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The Fog of War

The Oxford English Dictionary defines victim as “a person harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime, accident or other event or action.”


If THE Shoe Fits


Among the victims of Charles Gassenheimer who have contacted me recently was a landlord wondering what I knew about the secondary market for colorant dispensers, paint shakers and the contents of a paint store. 

Already suffering the loss of a tenant and more than $50,000 in back rent, he was hopeful to recoup some of his loss.

His hope fading once I shared what I knew of the secondary market for mixing equipment.


When Gassenheimer closed Kelly-Moore on January 8th it was not just the company’s landlords and employees who were left holding his bags;  My sources share that material vendors of the now-shuttered paint maker are owed a combined $30,000,000 of the $50,000,00 the company owes.


Raw material suppliers will shoulder much of that loss as tens of millions of dollars will likely go unpaid for the last Titanium, resin and cans to make it through Kelly-Moore's supply chain.

But there will be other vendor-victims.


Perhaps the largest among them being sundry distributor Lancaster who was owned more than $2,000,000 when Gassenheimer locked Kelly's doors.

THE Fog of War


In the opening days of the Kelly-Moore crisis rumors of Lancaster’s demise abounded, the distributor–the story went–would be unable to survive the effects of simultaneously losing their largest customer and, all that cash. 


THE suppositions made sense considering the circumstances, though that didn’t make them prescient.  And while I was confident in the details I was receiving I knew from my involvement in crises, that the battlefield is not the only place you can experience THE fog of war!


In the end it seems my early sources had the facts correct: that Lancaster had sustained a significant credit hit and lost their largest customer when Kelly-Moore closed.


An experience I had twice as an independent paint retailer!     


In the weeks since sources have confirmed that Kelly-Moore did owe Lancaster more than $2 million at the time of the closing, which the company had insured! Gassenheimer’s announcement likely hastening payment of the claim, while leaving the insurance company to collect from Gassenheimer.


Which they'll do, ending all fantasies Gassenheimer may have of keeping this mess out of court!




What must the premium have been on an insurance policy which guaranteed the virtue of Charles Gassenheimer?

Whatever it was, it was not enough!


Representatives from Lancaster declined to comment.








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