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They Aced It!

Updated: May 17, 2023

Benjamin Moore CEO Dan Calkins was interviewed on CNBC recently live from the floor of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting.

THE Oracle of Omaha has owned the Monvale-based Benjamin Moore for more than two-decades!

During the interview Calkins shared that things at the 140-year-old paint maker are laying out as smooth as a long-oil alkyd!

And while Calkins admitted that 2023 “got off to a slow start," he went on to say that spring has brought the seasonal uptick paint dealers wait all winter for adding that "people are starting to paint again and we’re seeing that in our numbers.”

Independent retailers remain busy!

In-fact retailers I spoke with shared that they have remained busy to date in 2023 and that #DansSlowStart may have been caused by over-purchasing during 2022’s supply shortages!

While speaking of his inventory, Calkins declared an end to the supply chain crisis which has wracked the channel for more than a year sharing that his company now has 96-days of inventory on hand. A day more than their historic average!

And up from the 65-days of inventory the company had on hand at this time last year!

Calkins’ audible moan at the mere mention of the words “supply chain” at the video's 1:35 mark bears witness to what his company and its dealers have been through in their efforts to keep their stock up over the previous two-years!

Which is all great news for the independent paint and hardware retailers who depend on Benjamin Moore as their primary source of supply in their fight against industry giants Sherwin-Williams, PPG and Home Depot.

When asked about the company’s expansion plans Calkins shared that while they continue to look for opportunities to expand in North America the real opportunity to grow the brand lays in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. Two markets which Moore's has experience “explosive growth” in, according to Calkins.

I wonder if they’re hiring?

THE Best

On my podcast this week I was joined by Jon Dazey of White’s Lumber, a five-location paint and lumber retailer in Upstate New York.

Dazey joined White’s Lumber as an OSR or outside sales rep, paid for (at-least in-part) by Benjamin Moore. The skills he brought to the job made him White’s paint division in less than five-years.

In 2021 Dazey guided the 140-year-old lumber dealer through the opening of their first stand-alone paint store, with plans to open others should the right opportunity become available.

Dealers looking for tips on how to keep their staff focused on the enterprises goals will want to hear what Jon has about the importance or regular team meetings.

A habit every dealer should be in!

Ace is THE Place!

Though only May, Yahoo Business, Bob Villa and the Family Handyman web sites have already named their top-five online sites for buying paint in 2023. THE lists great news for some Benjamin Moore retailers!

Appearing on all three lists was online-only retailer and industry newcomer Backdrop Paint, whose premium interior finishes sell for $75 per-gallon landed at any front-door in the United States and Canada!

Online-only retailer Clare also making the lists. Launched in 2018, Clare is the "og" when it comes to premium paint delivered to the doors of DIY consumers.

The lists also included brick-and-mortar retailers Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams, PPG and Lowes. With separate apps for DIY and professional consumers each of these retailers has made significant investments in their omnichannel strategies making their appearance on the list expected.

Two-years before the pandemic Home Depot committed more than $5.4 billion to their efforts to dominate home improvement online!

Also appearing on all three lists was Ace Hardware. The only site on any of the lists selling Benjamin Moore paint! reflects the co-op’s commitment to their omnichannel strategy. The site displays broad selection of premium paints from Benjamin Moore, Clark and Kensington and Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines plus top specialty brands such as Kilz, Zinsser and Rust-oleum.

Seems that when it comes to buying premium paint online, Ace is the place!


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