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Sustainable Living!

Updated: Apr 10

When the University of Connecticut secured the number one overall seed in this year’s March Madness tournament I donned my Huskie hoodie and told the woman I’ve sworn never to marry that I’ll wear nothing else until our home state Huskies win their second consecutive National Championship or were eliminated from the tourney.

A fit check which otherwise matched the vibe. 

At that same time, I decided to exorcise the trauma of growing up watching the Yankees on a 13-inch black and white television set and upgraded my screen to a retina-burning Sony big enough it obligated more steel on the bracket.

Paired with an existing Hue lighting system and Sonos surround sound, the room allows an immersive game day experience reminiscent of a live event in a way I could have never imagined in April of 1978!

The upgrades were fueled by a newfound connection with my state's university, which I visit often since my appointment as advisor to the school’s chapter of my college fraternity.

In the end the Huskies won their second consecutive Natty, covering the spread each night which only added to the excitement. 

Despite my best efforts, the wagering did not yield enough to cover the upgrade. Though I did win enough to cover my weed and cigars for the tournament’s two-week span.

Making my vice, sustainable.

But no matter my efforts, on the night of the championship game my brothers in Storrs were far more immersed, taking in the action from the campus’ 10,000-seat arena: the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion

Which had its own surround sound!

PPG and Me!

When PPG chief executive Tim Knavish announced that his company was undertaking a “review of strategic alternatives” for their architectural coatings divisions the executive boasted those divisions had a “well-established position in a growing market.”

Which is true, though about as transparent as a batch of TiO2 slurry!

Because while the market for architectural coatings in the United States and Canada is growing and PPG is a well-established brand, the market for PPG architectural coatings continues to falter. 

At-least according to PPG’s own earnings announcements!

But with no fears of gilding a lily already in wither, who can blame Knavish for trying to present PPG’s architectural coatings in their best light?  Particularly as seeks for buyers for these brands! That opportunity inspiring the ceo to brag that PPG is now the “number one paint brand at Walmart.” 

Weird flex, but ok.

It was just last April when PPG announced a new relationship with the world’s largest retailer, one which put Glidden paints in-stock at more than 3,800 Walmart locations nationwide.

Including the one in Stratford, Connecticut, halfway between Stamford and Storrs!

At a glance it looks like any other paint department from a big box down to most independents, with its heavy steel racking supporting rows of stacked cans neatly displayed. 

But a closer look with an experienced eye and you’ll recognize the hollowness in Knavish’s boast; because Walmart had just a handful of his 50 ready-made colors available in stock—with fewer still available in quantities enough to complete a two-room paint job.

Sources familiar with the Walmart program tell me that the world’s largest retailer buys "little" paint from PPG, “far less” than $300 million per-year for an average of just under $80,000 per store.

Which if I recall from my days at Benjamin Moore, is not enough volume to have gotten Walmart THE line!

And likely not enough for Walmart to keep the line should PPG choose to exit the space.

Staying with the program would require that Walmart find a new paint vendor willing to manufacture for them, which sources share might not be so easy.

Understandable considering how low PPG's net margins must be, as reflected in the quality of the program's peripherals.

Each square foot in a Walmart must generate upwards of $500 in sales or it’s considered below average, as is likely the case with this program. Using estimates of 400 and 50% for department size and profit margin respectively, paint sales at Walmart can be estimate at less than $300 per square foot.

Meaning Walmart can put anything else there and sales are likely to increase more than $300 million!

More likely it seems is that both companies will exit the market segment, which leaves both companies more profitable and leaves few details to work out beyond disposal of all that paint!

That outcome would still give Knavish something to brag about: a new world record!

In the history of TIO2 particles, it’s the fastest time yet from the mine to mis-tint pile!


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