At True Value’s 2019 Fall Reunion, division vice president of paint John Vanderpool shared with Hardware Retailing how the company is innovating its paint offering to boost sales for its retailers and provide a comprehensive customer experience.
Learn more about the company’s new color center, how digital creativity is leading customers to brick-and-mortar purchases and how True Value’s wholly owned paint facility is powering it all.
True Value is continuing its 2-4-1 strategy.
Vanderpool says understanding True Value’s paint products is as easy as 2-4-1.
The company offers two brands of paint: its own EasyCare brand, manufactured at the company’s Cary, Illinois, facility, and Coronado by Benjamin Moore. Vanderpool says True Value partnered with Benjamin Moore to deliver a two-brand strategy to simplify the paint selection process for customers and retailers.
There are four separate price points for True Value’s paints. The EasyCare line includes two and Coronado by Benjamin Moore accounts for the remaining options for customers. Vanderpool says streamlining the paint selection and price points benefits all parties.
The final element of the 2-4-1 plan refers to the company’s single color system, display and colorant. The company’s colorant can be used with EasyCare and Coronado products, helping retailers offer personalized paint quickly and accurately.
“One of the biggest concerns for retailers is how much they have to spend on inventory,” Vanderpool says. “To have just one colorant machine helps reduce overall costs for our members.”
Its new color center fits most footprints.
Along with streamlining its paint selection, True Value is also taking steps to ensure its color system fits into almost every floorplan.
“Each one of True Value’s 4,500 stores are unique and they all have different sizes and configurations,” Vanderpool says. “What we’ve done is design a color center that can tailor fit every single one of them.”
Vanderpool says True Value’s new lead paint station is its carousel, which measures roughly 16’ by 16’. The carousel is built in modules, so retailers can tailor its setup to fit their stores precisely.
“We’ve had more than 900 retailers take on our paint and decor package within the past year, and they’re seeing their sales grow 11 percent over retailers who aren’t using it,” he says. “It’s really proving to be beneficial for retailers. That kind of excitement and sales growth validate our overall strategy.”
Paints meet rigorous health and sustainability standards.
Vanderpool says one of the most important traits of True Value’s EasyCare Ultra Premium paint line is the approval it received from third-party organizations. The paints are certified to meet distinct allergy and asthma standards, as well as and GREENGUARD Gold emission guidelines and benchmarks set for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
“Millions of Americans have allergies or asthma, but these certifications mean that our paints don’t have any raw materials that will trigger reactions,” he says. “These are incredibly important traits architects and builders look for when they’re planning projects, and these three certifications help True Value stand alone.”
The paint can itself got a makeover.
After a year of market research putting the EasyCare paint can in the hands of contractors and DIY customers alike, the new paint can is now 100 recyclable.
Vanderpool says contractors especially found the can to be comfortable. The new cans are completely plastic and contain no metal, enabling customers to recycle the can after they finish their painting project.
Digital inspiration plays a key role in the customer experience.
The EasyCare app is proving to be a powerful lead for brick-and-mortar sales, Vanderpool says.
“Within the app, customers can take a photo of any room in their home or office and then visit our mobile fandeck to virtually paint a room instantly,” he says. “The app gives customers a clear sense of what their finished project will look like, but it also helps them measure how much paint they’ll actually need.”
True Value’s Illinois paint facility powers it all.
For most home improvement stores, paint represent a major segment of overall sales. Vanderpool says True Value’s wholly owned paint factory helps the company move quickly to innovate within the category.
The 600,000 square-foot facility is located in Cary, Illinois, and produces latex and oil-based paint, aerosol, roller covers and cleaning solutions. The facility has been in operation since 1979, and Vanderpool says it remains a critical element of True Value.
Paint remains popular.
Vanderpool says True Value will continue to explore new paint possibilities for its members and the customers they serve.
“There’s a need for paint,” Vanderpool says. “It’s something you can use to make a true difference in your home without a huge investment. You can really change the look and feel—the emotion—of your home or office with a fresh coat of paint.”