Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: That 70s paint strategy

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Oct. 10, 1977, issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, pointed to several ’70s-style paint department merchandising trends. Some things have changed, while some haven’t.

One constant over the decades is the importance of paint, and color. The Calco Home Center in Austin, Texas, displayed a “Color Center” area in its store. The article reports: “Most home center retailers see [the paint and sundries] department as a key to stable DIY consumer growth in 1978.”

At Channel Home Centers, a Brookhaven, Pa., store promoted the Super-Painter Padomatic painting kit on an endcap. The pad was described as a hot paint department promotion.

Dealers, according to the 1978 merchandising report, were also experimenting with décor experts – an idea that is finding fertile ground in today’s competitive paint market. The article writes: “As retailers are finding more sales and profit in paint and sundries, many dealers are testing the idea of adding a ‘décor coordinator’ or ‘paint and decorating specialist’ to their store payrolls.”

That’s not so different from forward-thinking paint departments of 2019.

On the other hand: mirror tile was cited as a strong category heading into 1978.

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HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact <


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