THE Holiday Tradition!

For the second time in as many years the coronavirus beat Santa down the chimney. The virus which causes Covid not waiting for Rudolf to light the night sky before arriving in Stamford. The lighting speed with which the omicron variant spread through our network of family and friends forcing Guy and I to cancel our holiday plans.


Like Ebenezer Scrooge discovering his fate through the indistinct visions of his time with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Guy and I were left stunned by how quickly omicron made the Christmas gathering impossible.


The spiked protein leaving the gifts under the tree and the feast for another day.


The last minute change of plans allowing me to introduce my fiancéeic to a Jewish Christmas tradition.



No Rest for the Weary


Though I had promised myself two-weeks time-off to end the year, a last-minute offer of steak and paint was enough to get me out of my pajamas and on a plane To Chicago.



The Second City now known for more than just paint and steak!



Making Lemonade


Like all swords the blade of Covid has two-sides. The cancellation of our Christmas plans having the benefit of freeing up the hours needed to wrap up the last of my work, giving me renewed hope for at-least a week-long year-end vacation.


Rather than opening presents and cooking, I spent Christmas Eve and Day editing the final podcasts of the year and catching up on some writing. The cancelled holiday ensuring a schedule free of distractions when my daughter Buck Wheat shows up in Stamford on Monday.


The Buck brings her own distractions!


It’s a Wrap


Twenty-Twenty-One ended with independent paint dealers continuing to feel the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses. Dealers I speak with sharing that outbreaks in their stores have made staffing the counters difficult, again.


But advancements in treatments and an increased percentage of Americans receiving the jab make it likely that the worst of the pandemic’s effects on paint store life are behind us.


And while the price of paint may continue to rise for the foreseeable future, the availability issues which currently plague dealers are expected to wane as the year progresses.


But while it's true that dealers have worked under stress all year due to the economics of Covid the pandemic has brought the channel sales gains which before Covid, would have been considered impossible.


The independent channel likely growing 25% in 2021!


The Year of the Dealer


Changes in shopping patterns have dealers believing that despite their economic success in 2021 that it's 2022 which may really be their year.


The DIY consumers of Gens X, Y and Z continue to show their preference for the premium brands and shopping experience offered by independent retailers as compared to their parent’s love for the big box stores. Many dealers I speak with sharing that sales continue to creep up in this profitable segment of the market.


But it was when shortages at Sherwin-Williams forced their customers to seek out paint elsewhere that professional painters discovered that “dealers can’t compete” was nothing more than a 30-year-old Cleveland-based misinformation campaign.

The realization amongst painters that independent paint dealers are an excellent choice when deciding where to purchase paint was a doffer result of the crises of 2021.


I congratulate all of my dealer-friends for the tremendous accomplishment of 2021. #DanCalkins couldn't have done it without you!

THE End


Thank you so much for meeting me here each Monday’s as you do. The difference between a madman and a visionary is readership; I’m grateful for the sanity you provide.


Happy New Year!


Mark