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Unnatural Disasters

The New York Yankees lost their eighth consecutive game last night, the feat cementing THE team’s grasp on last place in the American League East.

A division some baseball writers forrecasted the Yankees to win at the start of the season!

But with just 38 games remaining in the season and the Yankees 17 games removed from the division’s top spot, the season can only end in disaster by Yankee standards as it seems unlikely that this year’s team will make it into the post season.

Despite the facts that Major League Baseball expanded the post season to 12-teams this year and that the Yankees having the second highest payroll in all of baseball!

Team manager Aaron Boone recently shared that it, “feels like a turnaround is coming.”

Which I suspect is true. But it won’t begin until the Yankees #FireBoone!

Unnatural Disaster

An explosion at a Sherwin-Williams plant in Garland, Texas ensured that the Yankees would not be the only disaster for me to keep track of this summer.

And perhaps not even the worst!

Because less than three-weeks after the flames in Garland were extinguished, the Environmental Protection Agency added Sherwin-Williams Garland to a list of Super Fund sites. The Garland plant now one of thousands of sites nationwide contaminated, “due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed.”

Adding Garland to THE list, allows the EPA to take over cleanup at the site.

And to send the bill to Cleveland!

In THE News!

On my podcast this week I cover earnings from three of the nation’s largest paint manufacturers: Sherwin-Williams, PPG and Masco, each company admitting recently that they're struggling to keep up with THE independent channel.

In their announcements, PPG and Masco each reported gallon volume lower than the same quarter last-year, leaving Sherwin-Williams as the only one of the three to even report a sales increase.

Though the release accompanying the earnings statements shared that, “net sales increased primarily due to selling price increases.”

But it is Sherwin-Williams’ hyper-focus on earnings as opposed to sales which most captured my attention. The world’s largest paint manufacturer now generating a 46% gross profit margin.

Higher than most independent paint dealers I know! And a nearly 40% increase increase in net profits as compared to last year, despite the lagging volume.

Those increased margins allowed by a combination of price increases implemented by the company andreductions in the price of the raw materials.

Finders Keepers

Having endured a supply chain crisis which allowed independent retailers to gain market share in the professional painter category, conventional wisdom would have expected Sherwin-Williams to use its scale and pricing advantages to recapture lost business once productivity had been restored.

But with an additional 50,000,000 gallons of yearly production capacity now online and lower prices for raws, Sherwin-Williams has gone a different route instead focusing on generating higher profit margins, as opposed to aggressively regaining sales.

A strategy likely forged by greed, or a looming debt crisis.

No matter, Cleveland’s prioritizing profits in this way is to THE advantage of independent retailers, as it allows the opportunity to make their conversations with painters on differentiated services and premium products rather than price.

Advantage dealers.

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