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Save Muresco!

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

In 1991 when I published my first column in the Paint Dealer, it was hand-delivered to the 15,000 dealers and industry-mates who subscribed to the magazine.

Fulfillment was handled by the United States Postal Service.

In 1991 customers of the USPS purchased tracking services on fewer than 500 packages per-day.

Where the rest were was anybody’s guess!

Failure of paper and ink to provide feedback was another challenge for writers in the pre-smartphone era. Even if the post office managed to deliver all 15,000 copies of my monthly paint missives I rarely got feedback. The occasional "letter to the editor" two-months after a column published or a phone call from my mother or Aunt Emily letting me know that my words were getting out!

As a blogger I have access to far more data than the Paint Dealer’s “It was mailed out Tuesday!”

That data showing that a #DanCalkins is not the only way to raise ratings!

Last week the nation’s second largest paint manufacturer @PPG announced that the Speed Hide line of professional paints previously available exclusively at @PPG company-owned stores and independent paint dealers, had been made available at all 2350 Home Depot and HD Supply locations in North America.

The announcement a blow to the independent @PPG dealers I spoke with.

Most sharing their concerns that the country’s largest home improvement retailer will play a destabilizing role in a market segment otherwise considered in-balance between independent dealers and @PPG company-owned stores. The company having little reason to undercut their own independent dealers in local markets.

But Home Depot does! And the nation’s largest home improvement retailer has long coveted the professional paint segment served by independents.

I will have more to say about this in the coming weeks as I can check in with more sources. Stay tuned!

What’s in a Name?

To stay well-informed on in-store life now that I'm a former-dealer I read all the emails and pdf's Benjamin Moore sends to the independent dealers of their brand. A crawling read of “when your co-op is due” and other items of equal import to a man whose requested his last share-the-cost reimbursement.

Recently the company updated dealers on the ongoing product portfolio optimization process or ppo. The ppo is the company's effort to trim their product offering with an eye towards discontinuing low-volume and duplicative lines.

On the lists of discontinued paints was a page from the company’s history.

The second-oldest name in the Benjamin Moore product library was that of Moorwhite primer. The company announcing that the exterior alkyd primer most recently part of the Fresh Start family of primers has been discontinued. The name Moorwhite and its product code 100-00 removed from the price book for the first time in 100-years.

Moorwhite’s tenure was marked by consistency. since introduction Moorwhite primer has been the badge worn by the company’s best exterior primer for wood.

Until it wasn’t.

The original long-oil alkyd Moorwhite took as many as 24-hours to dry. The resin spending all that time attaching itself with permanence to the wooden substrate.

In my father’s Tremont Paint Moorwhite was a star. Billy partial to stocking the two-gallon metal cans or deuces of the primer. “If you need one, you can take two!” my father would tell painters asking about his refusal to stick singles.

He was right, painters always needed more.

But the reign of Moorwhite began to end as my father retired and I became a paint dealer in the early 1990’s. Painters, learning the term “voc” for the first time began to find favor with more user-friendly products. The introduction of the fast-drying and less expensive 094 primer plus advancing latex technology sealing Moorwhite’s fate.

Despite its unceremonious treatment at the hands of #DansPPO the name Moorwhite remains intertwined with my family’s history as independent paint dealers and in our relationship with paint maker Benjamin Moore.

A can of Moorwhite handled by each of the four generations of Liptons who were Benjamin Moore dealers. The name a talisman for the people of my clan!

With #Dan showing that its supply chain over history I began to worry about Muresco. THE orphaned Benjamin Moore ceiling white which was never good enough to wear the Regal crown, and too expensive to wear a professional moniker.

Muresco remains the oldest name in the Benjamin Moore library, its history going back to the company's founding decade. The “og“ Muresco made by Benjamin Moore in 1892 is considered history’s first ready-made paint.

The modern day ceiling white the sort of orphaned product his ppo process is looking to identify.

For Me it’s Personal

From the calcimine coater Mr. Benjamin Moore sold my great-grandmother Esther to the ceiling white I bought from #DanCalkins the name Muresco has been a baton in my family's relay-race through the independent channel's history. Like the loss of Moorwhite, it would be sad to see it go.

So let's save Muresco from Moorwhite's fate! Tell #DanCalkins to #SaveMuresco!

You can sign THE petition here.


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