The 2017 National Hardware Show puts the whole industry under one roof.
What time is it? It’s March, so it’s time for…The Paint Dealer’sNational Hardware Show Preview! Being that it’s our 25th anniversary, it’s probably our 25th National Hardware Show preview, give or take.
So first, the usual. Comfortable shoes, drink lots of water, what to wear? Find out beforehand if you’ve moved up a size rather that squeeze into those same khakis you’ve been wearing every May since 2002. If you’re a manufacturer, try to find a testimonial more recent than the 1968 Summer of Love. Smile. Our feet hurt too, and we do it.
Plan Your Event
If you’re walking the show, you can get easily overwhelmed, just like if you’re taking a vacation and find out that by trying to see everything, you wind up seeing nothing. If you plan your vacation in advance you can find the beaches, restaurants, and monuments that matter to you the most. The world’s largest gift shop? There’s one in every state.
Same with NHS, which now has an app to steer you to super sights and world wonders you might otherwise overlook. Once you register to attend, download the “My Show” app, which can help you organize your Vegas visit as vivaciously as possible. Based on the information you supply when you register, the app will play matchmaker and marry you to booths and exhibits that most fit your profile. These are not advertisements or based on paid sponsorships, the organizers stress, but actually ad-free recommendations. Be honest or you’ll spend all day outside sampling pizza and miss all the paint.
You can even set up meetings before hand with the app. Find your industry contact and send them a message through My Show to schedule some one-on-one. Note to both of you: show up! No one wants to run from booth to booth only to be stood up. Forget what time it was for? Retrieve your saved information quickly on your mobile device by logging into the National Hardware Show Mobile App using your badge ID and zip code.
Over the past several years, the Show has made an effort to be more relevant to independents, and every year it adds something more. “There are a large number of independent retailers within the home improvement industry,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “At the Show, we offer networking events, complimentary education sessions, new products, buying opportunities and more for independents to take advantage of during just one trip.”
“Just one trip” is a mantra for this year, and it sums it up perfectly. Just one trip for dealers to meet each other and manufactures, for suppliers to see reps and dealers, for the media to report on the industry. Plus it’s a trip to Las Vegas which is always fascinating whether you hit shows and casinos or slow it up with diners and souvenir shops.
“I love the networking that takes place between store owners, vendors and manufacturers,” says retailer Megan Menzer of Newton’s True Value in Cherryvale, Kansas. “I can talk to hardware store owners who work with all different distributors, not just those with my own co-op. The contacts, new ideas, educational training and networking that go on makes it well worth my time to attend the Show.”
It’s Time for the Floor Show
The organizers recommend picking up the printed show directory before heading out on the Show floor. This guide gives a full list of Show exhibitors, as well as their booth numbers and contact information. Exhibitors that sell to the independent retailer will be marked as such in the guide, offering you the chance to talk with exhibitors who have the products you’re looking for and won’t keep scanning the crowd for someone with a big box moniker shining out from their lanyard.
As already mentioned, you can do a lot of planning if you download the free NHS Mobile App—even before you head to Las Vegas. Along with meeting and scheduling options, the app includes a plethora of information about the Show, including the full exhibitor list by product category, session schedule for the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) Village Stage and, of course, much more. It even has a special section just for independent retailers.
To further focus on the independent, exhibitors that sell to independent retailers can mark themselves as such and will be provided as recommendations to the independent retailers like you, who are looking for their specific product types.
The Village of Fast Forward
The NRHA (North American Retail Hardware Association) Village is the go-to area of the National Hardware Show where you’ll have the most chance to connect with other independent retailers. Or you can push someone out of the way at a booth, but that might not be the best way to meet people. NRHA is an association dedicated to helping independent retailers become better and more profitable retailers, and at the Show, NRHA will host a variety of complimentary seminars and awards programs on its Village Stage. The Village Stage will be located in the lobby of the convention center, next to the Central Hall. (NRHA also stands for National Reining Horse Association, so make sure you’re in the right place.)
The theme of this year’s NRHA All-Industry Conference is forward-thinking retail. Keynote speakers will include author Kit Yarrow (“Decoding the Consumer Mind”) and retail expert Mary Walter (“Your Remarkable Service Advantage”). There will also be a variety of other speakers, panels and awards ceremonies. To learn more, visit www.nrhaconference.com.
You can also stop by the Village for the NRHA Independent Retailer Reception, which will be held 5:00-6:30 p.m. on May 9. This will provide an opportune time for you to network with other retailers and talk about the successes and challenges you face—or as Mark Lipton notes in his column, if they carry a product line you’re considering, ask them for an honest appraisal and you’ll probably
Sure you have comfortable shoes (if you don’t, get some) and you’re drinking plenty of water (it’s
Las Vegas after all), and your pants fit (we have nothing to say about that), but you still want to take a load off. A great excuse would be one of those many educational seminars and presentations.
Check out the following list of some of the speakers and topics:
Customers Uncensored: What They Wish You Knew Dustin Kaehr, May 9, 9:30
Every retailer overestimates the quality of the experience they provide customers. Do you have a foundation to build a great customer experience upon? Did you ever wish you knew what customers really thought about your operation, your staff and your products?
In a bold approach intertwining personal and professional stories, and with full candor, Dustin will speak the honest truth about what customers say when you aren’t around. You will walk away energized to move forward in the battle for customers’ wallets and hearts.
Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy Kit Yarrow, author May 9, 10:30
A decade of swift and stunning shifts in how, when, and why consumers shop and buy has created a more volatile marketplace and new, more dynamic consumer expectations. It’s also created competitive opportunities for the retailers and marketers that understand the new psychology of today’s consumers.
Retailers and marketers that tap into the psychology of modern consumers are able to connect more effectively and can more accurately predict what’s coming next. Through case examples, videos, humor and insights from her own award-winning research, Kit will inspire attendees to make immediate use of:
• Six significant sociocultural shifts that have permanently changed the psychology of consumers.
• Eight ways that consumers shop, decide and are motivated to buy differently today.
• Eight strategic, actionable recommendations to tap into today’s new consumer psychology.
