Posted by: Diane Capuano
The Feb. 10 editions of “The Daily Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” both had bits making fun of the news media’s propensity to use hyperbole when describing a weather phenomenon. In this case, cable news organizations have settled on two terms “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” to describe the 30-plus inches of snow that has brought the Northeast to a standstill in this second week of February. To be fair, if you’re trying to dig out of that much white stuff, probably the terms don’t seem much exaggerated at all.
As much of the nation focuses on shoveling and how to get from Point A to Point B under snow-packed conditions, the last thing on people’s minds is just how much damage that snow could be doing to their decks or other outdoor exterior surfaces. But those who make their living selling paints and coatings should be thinking about it. As February literally melts into March in just a couple weeks time, it can be very productive for paint retailers to get serious about promoting deck care products (cleaners, strippers and wood stains).
There are those in the paint and coatings industry who see a great opportunity for products that protect and beautify decks and other exterior surfaces in 2010. There’s no doubt that 2009 was a tough year for all segments of the coatings industry, but now that the previous year is behind us, there are those who predict that pent-up demand and a trend toward in-home entertainment will drive sales higher in the deck care market. Here are just a few comments on the topic:
Ron Boyajian, VP of Product Development and Technical Sales, California Paints: “More people are staying at home, and they want to expand their living space. If they are going to spend money on anything, it’s most likely going to be the deck.”
Steve McGarr, VP of Sales & Marketing, Duckback Products: “People are doing more entertaining at home. They’re going out less. They are the kings and queens of their castle, and they’re more inclined to invest in their homes.”
Tracy Pease, Brand Manager/Residential Repaint Segment for PPG Architectural Finishes: “Even with the economic downturn, in 2009 we’ve seen where smaller projects and maintenance projects have been more resilient. In 2010, there will be an estimated 6 million foreclosures coming out of bankruptcy and on the market. Many of these houses will need paint and stain rehab, and we expect this to help increase sales levels.”
Fiona Seal, Assistant Brand Manager for Rust-Oleum Wood Care: “As people are trying to sell their homes in this tough market re-finishing their decks is another way to increase the value and attractiveness of the home. Also, with people staying at home rather than taking vacations in the summer the importance of having a beautiful outdoor living space is greater.”
Chas Wolfson, Samax Enterprises: “I believe we’ll see an improvement over the previous year. They’ll be more people improving their deck for aesthetic reasons. I think they’re going to realize that, for not a great deal of money, they can improve their deck and make a great improvement to their home in the process.”
Rob Dohlman, Gemini Coatings: “Sales of exterior stains will somewhat rebound in 2010 and as the U.S. economy continues to improve, but there will still be far less consumers investing the money on a major exterior project such as the addition of decks, fencing, etc. Less new homes being built will also negatively impact sales growth of these types of products. Maintenance as a less expensive alternative will be a trend in increased sales of exterior stain products.”
Mike Kozlowski, Director of Marketing, Thompson’s Water Seal Brand: “Speaking specifically about exterior wood cleaners and waterproofers, that category was probably one of the best performers for many hardware retailers in 2009. A deck makeover is not an expensive project. In fact, the average-size deck can be cleaned and coated for about $100-$150, depending on how many supplies you have to buy. It’s an inexpensive way for homeowners to protect and beautify their investment. We think the category will continue to have positive growth in 2010.”