Overwhelmingly, I prefer the term dealer to retailer, using “retailer” only when the grammar requires me to.
That bucks a recent trend from many in the industry to reclassify independent “paintsellers” from dealers to the more modern term, retailers.
Which I admit, encapsulates the role more fully.
But to me, we are still dealers and I can explain my strange love for the word.
When my great-grandparents Isaac and Esther Lipton started Tremont Paint in the Bronx, in 1907 they were dealers. Part of a collection of people selected by the paint companies to represent their brands, to “deal” in those products. Benjamin Moore, Dutch Boy (made by a company called National Lead, before lead became a four-letter word) and countless local grinders all called their authorized locations: dealers.
After my great-grandparents, my grandfather Jack was a paint dealer and so was my father Billy, who retired before the term retailer would begin to push its way into the lexicon. The Lipton men who came before me were all paint dealers!
Who am I to change that?
Speaking of family, the family of independent paint dealers I surround myself with has just gotten three dealers bigger!
Meet the first soldiers in the War for Independents! The original Minutemen!
Andriot’s Paint and flooring in Shelbyville, KY is owned by Minuteman number one, BJ Andriot.
Andriot’s Paint and Flooring is a single-store paint, flooring and window treatments dealer who also sells THE Big Green Egg, just for fun. For paint, Andriot’s stocks Benjamin Moore, California, Insl-X and Richard’s. Founded in 1946 by BJ’s grandfather, BJ took over the helm of Andriot’s from his father Bob in 2005. BJ is a member of the AllPro buying group; The member-owned cooperative of paint dealers which played a crucial role in my success as a dealer.
Minuteman number two is Zach Maddux. Zach Zooms with me from in front of the two guitars which he’s got displayed in his home-office. His slow southern drawl makes me think he’s going to grab one and start singing romantic paint songs to me, but I have n