EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING!!!
That is the message/alert I have been waking up to on my phone here in St. Louis for the last few weeks. Welcome to the hot summer months! As hot as Phoenix? Nope, planes are still taking off and landing in STL. Hot enough to fry an egg on concrete? Yup, but my bacon is taking forever to crisp up! To quote the late great Robin Williams character Adrian Cronauer and his “salty” character voice, Roosevelt, from the movie Good Morning Vietnam:
Adrian: Roosevelt, what’s the weather like out there?
Roosevelt: It’s HOT! Damn Hot! Real Hot! It’s so hot in my shorts I could cook things in it! Do a little crotch pot cooking!
Adrian: Can you tell me what it feels like?
Roosevelt: “FOOL! It’s HOT I told you again! Was you born on the Sun? IT’S DAMN HOT! It’s so damn hot I saw a little guy dressed in an orange robe burst into flames, it’s THAT hot, you know what I’m talking about?
Adrian: What do you think it’s going to be like tonight?
Roosevelt: It’s gonna be HOT and WET! That’s nice if you are with your lady, but it ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle!
Adrian: Thank you Roosevelt.
Stating the obvious, much of the U.S. is sweltering from the summer heat. The closer you are to the big cities, the hotter it is because of the heat island effect: all that concrete and glass soaking up and radiating the heat back and kicking numbers up even higher. Today in STL it will be 102° with a 110° Heat Index, and that is NOT a recipe for successful outdoor painting projects…yet.
I still drive by crews painting outdoors…in the direct sun in this weather…and it makes my blood boil! Oh wait, maybe it’s the heat that has me boiling…nope, it’s the painting. Good contractors know when the temp climbs too high that paint will not adhere well, and could boil and bubble and all sorts of trouble! Morning hours and shady areas are the best times and places to paint in this weather.
As a store owner, do you do or sell anything that helps your customers beat the heat during these sweltering months? Do you sell Cool Towels, those small, nylon towels you get wet, snap a few times, and wrap around your neck? They are cheap to buy in bulk, and easy to sell at the counter. Cool Towels are also available as bandanas, they’re a great little add-on and they really do work! Do you have a big ice chest full of ice cold Gatorade, G2, Powerade or even water for sale or for free to your customers? Do you offer vending machines with cold drinks?
If you sell painters wear or shirts in your store, think about stocking water wicking fabric shirts that wick away sweat and water from your body, dry quickly, and offer superior cooling properties versus basic cotton tees, shirts, and pants.
Everybody is trying to beat the heat any way they can, and hopefully you can offer something to your customers that will be of help to them beyond the typical paint and sundries.
July is also a hot month for us to at Mug Pub Inc. The Paint Contractor is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, so please check it out for the great stories, important ads, and hot deals you will find! TPC reaches tens of thousands of pro painters every single month, and for the most part, we are directing them to your independent stores for their product purchases. Be sure you offer your customers cool savings and cool products when the temps are blistering your neck of the woods.