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Where there’s color, there’s service

BY Ken Clark

The opportunity for hardware stores to win in the paint category begins with convenience, but it doesn’t end there.

That’s one of the key ideas put forth by Mary Rice, Ace’s president and general manager, paint, who joined Ace in May from Behr Paint, the dominant brand at Home Depot’s color centers. Rice sees opportunities for Ace dealers to win on convenience and service in the hardware channel.

“I think, in general, the hardware channel is really a place where paint is sold as a convenience item,” she told Home Channel News.

The warehouse home centers dominate paint sales. According to a recent study from the NPD Group, the warehouse home center channel accounts for 58.1% of total paint sales, compared with 20% of specialty paint stores and 5.3% of hardware stores.

“One of the things that I think is really important to remember is: Paint is not self-service,” she said. “The whole act of picking out a color and going through the process of validating the color and then helping them tint their paint—that requires help.”

From a service perspective, the opportunity exists to provide comfort in validation to a person, and also to provide guidance and advice on what paints and primers match the customer’s specific project—say living room wall or basement floor.

Of course, brands matter, too. At the Ace Hardware Spring Market, Ace and Benjamin Moore announced a “strategic alliance” that has the effect of putting greater selection at a variety of price points on store shelves. At the Fall Market, Ace will again have one booth that will include Benjamin Moore and Ace paint brands, “synthesized in that booth to show the strength of the brands together in the store,” she said.

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Inside the home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumer research from The NPD Group connects the dots of appliance ownership in its most recent report, “Inside the Home: Appliances We Own & Use.”

According to the report, ownership in the major appliance category over-indexes among those who also own their home. However, homeownership does not fully predict who owns these products, nor who has recently purchased them. While one in four homeowners indicate having purchased a major appliance in the past 12 months, one in five renters have as well.

Here are some of the key findings: 

• Small kitchen electrics: The most owned and purchased products are often considered traditional countertop appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, electric can openers and toaster ovens.

• Home environment appliances: The products used most often are those within the water filtration category, followed by upright vacuums. Close to half of upright vacuum owners are using their product once a week or more often.

• Hair appliances: Hair straightener owners are most likely to own other hair care appliances. Three-quarters of hair straighteners owners also own a curling iron or brush. The likelihood of a curling iron/brush owner to own a straightener is far less likely at 46%, however, a significant figure.   • Americans who have a refrigeration filtration system are least likely to own a pitcher, pour-through water filtration, or a faucet-mount device — just 18% and 15%, respectively.

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True Temper sale completed

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York-based Castle Harlan announced it has completed the sale of Ames True Temper to Griffon Corp. for $542 million.

“Our five-year plan for Ames True Temper Inc. was to expand the business, increase market share in the U.S., create international exposure and broaden product lines for distribution through our pipeline. We have done that and are pleased with the results. We wish the company continued success as part of the Griffon family,” said Castle Harlan co-president William Pruellage.

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