Ace unveils its new paint brand, Clark + Kensington

Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center served as the stage for the Ace Hardware 2011 Spring Convention and Exhibits. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based co-op's event employed the slogan: "Bringing helpful home." (Photo courtesy of Ace)
The Craftsman booth was busy promoting its various programs -- and giving away prizes at the spin of a wheel. The co-op said dealers that rolled out a Craftsman program saw category sales growth of 20%. (Photo courtesy of Ace)
The Spring Convention show floor featured Crazy One Day Deals, celebrity appearances from Mike Ditka and William "The Refrigerator" Perry and a new "Ace Advantage Area" promoting programs exclusive to Ace. (Photo courtesy of Ace)
Flowers brought some color to the show floor, and sales opportunities to dealers.
John Surane, VP merchandising, advertising, marketing and paint, addressed the general session with a slide showing various awards and honors won by Ace Hardware Corp.
Thousands of retail members packed McCormick Place's Arie Crown Theater during the early morning General Session held April 1. (Photo courtesy of Ace)

Oak Brook, Ill.-base Ace Hardware Corp. introduced Clark + Kensington, a new line of premier paint of the paint-and-primer-in-one variety.

Ace will begin shipping Clark + Kensingtron from its distribution centers beginning Sept. 6, and it will go nationwide during the first two quarters of 2012. 

The line of 100 percent acrylic, low-VOC paint is named after Ace’s first retail location on Chicago’s Clark Street and the site of their worldwide headquarters.

The introduction comes in Ace Hardware's second year of a five-year plan to boost its paint category market share from 4% to 8%. 

“The Clark + Kensington paint-and-primer-in-one truly reinforces our core brand message of helping people maintain their homes while saving them time,” said Mary Rice, a 20-year paint industry veteran who took over the new position of president/general manager of the paint division for Ace last year. “The new Clark + Kensington brand will deliver everything consumers want from their paint: fashion, style, inspiration and sophisticated colors that create inviting spaces.”

The introduction of a line that eliminates the need to prime surfaces and paint separately underscores Ace’s strategy and commitment to providing the most helpful experience for customers by delivering top-notch service and products. Ace will manufacture Clark + Kensington paint and primer in its two manufacturing facilities in Matteson, Ill., and Chicago Heights, Ill.

“The paint-and-primer-in-one will stand for quality and durability, characteristics often attributed to locally owned and operated Ace stores in communities across the country," said John Surane, senior VP consumer marketing, merchandising and paint for Ace.

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