Break out of the Pack Al Meyers, Kalypso, May 9, 1:00
What does it take to make your customer drive past your competition to buy from you? Drawing on his years of experience in consulting, Al will present the different approaches high-performance retailers are using to innovate—and stay afloat—in today’s tough retail environment.
Packaging & Merchanding Awards, May 9, 2:00
NRHA will introduce the winners of the 2017 Packaging and Merchandising Awards and share a summary of judge commentary and emerging packaging trends. Attendees will get to see the best of the best in home improvement packaging and merchandising.
Dealer Reception, May 9, 5:00
NRHA invites all independent retailers attending the National Hardware Show® to stop by the NRHA Village for a networking reception upon close of the show floor. Mix and mingle with fellow independent hardware store, home center and lumberyard owners and NRHA staff in a casual and welcoming setting. Please send your RSVP to email@example.com to attend.
Benjamin Moore: “Store of Tomorrow” Eugene Andreassi, May 10, 9:00.
Andreassi will discuss Benjamin Moore’s new store of the future concept, its origins and development and how the new retail model mirrors the future of what consumers are expecting.
Your Remarkable Service Advantage
Mary Walter, May 10, 10:00
The morning of the second day will feature renowned retail expert Mary Walter, who will discuss customer service and engagement strategy and share how retailers can inspire their teams to provide winning service. She will provide insight into what truly drives the business from a service perspective. You’ll learn how to solve problems as Mary draws on her more than twenty years of experience working with retailers including stores such as Target, Gap and Ross Dress For Less to share her first hand stories of customer service solutions.
The Store is STILL Important Speaker: Jim Robisch The Farnsworth Group, May 10, 11:00
While online retail receives all the attention, this presentation will share proprietary consumer research that suggests the “in-store experience” still plays a critical role in shoppers’ buying habits. He will discuss why this is good news for independent retailers.
Along with this will be the various awards, packaging, innovation, new products, etc, throughout the day and evening. Who doesn’t like to see people win stuff and debate about it later! Pick your favorite seminars and schedule them in along with your supplier visits.
One Trip, Three Days, All This
It boils down to, say the show organizers…all this in three days.
• See the latest trends from 2,500+ exhibitors from around the world
• Get hands-on with every product, at every price-point, in 15+ major home improvement and hardware product categories
• Compare products with information directly from those who know best—the manufacturers, inventors, designers and more
• Find the resources you need to make better buying decisions—from the NRHA stage and networking with fellow industry professionals to a vast array of exhibitors
• Tap into new profit centers—discover the products that will fly off your shelves in the year ahead…and beyond!
Check Out These Companies’ Show Highlights!
Manufacturers are always happy to share their booth highlights. Stop by and tell them you saw it in The Paint Dealer (even if you saw it somewhere else too). Booth numbers are those listed at press time and may change.
3M: Booths N234, N236 & Lancaster
3M will be showing several products including: Large Hole Repair Kit: Large hole in the wall? Here’s a product for your DIYers that has all the tools and materials they need to repair a hole up to five inches. The 3M™ Large Hole Repair Kit helps them get the flat fill for a pro finish.
Unlike mesh screens that can leave lumps on the wall, this product uses an innovative behind-the-wall back plate for a flat fill that generates the same results as hiring a professional. Tools include back plate, fiber reinforced compound, putty knife, tape and sanding sponge.
Scotch™ Masking Tape for Humid Conditions: Featuring cutting-edge Humi Bond™ Adhesive, this tape sticks and stays in humid conditions. It also works great on zero-VOC, scrubbable and deep-base paints. For clean lines and great results, get the tape with staying power. 3m.com
Abatron: Booth 4818
Abatron, Inc. has been manufacturing some of the most sought-after restoration products since the early 1980’s. Our well-known wood repair epoxy products, LiquidWood® and WoodEpox® make permanent, cost-effective repairs to rotted or damaged wood Our exhibit will also feature Krack Kote®, an elastomeric repair kit for cracked plaster and drywall that prevents cracks from coming back. Banish your cracks forever! Visit our booth for more information. abatron.com
Add-a-Handle: Booth 5327
For all those times you wish it had a handle, now it can with Add-a-Handle! The combination of the open-ended handle, magnet, and two custom multi-length Velcro brand straps allows for endless uses to carry, hook, or hold practically anything up to 30 pounds easily, safely, and securely. Our design is perfect for licensing too! Come check out Add-a-Handle at our booth to enter our daily raffle, get a special offer code, and see how much Add-a-Handle has to offer! Made in the USA. add-a-handle.com
ArroWorthy: Booth 5924 & Lancaster
ArroWorthy will be display its full line of Professional & DIY brushes, rollers and accessories including Finultra, Red Frost, Rembrandt, Pro Tradesman and Tradesman series brushes. We will be featuring our new Mighty-Mini Roller Program, our new Barracuda Mini-Roller Rod Frames, and an innovative extension pole series. arroworthy.com
Blue Dolphin: Booth 5924 & Lancaster
Blue Dolphin will be displaying a full line of abrasives and tapes. We will be featuring our new Ultra-Premium Painters Masking Tape WASHI series (60 day Clean Removal) along with our new 4-Ply Barracuda Duct Tape Series (General Purpose, Professional and Industrial Grade). On the Abrasives front we will be featuring our new Ergonomic Hand Sanding Tools, excellent for small and fast prep work jobs. dolphinsundries.com
CBC: Lancaster Show
CBC Computer Systems will be exhibiting at the Lancaster show. CBC will be showing its latest enhancements to Decor Fusion, including new high speed integrated credit card processing, an improved Mobile RF Gun app and a new EDI system for sending POs electronically to Lancaster. Decor Fusion is a specialized point-of-sale software system designed exclusively for paint and decorating retailers. cbcs.com
Franmar: Booth 5031
Franmar is pleased to once again be showing at the National Hardware Show! This year we are introducing our new BLUE BEAR Graffiti Removers. There are two formulations, one for porous surfaces like unfinished concrete or stone and a variant that is designed for hard surfaces like metal and painted concrete. Just like our Blue Bear Paint & Urethane Stripper these products are environmentally safe, low odor, and work well. Stop by our booth to see a demonstration of our products in action. franmar.com
