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Warren Buffett and Independents That Sell Paint

Paint retail chain J.C. Licht has sold to a private businessman, reaffirming its former owner’s commitment to selling paint only through independent businesses.

Elliot Greenberg, a former executive from regional home improvement chain Ring’s End, announced this month that he bought J.C. Licht from paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore in 2015. J.C. Licht operates 31 Benjamin Moore paint stores in the Chicago area.

Businessman and investor Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway owns Benjamin Moore, and Buffett has promised independent retailers that the paint maker will continue to sell only through their stores, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. Independent home improvement retailers are among the businesses relying on his promise.

Buffett’s “commitment to sticking with individual distributors, giving them a product that distinguishes them from big-box stores, is part of the reason” Greenberg bought J.C. Licht, according to the Chicago Tribune. J.C. Licht will continue selling primarily Benjamin Moore products, and Greenberg plans to expand the chain to 50 stores within five years.

It’s Buffett’s loyalty to independents that has kept Benjamin Moore paints out of the big-box stores, Fortune has reported.

Benjamin Moore manufactures premium paints, which it “sells exclusively through a network of 6,000 independently owned dealers,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business. 


About Kate Klein

Kate Klein
Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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