DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace turns to Valspar, away from Ben Moore

BY Brae Canlen

Ace Hardware is in the final stages of inking a deal that will replace Benjamin Moore, its signature national brand, with a program from Valspar paint, HCN has learned.

“We can confirm that we signed an agreement with Ace, [and] we expect the transaction to close by the end of the calendar year,” said Mark Goldman, VP corporate communications for Valspar. Because the deal is not final, Goldman said he could not comment on the details of the program, including whether Ace’s two paint manufacturing plants are part of the negotiations.

When contacted by HCN, Kate Kirkpatrick, a spokeswoman for Ace, said: “We cannot disclose any information since we have not closed on the agreement yet.”

One person was free to talk about proposed change, however. Edward Klein, senior VP strategy and retailing for Benjamin Moore, 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.”

“We’re committed to retailers who are committed to paint,” explained Klein, who helped set up the initial program with Ace in 2005. Klein estimated that Benjamin Moore currently supplies 1,400 to 1,500 of Ace’s dealers, which number approximately 4,000.

These Ace/Ben Moore dealers received a Dec. 7 letter signed by Klein and three other company executives pledging to continue the program. “We are more than prepared to work with these retailers on a direct basis,” Klein said. “We’re evaluating ways to supply them and handle shipping to smaller stores.”

Benjamin Moore also recently struck a deal to supply paint to San Jose, Calif.-based Orchard Supply Hardware. And at the recent True Value Fall Market, Benjamin Moore had a booth where it promoted a billing arrangement with True Value retailers.

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DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

At Do it Best, promotion for Randolph

BY Ken Clark

Do it Best Corp. promoted of Don Randolph to the position of retail performance manager.

In his new role, Randolph will oversee and lead co-op efforts in aiding the growth and improvement of member stores through enhancement of retail performance programs. 

Randolph is a nearly 10-year veteran of Do it Best Corp., serving as a territory sales and business development manager in the southwestern United States. 

“I am very excited about this opportunity to help our members continue to grow their businesses through our outstanding Retail Performance programs,” Randolph said, in a prepared statement.

His extensive experience prior to joining Do it Best Corp. includes owning his own outdoor power equipment sales and service store, as well as positions in outside sales for several independent wholesale hardware companies in Arizona. He’s a native of Edinburgh, Ind., where he grew up in the family hardware store, Randolph Hardware Co. 

“Don is someone who’s lived and breathed this industry for a long time, which is a big part of why he’s been such a solid performer on our team,” said Jay Brown, VP sales and business development for Do it Best Corp.

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Do it Best puts products in focus

BY Ken Clark

Merchandise managers at Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. welcomed more than 75 multinational vendors to their corporate office in Fort Wayne, Ind., as the merchandising team looks to bolster its product lineup.

This biannual Buying Day event, held on Nov. 28, brought a flurry of activity to the company’s headquarters, according to Do it Best. 

“We are always looking for ways to further strengthen our product offerings and discover fresh sources of supply for our members,” said Steve Markley, VP merchandising for Do it Best Corp. “This Buying Day event is a great opportunity to meet with potential new vendors, learn more about their products and explore promising and innovative product opportunities for our members. We’re excited about the potential to add newly discovered products to our retail service centers.” 

The Buying Day event was coordinated and promoted by the Home Improvement Industry Presidents Council. Past events at Do it Best Corp. have resulted in the addition of a variety of new products from both stocking and drop-ship vendors into the co-op’s overall product mix.

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