Gardner-Gibson: Booth 5019 & Lancaster
Gardner-Gibson brings its entire portfolio to the National Hardware Show, from caulks and wallpaper adhesives to coatings that deliver protection from the elements. Check out our new products and learn new things about longtime favorites from Black Jack, Dynamite and Gardner. Ready to stock the shelves? Swing over to the Gardner-Gibson booth at Lancaster for great show specials and buying opportunities. We look forward to seeing you! gardner-gibson.com
Golden Paintworks: Booth 5518
Introducing NEW Lifestyle Finishes™ by Golden Paintworks, a division of Golden Artist Colors, Inc. Lifestyle Finishes are a line of 18 decorative finishing products that offer a fresh way to bring the beauty of nature’s textures inside. Now you can offer customers something new, easy-to-apply…and proﬁtable for you! Aligned with today’s trends, Lifestyle Finishes allow your customers to show off their creativity and individual personality. All products are tintable and offer a great range of diversity in a small footprint. Planograms come with many extras to help the products sell. Visit our booth for hands-on demonstrations throughout the show. goldenpaintworks.com
HANDy Paint Products: Booth 5330G, Lancaster
Bercom will be back at NHS to showcase its ever-growing HANDy Paint Products family! Officially launched last spring but still making its way into the marketplace is the Handy Pro Pail, designed for professionals and DIYers. The Handy Pro Pail was developed based on insightful customer feedback about the Handy Roller Pail. Designed to accommodate up to a 6.5-inch mini-roller or a 3-inch paintbrush, the Handy Pro Pail will hold more than a quart of paint or stain, making it a must-have product for paint contractors. Like many of Bercom’s popular painting accessories, it has a custom-fit liner available for purchase and is proudly made in the USA. Stop by the booth to check out the full product line! handypaintproducts.com
Howard Products: Booth 5519
We’re going to have our three new products at the show! We acquired Chalk-Tique and are now selling three Chalk-Tique products: A Powder Additive for paint, a Light Paste Wax and a Dark Paste Wax. Chalk-tique mixes with any latex paint in any color to provide a chalky finish. It won’t compete with existing paint sales—it helps you sell more paint. Ease of use and a low price point make it a great product to stock! Also take a look at our other products in the Howard Line. howardproducts.com
PPG: Booth 5919 & Lancaster
PPG will feature products from brands such as PPG Paints™, Olympic® stains, Glidden® paint, PPG Proluxe™ wood finishes, Flood® wood care, Liquid Nails® adhesives and Homax® specialty products. PPG will be happy to discuss stocking your store with a product mix that will satisfy the needs of your DIY and/or contractor customers. ppgaf.com
SafeWorld International: Booth #4909
With over 30 years’ experience in the paint sundries category, SafeWorld Int’l., Inc. has created the CANGUN1® premium spray can tool featuring the world’s first FullGrip™ trigger with 2.5:1 leverage advantage making spraying up to 8X easier while providing professional results every time. CanGun1’s exclusive ergonomist-tested, arthritis-friendly design makes it suitable for use while wearing bulky gloves.
The reusable product is Made In USA from 80% recycled plastic, and is the only spray can tool to have ever receive the Handyman Club, Stuff-Stuff, Nat’l Street Machine and Motorcycle Clubs of America Member-Tested seals of approval. Stop by to discuss the merchandising options available and the high margin dollar return on investment you get when you stock the CanGun1 premium spray can tool. cangun1.com
Santint: Booth 5429
Santint is once again exhibiting at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. We are showing our entire line of paint dispensers and paint mixers. Featured is our new M3 manual turntable colorant dispenser that was redesigned for the North American market. Its shelf is ten inches higher for easier ergonomics and has an open base to accommodate our V10 mixer or storage. This unit also accepts our new larger stainless steel canisters with a five ounce gauge, plus micro dispense gauge. Show Special—get 10% off by mentioning this article from The Paint Dealer. santintusa.com
More for Sale at Lancaster
For the past several years, Lancaster has co-located its Las Vegas Buying show with the National Hardware Show, and it’s just a short walk from one to the next. This gives you two distinctly different options: the bigness of NHS or the smaller, more intimate atmosphere of Lancaster. Register for this show by April 16 and you’ll receive $100 cash when you check in at the Lancaster Registration Desk, limited to one $100 per bill-to customer.
Walk the show and take advantage of deep discounts, delayed shipping, extended payment terms, cash spiffs, and prize giveaways. Along with that, the amount you purchase can qualify you for a night or two of room reimbursement and even money back on your airline tickets. Purchase $5,000 to $7,499 and you’ll get one night’s room reimbursement, or throw in that extra dollar and for purchases of $7500 and over, get two. Register by April 16 for a discounted room rate at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, where the show is located.
Other perks include lunch from noon to 1:30 on Wednesday, May 10; and breakfast on Thursday, May 11 from 7:30 to 9:00. A 6:00 poolside reception follows the close of business on Wednesday.
Companies and Brands at the Lancaster Buying Show (exhibitor list supplied by Lancaster; may change by the show.)
Advanced Protective Prod.
Allway Tools Inc.
American Safety Razor
CBC Computer Systems
Custom Building Products
Dad’s Easy Spray
Full Circle International
Momentive Perf. Materials
Packaging Service Co.
Paint Sundry Brands
System Three Resins
This Stuff Works, Inc.
West Chester Gear
Work Tools Int’l
About the National Hardware Show®:The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 72 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving American’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers.
Tell me a story! We like stories; listen to today’s criticism of modern movies or fiction and you can see how seriously we take our fun. But stories are more than superheroes and villains, they can also be told on a product’s packaging or at the point of sale. If it’s a product people are unfamiliar with, the copywriter needs to spin a good tale, and fast, before the reader moves on to an author—or a product—that they already know.
Round We Go
Full Circle International, based in Garfield, Minnesota, has a unique concept in abrasives, but it might not be as well-known as some other products on your shelves, so they make a concerted effort to narrate a quick and satisfying tome. “We put a lot of effort in our packaging to tell most of the story—but that is only part of it,” said the company’s National Sales Manager Jeff Annis.
