Ace Looks To Re-Color Your World

If it’s March, it must mean it’s time for home-improvement retailers to start making noise, and Ace Hardware is early out of the gate with its latest “time to paint” program. 

The hardware cooperative’s new “31 Days of Color” program offers plenty to get consumers inspired to spruce up for spring, including interactive online experiences that involve daily color revelations, a paint color name game, and quizzes. A sweepstakes offers $10,000 in prizes, as well as an in-person room design and color consultation. And there are also gift card giveaways.

The "Color of the Day" program, in partnership with Clark+Kensington and Valspar, introduces a new color every day at noon, kicking off with a rich yellow known as Asian Tea. In addition to testing consumers' color IQ (“Is it a dietary supplement? Or a paint color?”) it then reveals a mood board, offering a deeper look at the hue, as well as links to blogger projects using those colors, for additional ideas.



And to extend the effort into social media, the retailer is also organizing Facebook chats with Sue Kim, Valspar’s color strategist.

Sherwin-Williams also just kicked off a month-long paint promotion, lowering prices on paints and stains by 30%.

Home-improvement stores are on a bit of a roll at the moment, especially compared to other retailers. Last week, Ace reported a 7.3% jump in its annual revenues, to $5 billion, its third straight year of record results, with same-store sales rising 4.6%. Net income climbed 10.5% to $156.2 million for the fiscal year.

And the Home Depot saw a 6.4% jump in sales, to $88.5 billion, with comparable-store sales in the U.S. rising 7.1%. And Lowe’s saw sales rise to $59 billion, with comparable-store results climbing 5.1%.

The springtime stakes are high for home improvement retailers, who rely on the season for intense home and garden sales, but are especially vulnerable to weather trends. (The National Retail Federation estimates that during March, April and May, Mother Nature puts about $4.1 billion in consumer spending in play.)

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