It's Grand!

Updated: Jun 6

At more than 185-feet wide, the Bronx’s Grand Concourse is nearly double the width of Manhattan’s iconic Park or Madison Avenues.


Designed in 1890 by French cartographer and engineer Louis Aloys Risse, construction of THE Concourse began in 1894 with the last of the grand boulevard’s 5.2-miles completed in 1909.


Just two-years after my great-grandmother Ester purchased her first can of paint from brothers Benjamin and Robert Moore!


With intentions to attract New York’s growing middle class away from the crowded streets of Manhattan, the Grand Concourse was lined with more than 300 mid and high-rise apartment buildings. Many designed using the nation’s earliest examples of art deco and art moderne architecture.


The buildings earning the Grand Concourse a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and its nickname: the Park Avenue of the Bronx.


A moniker the tony road deserved, until an epidemic of poverty and crime in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s removed the grandeur from the Bronx’s grandest concourse.


By the late 1980’s crime and poverty in the Bronx had been replaced with urban renewal. The apartment buildings along the Grand Concourse now well maintained, making great “targets” for an aspiring young paint salesman!



As a young dealer I would often spend my days walking the neighborhoods of the Grand Concourse, making customers of the apartment buildings and institutions along the now densely populated Bronx artery.


Trolling the side streets for parking which wouldn't require me to return hourly to feed the meters, I got to know the neighborhoods around the Grand Concourse as well as any in the Bronx. That knowledge acquired ensuring that I would never have to pay for parking when visiting the Concourse’s grandest attraction: Yankee Stadium.


More than 30-years of selling paint on Bronx streets left me able to always sniff out a good parking. Even in the crowded Yankee Stadium neighborhood just feet from the Grand Concourse, my paint salesman skills saved me the $60 tab for game day parking.


And impressed my suburban fiancéeic Gaetana. Guy and I attending our first Yankee game together since the onset of the pandemic!


THE Yankees celebrating our return the THE Stadium with a digital tribute to a Bronx original.



In a recent email to dealers, Benjamin Moore chief executive Dan Calkins shared that due to a “challenging mix of supply chain disruptions, limited raw material availability, and escalating transportation costs” the Montvale-based paint manufacturer would be raising prices to dealers an average of 11% effective August 22.


The double-digit increase, no surprise to readers of this blog.


Expecting both a higher percentage increase and an earlier effective date, I find myself impressed with #DanCalkins and his team, though not all the dealers I heard from shared that same sentiment.



A lower-than-expected percentage increase should help keep Benjamin Moore retailers competitive during this period marked by high price increases among other national brands.


The August 22nd effective date additionally helping Ben Moore dealers stay competitive as it likely ensures that this increase will be the only one which dealers of THE brand will experience this year.


All of which is good news for independent retailers looking to hang on to the Sherwin-Williams customers who have been frequenting their stores while the world’s largest paint maker struggled to keep their shelves full.


It's Foreign to Me!


Recently I began a consulting project for a European retailer; one of the many international paint geeks who have discovered my content since my transition from print to digital almost three-years ago.



And while the products, prices and accents differ for international dealers, the best practices and strategies I have honed working with North American dealers for more than 30-years translate into any language!


Meaning that I am looking forward to helping this dealer grow and improve his business.


Now, if I only knew someone who could help #Dan with his grammar!









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