How do you find out what happens next? Once interest is piqued, there are many ways for your customers to learn more. “We advertise, and we attend many pro shows to demo our new products to contractors and dealers,” Annis told us. “We have independent sales reps from coast to coast who meet with contractors and do live demos. Many of our products need to be seen for people to fully understand the benefits they offer. Our sales reps can arrange demo units for your store or store reps as well.” Bring in some painters and show them how it works, and perhaps they’ll take some home along with your free paint paddles!
If packaging is Part One of the story, is your sequel— Abrasive Stories Part Two—going to be just as good? Yes! Jeff tells us. Full Circle will be happy to demo its products for you or share some videos of the products in use. You and your customers can break out the popcorn and learn together.
Hang on to your seats, because the Full Circle story is all about action! Not only does the packaging show the product in use, but you can see products at work on the company website or go for the live performance at pro and dealer shows. “We believe the visual effect of seeing our product is very helpful,” said Annis.
Great news, but you’ve already got a ton of abrasives and no room for more! Really? These days a short story, or even “flash fiction,” a really short story, is pretty popular. Say as much as you can in just a few words. “Store display and shelf space is always at a premium,” Annis realizes. “We’re always looking at ways to condense the space but still display our products well. One way we have done this is by cardboard displays that take up less room but show more products. We are looking at doing this in the future as well.”
Barreling on Through
We talk to Roland Kolilias a lot, if you haven’t noticed, but if you have, that’s good; it means you’re a regular reader. What with brushes and rollers and tape and abrasives on his plate, he’s got a lot to talk about. As president of Blue Dolphin Sundries, he tells us that the company is still swimming forward with innovations. Dolphins are smart, after all. And they know how to communicate.
“We do not believe we are at a stopping point,” he said. Just like the brushes and rollers coming out of the industry, developments in coatings are driving many of the developments in abrasives. “As the coatings industry continues to update paint formulas, other paint related products need to keep pace so that contractors and DIYers can achieve good results,” said Roland.
There’s also the drive to make prep easier and more productive so people actually do it. “Blue Dolphin’s new Ergonomic Prep-Tools tools are a great support for ease and satisfactory results,” said Kolilias.
“With our new 11-piece Hand Sanding Kits, a consumer or contractor can complete any job from start to finish.” The kits allow your customer to have the correct grit—literally at their fingertips. They include a sanding tool and a 10-piece assorted grit selection of sandpaper to let your painter complete any task before painting or staining.
Kolilias is a firm believer that manufacturers are just as responsible as dealers in getting the word out, so if you carry his products you’ll get marketing support. “With new sanding products out on the market, the manufacturer needs to create a way for the retailer to merchandise them,” he said. Blue Dolphin’s options include free standing assortments of these new tools which you can put on the counter or front and center on an end cap.over and shop, we’re all for it—make sure you find a way to introduce the new but keep the tried and true. “There are still enough seasoned professionals that use traditional methods and will not try new products,” he reminds us. “With that said, the manufacturer must design new ways to merchandise new items. As mentioned, end caps and counter displays are a perfect way to introduce new items to see if they will be accepted.”
Some cross merchandising can help as well, as maybe the fourth time they see it, they’ll finally realize they want it! “As new products and tools become available, retailers need to be creative and strategically place them throughout the store,” he said. “The interior stain aisle, drywall area and exterior paints areas are the best places to start.”
Stranger Than Fiction
Remember the movie Trading Places? Here are two companies known for one style of abrasive that are introducing the other. Soon sanding will be so much fun that people will stop complaining about having to do it!
Writing a New Chapter
New from Full Circle is a dust free sanding system. Launched last year, this system gives the user an option to get the same great results when sanding—now just dust-free. We’ll let Annis explain it from here
“The new Dust-Free system utilizes two sanding tools: the Radius360 Air and Flex Air. Flex Air uses stearated perforated sanding sheets in three grits and a perforated foam abrasive in a medium or fine.
Our stearated sanding sheets are coated sandpaper that makes the substrate load or stick to the sandpaper less. This provides a better-quality sanding finish by not building either drywall compound or paint on the sandpaper. The abrasive foam is less likely to tear or rip. By not ripping and folding over, this also will make for a better-quality sanding finish. The perforations are for the dust to be extracted through the holes and into the vacuum.
“The Radius360 Air uses two abrasive options as well. First, it can use our Level 360 sanding discs in 10 grit options, from a very coarse 60 grit to a fine 300. No one grit that does it all, as there are many differences in drywall compound, from very soft to much harder.Each needs a different grit to get the job done. Also, in scuff sanding paint there are many different grits needed. If someone is scuff sanding primer you can recommend a coarser grit, that coarse grit will also help with adhesion when scuffing up a gloss paint. Using the Radius360 Air and the Level 360 sanding discs, the dust gets extracted around the perimeter as brushes around the outside of the tool create a vacuum barrier. are coming out with a new abrasive option in April with a mesh abrasive disc. The mesh abrasive has been mostly used in the automotive industry for extracting dust. Now with the Radius360 Air you can use this abrasive without the use of our brushes on the perimeter of tool. This gives less drag and makes sanding feel even more like the original Radius360, now just dust-free.”
“Our goal is to make sanding easier while providing a better sanding finish,” he said. “With new regulations, for example OSHA laws on respirable crystalline silica 1926.1153, painters will need tools to comply. This system is the perfect tool for those jobs where you need to be dust-free.”
Hand over Hand
Festool, known for its dust free systems, has come out with a new line of hand-use abrasives, and remind us that the abrasive technology used in their equipment works just was well in a palm, thumb and four fingers.
“GRANAT abrasives create the perfect surface—no matter the application,” says the company. Whether for those difficult-to-reach spots or for carrying out minor corrections, the new Granat premium hand sanding abrasives will give your customers the desired sanding results quickly and efficiently, even for hand sanding.
“Long-lasting, high-performance abrasives are resistant to tearing and are durable and washable,” they added. “The synthetic resin bonding provides a tenacious grip for long lasting cutting power without grooves or scratches. Specially formed sponges provide unique profiles to tackle hard-to-solve hand sanding problems, and sheets and rolls can tackle common sanding needs.”
