection of 24 assortments. 

“True Value's planogrammed assortment is the focus of the entire organization,” said Kalnitz. 

The new categories range from “Maintaining and/or repairing a vehicle” to “Outdoor cooking” to “Caring for a pet.” 

The organization of product is designed for efficiency, and is guided by a “Jobs Theory” approach to merchandising. Kalnitz described the approach as one that embraces "holistic assortments" that benefit from cross-merchandising in a way that DIYers approach tasks.

Other highlights from the session, in no particular order, included:

• The introduction of a new deal with Toro, offering dealers access to the complete line of Toro’s battery-powered Flex-Force 60V outdoor power equipment.

“This is a real differentiator for us that will allow our retailers to provide their customers with a truly advanced, next-generation range of power tool solutions for every season and every job,” said Kalnitz.

• The creation of Destination DeWalt, an assortment bringing more DeWalt products to True Value stores.

• An upgraded Bargain of the Month (B.O.M.) program, with more marketing and a guaranteed-sale provision (an announcement that generated spontaneous applause in the cavernous ballroom).

• The introduction of a new line of paint: Limitless. Expected to roll out in the second quarter of 2022, the line offers one-coat coverage (guaranteed for 294 colors) and easy cleaning benefits. 

Destination Dewalt made a big splash in Assortment City.

Supply chain issues factored in the message delivered in Denver. Kalnitz said True Value has improved its product fill rates by more than 20 percent.  And fill rates in the distributor's most important programs are running over 90 percent. 

Kalnitz thanked vendors for their role in lifting fill rates, and he expressed high confidence in the efficient flow of products—especially for key programs. 

“If we thought we would have supply issues with any one of our assortment launches, we would not be introducing them right now,” he said. 

The True Value Fall Reunion and market draws to a close Sunday.

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