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Just Another Family Business

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

When University of Connecticut basketball coach Dan Hurley cut the nets down on his team's championship season last week, he did so from the top rung of a Werner ladder.

And while it was not a model we stocked in my stores, as a former Werner dealer I still appreciated THE product placement.

Though it was not just our taste in ladders which I have in common with my home state's newest star!

Hurley became a basketball coach the way I became a paint dealer; by following his father into THE family business.

As many of you reading this blog have done.

Hurley is the son coaching legend Bob Hurley, a winner of four national and 26 New Jersey state championships as a high school basketball coach.

He’s also the younger brother of Bobby Hurley; who twice climbed a Werner–after leading the Duke Blue Devils to back-to-back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.

After coaching the Huskies to UConn’s fifth national championship, Hurley was asked about growing up in the shadows of his family's marquee?

THE coach sharing a secret those of you in a family business already know: Werner made the ladder, but it was his family’s shoulders he was standing on.


With a 17-point lead and 20-seconds remaining in the game Hurley pulled the team's starters, giving his bench players an opportunity to share in the team's glory.

One of those players had averaged just 90-seconds of playing time each game this season. He was fortunate enough to gather-in the game’s final rebound, leaving him the honor of beginning THE celebration when the whistle blows.

Dribbling away from any action the young Husky spiked the ball as the clock ticked to zero, before running off the court. Likely looking for a ladder suitable for cutting down the nets.

Because guard Andrew Hurley knows; his family will only climb a Werner!

#Dan Knows!

Were I still THE strategic counselor to #DanCalkins, I’d have access to research which might show that over the past decade, independent paint retailers have increased their market share in the $70 billion per-year architectural coatings market in the United States.

But even though #Dan is no longer sharing that research, data from other sources still exposes THE trend.

From 2013 through 2022, retail giant Home Depot has seen their sales double. An impressive decade for the nation’s largest home-improvement retailer!

But during that same period Home Depot’s paint sales have failed to keep pace with other departments, or even the rate of inflation!

Over that decade paint slipped from Home Depot's third largest category to the eighth; barely eclipsing kitchen and bath and outdoor garden to remain in the top-10!

All during an era marked by extraordinary growth in gallons distributed through THE independent channel.

News from the nation’s two-largest paint manufacturers seem to validate my supposition with both Sherwin-Williams and PPG reporting softer sales at their retail partners, including Home Depot.

Yet during that same decade Benjamin Moore has tripled, as have the number of gallons sold by independent retailers.

Or at-least that's my studied guess, in the absence of any real data.

Some of Ben Moore's growth came from their now three-year-old relationship with Ace, which has likely added more than $500,000,000 to THE company’s revenue totals.

And of-course inflation has had its effect.

But the remaining increase in volume can only be explained by an increase in market share.

Which I’d love to prove with a link or citation, but that data is unavailable.


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