Updated: Nov 1
When I became a paint dealer in 1988 my father was already a member of a dealer-owned cooperative.
Though not THE one which sent so many of you to Denver last week!
Paint Fair was a collection of New York City-based dealers collaborating to purchase private label brands of paints and sundries, though nothing on the scale of AllPro. With less than 40 members most of whom were single-stores, the similarities between Paint Fair and AllPro were limited to the business model.
And the need to regularly gather!
Paint Fair's meetings were held in the warehouse of a vendor in Queens. A schlep from the Bronx after 12-hours behind THE counter, which explains why my father always sent me in his place.
If you've ever been (or are now) the youngest generation in a family business – you know how that goes!
Business was conducted by members sitting on buckets of compound or on a pallet which had not yet made it onto a truck.
Not the most comfortable place to nosh on pizza and talk paint, but good enough if you know how to eat it like a New Yawkuh!
Years later a consulting gig had me attending an AllPro show for the first time, this one in a five-star resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
And while I don’t recall if they served pizza, I returned from the show and shared THE news with my father: we were in the wrong group!
More than 30-years later the decision to join AllPro remains among the most impactful and lasting of my career. Members of the group remain among my closest friends; and most persistent supporters of my work!
Half of the participants in a focus group for paint dealers I recently hosted were members of AllPro; a percentage which would have likely been even higher had it not been for my client’s specific demographic needs.
I would have enjoyed thanking them for participating in-person at the show last week, though had I still been a member of the group I doubt that that would have occurred. My mother’s health and the health of my fiancéeic’s father currently makes traveling a challenge.
And leaves us in no mood to party.
So if you were at the AllPro show last week you again did not see me on the show floor, or in the breakout rooms or breakfast buffet.
But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t there!
Don't Ask Sherwin-Williams!
The world’s largest paint maker reported their third-quarter financial results last week, The company sharing that sales had increased 1% as compared to the same quarter last-year.
THE gain due primarily to "selling price increases in all segments” according to the release.
But despite the appearance of growth which is inflation’s affectation, Sherwin-Williams’ gallon volume declined for the quarter. The company realized a “low single digit volume decrease” according to outgoing chief executive John Morikis, who blamed the decrease on significant decreases in the Consumer Brands and Performance Coatings Groups.
Sales in the Paint Stores Group increased 3.6% for the quarter, which might have sounded an alarm in Montvale had mister Morikis not adding that the uptick was “led by increases in protective and marine and commercial” rather than the important-to-dealers and #DanCalkins rezi-repaint and property maintenance segments, which Morikis granted no more than “also” status.
But while Sherwin-Williams' top line can barely keep up with the times, their bottom line continues to bulge with the company returning $566,000,000 to investors during the quarter through either stock buybacks or dividends. Morikis demurring that gross margins have “expanded significantly.”
Morikis' sales can't keep up with inflation, but his greed sure can!