DULUX Paints Thriving In Volatile Retail Sector

Dulux Vaughan Opening, Ribbon Cutting

Amidst a volatile retail climate, the road ahead for one of the country’s popular paint brands is bright. In just four years since announcing a major rebranding initiative, DULUX® Paints has gone from having no name recognition to being a household name across the country, said Vince Rea, director of Dulux Paints stores, Canada.

“Every year, we’re gaining ground in the industry,” Rea said, pointing to a recent national paint brand awareness survey that places Dulux Paints in a solid third position, up one spot from last year for an overall gain of five spots since 2013. “We were almost non-existent in 2011, and now our goal is to be No. 1,” he said.

With the opening of the 250th Dulux Paints store in Vaughan, Ontario, this month and seven more new stores to follow in different provinces before the end of the year, Rea said the target is definitely within reach. “Our stores are thriving – we’re the fastest-growing paint store brand in Canada, averaging 12 new stores per year since 2010,” he said.

The Dulux Paints chain employs more than 1,000 Canadians in stores located from coast to coast. Its state-of-the-art, 8,450-square-metre manufacturing and distribution facility in Vaughan is the largest architectural coatings and paint manufacturing plant in the country, having opened in 1971 and expanded several times since then.

The rebranding took place in 2011 when the former ICI Paints, GLIDDEN®, COLOR YOUR WORLD® and BÉTONEL® (in Quebec) stores were combined under the Dulux Paints banner. With the former stores having taken on the Dulux Paints name and product line, the Dulux brand rapidly achieved broad market reach and recognition is growing, Rea said.

“We’ve only been around as a paint store brand for four years,” Rea said, adding that market share for Dulux Paints is growing in both the trade and do-it-yourself (DIY) segments, he added.

One reason for the brand’s strong growth is excellent customer service, Rea explained. Store employees are all paint experts, knowledgeable about the latest advances in paint and in the use of colour. “Whether you’re a contractor or do-it-yourselfer, you can come in, sit down, enjoy a coffee and talk with a pro about what it is you’re aspiring to do,” Rea said. “We paint the whole picture, from prep work to paint selection to application and finishing.”

Another reason for growth is the brand’s high-calibre product and commitment to innovation, he said. Dulux Paints was first to market with a product that has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) before adding colourant, for example. Today, it also provides several unique, specially-formulated paints, including an early shower-resistant product that allows for exterior painting in spite of a rainy forecast, and another product that withstands extremely low temperatures. At the top of the line is Dulux Diamond paint, a product some customers describe as “smooth as butter,” Rea added.

Core to the brand’s business philosophy is giving back. Since announcing its community campaign – now called COLOURFUL COMMUNITIES™ – in 2011, Dulux paint has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of paint and resources across the country to beautify public places, including buildings of community, charity and non-profit organizations. Most recently it provided more than 65 gallons of paint and 30 volunteers to repaint 8,000 square feet of wall space at Toronto-based The Safehaven Project for Community Living, a charitable organization that provides residential and respite care for families whose children have complex physical and developmental disabilities. Dulux Paints also donates paint and time for all Canadian projects of Habitat for Humanity, an international non-profit organization that provides affordable housing.

“Our roots are all about colour,” Rea said. “We aim to bring the world to life through the magic of colour, and giving back is one way we succeed in doing that.”

The Dulux Paints brand is operated in Canada by PPG Architectural Coatings Canada Inc., a business of PPG Industries, the world’s leading coatings company which Rea said has unparalleled global research-and-development capabilities. “We’re not only growing across Canada, we’re bringing the very best products and service to our customers as part of PPG.”

@CanBizJournal

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