The Abrasive Block is 4-sided and the grit is dimensionally stable for sanding in one operation two sides of the workpiece. Exceptional longevity of the block is due to the medium-hard foam core. The Combi Block, with its round side and 45-degree edge, allows work in hard to reach places.
Festool’s Abrasive Sheets and Rolls offer a universal hand sanding abrasive for paint, putty, filler, and lacquer (VOC-lacquer and hard materials), with these benefits:
• Longer service life and a high
material removal rate due to special fused aluminum oxide.
• Synthetic resin for entirely bonded grits delivering long lasting cutting power.
• Due to the unmatched grit bonding there is less grid break out when folding or adopting to your surface.
The perception of white is changing, in large part due to the help of color experts and designers incorporating it as a conscious choice rather than a “whatever.” You can help customers do the same: show how the deliberate use of white rather than “I don’t know what else to do” can enhance their living space rather than make it look like a sigh of despair.
For this article, we contacted two companies who gave white a special place on their color chart. Benjamin Moore, for example, awarded Simply White its color of the year honors in 2016. But now what? Now that they’ve moved to a much darker Shadow, what happens to last year’s winner?
It’s not like when the World Series champs fall to sixth place—old colors of the year get a permanent spot in their company’s Hall of Fame. Plus, all this attention has catapulted white into from “chance” to “choice.”
“Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2016 campaign successfully heightened the awareness of intentional white,” said Hannah Yeo, Benjamin Moore Color & Design Expert. “White is no longer a default color, but a color that can enhance the space and be the true hero of the room. The campaign also answered confusion around why we have over 100 variations of whites. We see that consumers are beginning to understand the impact of light, space, and color, and asking the right questions. There’s certainly more sophistication when it comes to choosing white.”
So even with white, you’ll want to ask the questions: indoor lighting, windows, colors to go with…take it seriously! “When you get the right white, everything flows,” Yeo said. “Your eyes seamlessly move from one corner to another.” If your white is off, and not in a good way, people will notice something’s wrong but they won’t necessarily know what. They’ll just go home early. “The slight nuances of white make a roomful of difference,” she explained. “It holds the key to making a successful design, especially when you’re bringing other colors in the room. We’re continuing to tell that story through this year’s Color Trends, this time with deeper and richer colors.”
Even though Shadow (2117-30) won the pageant this year, Simply White (OC-117) is not sulking in a corner. And there was no “announcing the wrong color” like Miss Universe or the Academy Awards. “Simply White remains a great place to start,” said Yeo. “It works well with many different hues, including 23 colors from Color Trends 2017,” she said.
It makes a great contrast to many of the deeper and warmer tones coming into prominence. “We’re adding texture into the space and creating mood using color and light,” said Yeo. “This gives us the opportunity to look at other whites such as Cloud Cover (OC-25) and Chalk White (2126-70). A creamier white such as Cloud Cover softly flows through, not interrupting the mood that’s already created by richer hues. Chalk White creates a sharp contrast next to bolder hues such as Shadow, giving a clean, crisp look.”
White in the Spotlight
Valspar gave us a dozen Colors of the Year—a Palette of the Year so people could feel comfortable and on trend in a variety of hues. One of these was Perfect Peaceful White; just the name is quite the statement! What’s perfect and peaceful about it?
“This warm white speaks to your desire for quiet in a clamorous world,” said Valspar Color Expert Sue Kim. “It’s like the comfort of a hand-knitted throw that you can wrap yourself in. It’s also versatile. No matter what’s trending, this timeless white works perfectly in any home from most traditional to the ultra-contemporary.”
We were curious, as we should be, in asking how a certain white can catapault over all others for a Color of the Year. Just because something is neutral doesn’t mean it’s blah, but it can. A right white for one space can be a trite white in another, and much of this choice has to do with another popular neutral horning in. “This white has a touch of warm gray that gives a more relaxed, natural feel than a pure white,” said Kim. “In the past, whites with yellow undertones were popular but today whites with a subtle touch of gray harmonize well with other décor and furniture and provide a comforting mood in a space.”
Accessories and decorative finishes can enhance the choice. “Add textural layers,” Sue suggests. “Accentuate the undertones of this shade by adding a silky fabric or a weathered finish in similar neutrals. The all-white bedroom is a trending look, and this white is the perfect foundation to layer on comfy bedding, pillows and accents.”
Perfect peaceful white, she concluded can also be used successfully in a small spaces to create an airy atmosphere. “Use a soft and natural lighting to enhance the peaceful and feathered mood in your space.”
PPG has reached an agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) to make PPG paint brands the Official Paint of the NHL® in the U.S. and Canada.
The agreement was announced in conjunction with the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers at Heinz Field, in PPG’s hometown of Pittsburgh. It builds on PPG’s 20-year naming-rights agreement with the Penguins for Pittsburgh’s multipurpose arena, PPG Paints Arena. PPG is also the Penguins’ Official Paint Supplier.
As part of the agreement, PPG will integrate its paint brands into select NHL premier events. PPG and its products will be featured at future NHL Stadium Series games and the annual NHL Winter Classic® game. PPG branding will appear on and around the ice adorning dasherboards, and off the ice in programs, scoreboard features and event-related activities.
PPG will have rights to use NHL marks and logos on its paint product packaging, on store point-of-purchase displays, in contests and promotions, and through social media and digital marketing in the U.S. and Canada. For hockey fans, PPG is planning a variety of engagement initiatives, including coupons and promotions for its paint products.
Plan for a New Century
Benjamin Moore has introduced CENTURY™—a new dimension in paint, says the company, that builds upon the brand’s legacy of craftsmanship, precision and beauty. Formulated to exceed the creative desires of the most exacting designers and environments, this innovative paint comes in a curated collection of 75 brand new colors that are brought to life with the first Soft Touch Matte finish.
