How Independent Retailers Can Prep for the End of the Year
Autumn has arrived, so it is important for paint retailers to think through the specific seasonal needs of their customers. When it comes to completing exterior projects, one of painters’ main concerns typically includes weather conditions. Unlike interior projects, exterior projects require careful planning. That’s why it is important to prepare your store and staff to meet your customers’ needs—such as highlighting weather-appropriate products, offering one-on-one in-store consultations based on seasonal projects and more. If you aren’t sure where to begin, PPG recommends the following tips to ensure your operation is fit for fall.
1. Take a look outside. A home or building’s exterior withstands a lot throughout the year, including being exposed to various weather elements like sun, sleet, rain and snow. With harsher weather conditions ahead, September and October are an ideal time for homeowners and property managers to assess structures for areas of vulnerability.
2. Protect exterior surfaces. Before the colder temperatures set in, recommend that your customers refinish and protect exterior wood and concrete surfaces, such as decks and driveways. It’s important for retailers to educate their customers that beyond providing a new look and feel, paint is a crucial component for protection. When exterior surfaces are exposed to changing climates, they begin to break down and deteriorate. Paint serves as a protective layer from these elements.
3. Stock up on weatherproof products. Fall is a great time to feature low-temperature application products, as well as stain products that contain PPG’s WEATHER-READY® application. This product enables pros and DIYers to stain when they want to, even if the weather isn’t perfect. Products that contain weather-ready technology are rain-ready eight to 12 hours after application, which is up to 16 hours faster than typical stain products. It is also important to educate store staff on the products that contain these features. Consider hosting a lunch-and-learn session that covers new products, supplies how-to materials on proper application techniques and highlights which products work best for specific projects and climates.
4. Be ready to protect against stains. As leaves fall onto decks and patios, homeowners risk permanent stains on their exterior surfaces as the leaves break down over the winter months. In advance of autumn weather, retailers should promote all-purpose deck cleaners and maintenance products, ideal for removing tough stains. To choose the right product, listen to the customer’s expectations, then explain the various product benefits and why it will work best for their unique situation. By providing product recommendations that are specific to certain projects, retailers are able to showcase their expertise and continue to be a trusted resource for customers.
When you emphasize offering weather-appropriate products for exterior projects, supplying supportive how-to materials and educational resources and providing one-on-one in-store consultation services to be sure they have the right products for their jobs, it makes for a seamless transition from season-to-season for your customers.
Joe has worked for PPG for more than 15 years and has more than 40 years of experience in the paint and coatings industry. His extensive background includes work with independent retailers, regional retailers and company-owned stores.