Benjamin Moore reports that it has developed the most sophisticated palette in its class through a complex alchemy of art and science. “Skilled craftsmen and chemists applied years of experience to the making of this ultra-premium paint. The resulting formulation is so intricately balanced it is only made in small batches that will be pre-mixed and sealed to ensure the truest color and experience in every can,” said the company.color collection of interior designers. These hues offer an unrivaled depth and richness of color previously unseen in the industry, enabling this paint to transform not only a room, but the entire color experience. The colors of the CENTURY palette draw inspiration from natural elements such as minerals, gems, spices, herbs and plants,” the manufacturer described.
Unique Point of Sale Software: A Win for Both the Paint Retailer and the Developer
CBC Computer Systems offers the only POS software that is specifically designed for independently owned paint and decorating retailers. In fact, it was through working directly in the paint stores that the company could fine tune its product to, like our slogan goes, “easily meet your unique requirements.”
Years ago, CBC, located in Thorold, Ontario (near Niagara Falls), sold a building materials retail system to local businesses, including a few retail paint stores. While that system was, at that time, the best match available to these stores, it did not properly handle the specialized needs of the paint retailers. It was after this that CBC identified the need for a niche POS system and formed a local user group of paint store owners to develop the first POS system design exclusively for paint and decorating stores.
This initial design of system, known then as Decor 2001, quickly and easily captured colors and formulas on sales tickets and allowed easy retrieval of this customer data, which became valuable for repeat orders and accessory sales.
Early in the development, it became obvious that, not only did these stores need specialized features, but they also needed a system that was very easy and intuitive to operate. The store staff might have a very good understanding of paints and tinting, but were normally not computer savvy, especially with the early versions of Windows.
As CBC expanded into more paint stores, it came across a wider range of products that different stores sold, ranging from wallpaper and accessories to blinds, window treatments, and later to flooring. Each of these products required special programming consideration to enable them to be effectively ordered, sold and stocked through a computer system. As well, many of these products were special orders and required the software to efficiently handle deposits, installations, partial shipments and even drop shipments.
CBC’s first major account was the Benjamin Moore TCO (Temporarily Company Owned) stores in Canada. Subsequently, CBC picked up more and larger chain stores as well as regional manufacturers. These led to the development of additional features for multi-store transfers, mix of centralized purchasing and store specific ordering, receiving through RF Guns and even hazardous goods documentation, through to a Mobile Delivery App.
All along the way, Decor evolved with more specialized features to improve the efficiency of the store operations and facilitate improved customer service. Balancing the need for sophistication and simplicity of operation is an ongoing challenge, but working closer with users and industry groups has enabled CBC to do both. Many different features can be turned on through system parameters to accommodate small, large or multi-location stores.
The present software version, now known as Decor Fusion, is the third generation of the system. It incorporates features and enhancements from CBC’s ever growing base of paint and decorating store owners. Decor Fusion incorporates everything CBC has learned over the past 20 years of industry experience into the latest Microsoft .NET programming environment in an advanced SQL database.
CBC owes its prosperity to the close working relationship with its users as well as with manufacturers and buying groups. Decor Fusion has become a highly specialized, unique point-of-sale system that genuinely improves the operation of paint and decorating retailers—truly a win-win scenario for CBC and those we work with!
Customer service is what I’m all about. It is my life’s mission to help companies create a customer service experience that customers think is amazing, so I thought it would be nice to own the domain name CustomerService.com. But surely, some company that is totally focused on their customers would already own it. I typed the URL into the Internet browser and found out… it was for sale. Nobody was using this domain. Really?
I thought to myself that it would be cool for my brand to own this domain. How much could this be worth? It was expensive, at least by my standards…unless I wanted to have an asset that would brand me to customer service forever. Of course, I would! However, budget is an issue, because domain names like these sell for big dollars.
That made me start thinking of the brands that would love to have their name synonymous with the website CustomerService.com. The first that came to mind were the obvious rock stars in the business world: American Express, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Zappos…I think you get the idea. These are the brands known for amazing service.
But how about a brand like Comcast Cable? It was just a few years ago when a phone call from a customer to their support center was handled poorly and went viral across the Internet. Since that time, Comcast has been working hard to turn around its reputation. Would owning CustomerSerivce.com make sense for them? If so, they better hurry before one of their competitors, like AT&T or Sprint beats them to it.
Whoever does decide to buy the name should be prepared to pay a good price for it. I’m predicting the owners will sell the domain name for more than seven figures, but for the right brand it will be well worth it. For example, who better to own toys.com than Toys ‘R’ Us. In 2009 they paid $5.1 million. In 2000, Bank of America bought the domain name for $3 million. Imagine owning the URL that can help define who you are.
So, which brand should own CustomerService.com? Why not you? Hypothetically (or maybe not), what if you did own the URL? That would mean you would have to live up to “owning” customer service. Do you believe you are worthy of owning it? More important, do you believe that your customers would agree that you are worthy of owning it? If you did own it, would you do anything different than you’re doing now to live up to the expectation of a brand that owned CustomerService.com?
These questions are good ones. Pretend you own the URL. Do a little homework. Take some time to answer the questions as if you did own the name. Your answers may give you a few ideas to deliver an even better customer service experience. Whether you own CustomerService.com or not, I want you to play as if you do.
My daughter is home for spring break and was telling me about a trip to Israel she is planning for this summer. She could not have been more excited when she said “and while I’m there, there are two other countries I can walk across the border to, just to say I’ve been there!” I’m no expert on Middle East geography but I must have had the “dog tilting head” look on my face because she looked at me like I was the idiot, and said: “I looked at the map. Syria and Lebanon are right there!” We’re sending her to Canada instead!
Spring break started this year with a few days at the Allpro show. Allpro has two shows a year but the spring show is the big one. The spring show is when I see all the new products that are about to hit the market: and there were a lot this year. There are buying opportunities where I can save some real money on items that I am going to be buying anyway.
I also get a chance to meet with vendors in a more comfortable setting so I can give them the time that bigger decisions need. But even more important than the money I can save, the new products I can see, or the vendors I can meet with, is the opportunity to fact check…right there on the spot. President Trump thinks he invented the idea of “fake news” but paint reps have been the masters of that act for decades. I wish I had a dollar for every rep that told me “this paint is just as good as Regal and it’s only $10 per gallon!”
It’s the bigger decisions, though, where it’s best to be surrounded by other independent retailers who can help you tell the difference between a rep’s confidence in their line and “fake news.” Over the last few months, I have been leaning towards adding another paint line. It’s a large investment in a narrow niche that I do not think I can sell to my existing customer base in enough volume to justify the investment. So why do it? The rep told me that his line would bring in new business from people seeking out his product in my area. That’s a bold claim (that I’ve heard before) and so it’s comforting to know that in a span of just a few days, I can speak to 15-20 of their existing customers and find out if that really happens! That alone is worth the cost of attending the show.
The next and last show of the year for me will be the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas in May. This one is different for me. It does not really present any buying opportunities, and independent dealers to talk to are fewer and farther between. But it does still gain me some access that I would not otherwise get sitting in my office.
I know that this is a topic that I’ve written about before, but these shows are really important. Yet many independents still treat going to them like my daughter should treat her stroll over the border into Lebanon and they stay away! Our industry changes all the time. The products our vendors offer get improved, new products get introduced, and new programs are rolled out. Some of these get shown to us in our stores but many of them don’t. And even when we do have products introduced to us in our stores, it often does not carry the weight with us as it otherwise would if we saw it at a show.
In your office, it’s just your regular rep showing you a bunch of sell sheets. At a show, people who are really in the know are often brought in to introduce new products. At this last Allpro, I saw a new product introduction and one of the presenters was a formulator who really understood the product and did a stellar job of explaining its applications—way better than my rep would have done. Often, just based on a company’s booth layout you can tell about its priorities for the coming year. If a company has a 30-foot booth with half of it dedicated to a new product, I pay attention, because I know it will be their big push for the year.
Going to one show will not make you successful; I’m not that naïve. But successful dealers make time for shows. Regularly attending them will contribute to your success. And hey….its not like you have to walk across the Syrian border to get there!
As you are reading this, the powers that be at Reed Exhibitions, the group that puts on the biggest industry event every year, the National Hardware Show, are in full court press finalizing their plans, floor layout, speakers and forums to guarantee that this year’s show is the best ever. As you will see this month and next, we will keep you abreast of what’s in store for you at NHS in Las Vegas on May 9-11. The Paint & Sundries section of the Show will be its usual beehive of activity, and with Lancaster Distributing’s big show right next to NHS, you won’t be able to miss the industry’s excitement for a HUGE 2017.
As an owner of one or multiple paint & sundries stores, you have a lot on your plate already, and as we’ve heard in years past, it’s not always easy, affordable, or even doable to leave your store(s) for 3-4 days to attend the event. If you are already planning on going to NHS and Lancaster, you will have a distinct advantage over your fellow competitors. If you haven’t made up your mind about going, maybe we can prod you into the affirmative. If you own a store selling paint and hardware, you can kill two birds with one stone!
Every year, NHS is where our universe gathers to talk shop, sell products, build relationships and hopefully grab the best pricing available all year! You will see products you have never seen before. You will find products for your store shelves, as well as store shelves themselves that make storing and displaying those products a snap. You’ll see old favorite products that have been tweaked and improved upon. Pricing and inventory is a big concern for all store owners, but if you don’t find deals at NHS and Lancaster, then you are not looking very hard because at almost every booth and with almost every manufacturer in attendance, the best pricing and deals you will see all year will be found on the show floors!
Reed Exhibitions has worked tirelessly since the close of last year’s show to make sure your experience this year is the best yet. Want to see what inventors have been working on since last year? You’ll find them at the Show. Want to buy American? NHS has a big section just for you! Want to brush up your knowledge of coatings, applicators, networking, and generally making your business better and more profitable? It’s all waiting for YOU at NHS and Lancaster in Las Vegas.
Why all the hype? Because it is our job to keep you informed of all things that can and will help you be the most successful at what you do. And it’s not just about walking miles of show aisles (in really comfortable shoes) and ogling the new widgets. If you are looking for a break from the hectic pace on the show floors, then take a load off and grab some insight at the various forums and speaking events being held at the show, and meet the movers and shakers that make our industry so great!
Southwest Airlines can get you to Vegas from just about anywhere in the U.S., and it won’t cost you an arm or a leg. The number of available hotel rooms under $100 a night is staggering, considering so many of them are in really nice casinos and resort hotels. You can rent a car or hail a taxi, but Uber and Lyft are cheaper to get around town, and the food in Las Vegas is some of the best you will find anywhere in the world! For more, check out our article on page 20.
The National Hardware Show and Lancaster Distributing WILL make your business better—if you attend. We’d love to see you there with us!
Award-winning Global Paint for Charity distributes recycled coatings worldwide.
If there’s one thing we can learn from Rony Delgarde—and there are many—it’s that color matters much more than we think. Try living without it—it can be a condition of poverty that is rarely considered. “The house I grew up in was not painted, and my school was not painted,” said this Haitian native, who, now living in Atlanta, has devoted his life to donating paint to communities in need, both in the U.S. and abroad.
It wasn’t an overnight decision so much as a lifetime of his own interests combined with his passion to help people in need. He’d been there himself; during his childhood his family found itself on the wrong side of Haitian dictator François Duvalier, and “Papa Doc,” as he was called, did not take opposition lightly. “I grew up in a small town on the north side of Haiti. My mother was lucky to survive the terror—torturing, raping, murdering, and kidnapping young girls and women—of the Tonton Macoutes, a paramilitary force under the Duvalier regime.” His mother put him in the care of his paternal grandmother and fled to America before he was a year old. Here, he reports, fortunes turned and she became a successful entrepreneur.
While he lived and learned in a place without paint, he liked to draw and to imagine how the buildings around him would look with a good shot of exterior color. “I enjoyed seeing how things like houses, doors, animals and other objects looked outside,” he said. “I drew houses, cars, and buildings that did not even exist in my neighborhood. I used bright colors such as red, yellow, pink, and blue on the objects, and it was beautiful. On my very first day in the U.S, I landed at the Miami International Airport. I could not believe what I saw that day. ‘This is a perfect adventure,’ I said. I thought it was remarkably beautiful to see a city where all houses and tall buildings were painted with amazing colors.”
Let’s fast forward, Rony has lived for many years in Atlanta but for the moment he’s in east Africa and it’s 2010. He’s in Kenya and Uganda to help donate basic health supplies and nutrition kits to mothers in refugee camps. Without paint, however, not only were people living in ugly surroundings, but their buildings lacked the protection paint provides. Back home, however, everyone had leftover paint they didn’t know what to do with.
“I was shocked just to know how many gallons of paint were thrown away in the U.S.,” said Delgarde. “Each year, hundreds of millions of gallons of paint are discarded in North America alone. More than one billion gallons of paint are sold for commercial use, but 10% of that goes unused or ends up in landfills. I said ‘are we really throwing away that much paint at the expense of other people who don’t have any? I need to do something about it.’”
One of the first thing he did was ship paint “back home.” After the Haitian earthquake in 2010, he collected 500 gallons to send to the devastated island.
“It was remarkably beautiful to see a city where all houses and tall buildings were painted with amazing colors.”
The Two Week Gallon
The trip to East Africa woke Delgarde to the idea that the need to beautify housing in the developing countries is very important. We know how much difference a fresh coat of paint can make over an old coat, but imagine if someone has never had paint at all. “Many of the family tents, homes, schools, churches, and orphanages I saw were in such a poor state of that they were not only uninhabitable but also poorly conducive to safety and healthy living standards,” said Delgarde. “I could relate to that due to my childhood experience in Haiti.”month for that gallon, quite the luxury when you aren’t sure how you’ll be eating over the next day or two. “Take a moment today and think about how many family homes, schools and buildings you see that need paint around the world. I find myself in tears many times. In many developing countries, paint is the synonym of luxury, and only the top 10% of the population can buy paint to beautify their homes.”
This lead to Rony founding Global Paint for Charity. In the early days, he would drive around himself, starting from home base Atlanta and wheeling to cities such as Macon, Savannah, and Charleston, SC to collect leftover paint. “I believe a little layer of paint on the walls will change everyone’s life for many years to come,” he said.
It’s more than just pretty, he points out. “It is one of the only solutions to protect exterior and interior surfaces from bacteria, diseases, bad germs, mold, severe unsanitary conditions and temperature changes.” He noted that World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control estimate that three million children die each year from contact with bad germs on interior surfaces including unpainted walls and other unsanitary conditions. “Yes, people need food, soap, shoes etc,” he adds, “and that is why there are so many organizations collecting those items. However, not as many organizations are focusing on the physical image of underprivileged communities.”
Here in America there are programs to spruce up a fading downtown. Color makes a difference; it’s the same in Nairobi and Kampala as it is here. “While the psychological effect of colors is based on personal experiences, many people will agree with the basic connections,” he said. “Many homes have plain white or tan colored walls. Supplying families with paint will encourage creativity, hope and pride in the communities, schools, and churches. “
“In many developing countries, paint is the synonym of luxury, and only the top 10% of the population can buy paint.”
More Than A Gallon of Giving
Assistance is “applied” even after the paint goes on, he said. “The organization’s volunteers, the board members, and I often travel to regions where paint was shipped, not only to paint but to provide the organization’s heartfelt sense of support to current and completed projects,” said Rony. “We have been very fortunate to receive donations from the top brands of the U.S. including Benjamin Moore, PPG, Valspar, Sherwin-Williams, Glidden, Rodda, Miller, Behr, ACE, and a few more to assist our ongoing projects all over the world. Those paints are durable and are of the best quality.” And so far, so good! “We have not seen any facilities from those projects that need a repaint.”
Global Paint for Charity also puts the paint to use at home. The organization is working on the Housing Rehabilitation Project for veterans and the Neighborhood Painting Project in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Miami, and New Orleans. “Through these projects, we aim to help 10,000 veterans and senior citizens restore their homes,” said Delgarde. “Our volunteers spend countless hours in the community to help these homeowners restore the beauty in their homes and maintain their property values. This project will be ongoing in the five cities until 2025.”
In Africa, the Basic School Beautification project has sent resin and vehicle to Ghana, Benin, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. “Our goal is to restore 8,000 schools in those regions between 2016 and 2025,” said Rony. “We aim to involve communities developing schools that support local families. We are confident that getting the communities involved will allow the locals to take pride in their schools and bring happiness to the children who attend. So far, we have donated paint to projects in Kenya, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.”
He’s noticed that projects boost community pride as well as community involvement. In the U.S., local youth, community groups, and thousands of volunteers from many corporations have pitched in. “Our project brings people together to paint for the seniors, widows and neglected locations in our communities,” said Delgarde. “Regardless of the number of the volunteers and the ultimate purpose(s) of the company’s social and community responsibility, our paint programs build social benefits by boosting an individual’s engagement as well as building organizational impacts and support for the community.”
There has been recognition aplenty. “We are grateful to have media support for our mission,” he said. “It is an added bonus that the State of Georgia and the media strongly supports our mission.” GlobalPaints.org
Paint dealers have been holding their own against “big box” home centers for some time. In an attempt to bolster sagging earnings, Sears has decided to get back into the paint business. Sears is starting out by outfitting 23 stores with paint and accessories before a nationwide rollout. It may take a while before the impact of this change is fully realized, but it’s essential for independent paint dealers to look at how they can remain nimble and competitive.
Putting knowledgeable people out on your sales floor is the best way to provide the service and support home centers can’t give and your customers want. To help make this possible, a point of sale system that automates time-consuming back office chores, like ordering from your main supplier and receiving those items once they arrive, is a huge help. Placing orders directly through your point of sale system saves time and virtually eliminates human error.
Part of being nimble is having cash on hand when you need it to expand your product line or to follow a hot trend. Some point of sale systems can reliably predict which items customers will need in the weeks to come. Ordering based on upcoming demand allows you to have the right amount of merchandise on hand without parking your money in overstock.
If you’d like to make your store more agile and have more cash on hand when you need it, Paladin Point of Sale is just what you’re looking for. Learn more at paladinpointofsale.com.