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Behr, Home Depot announce Pro paint program

Behr Paint and Home Depot will attempt to reach further into the pro market with the launch of the Kilz Pro-X line made by MasterChem Industries. Both Behr and Kilz are part of Masco Corp. The announcement was made at the International Builders’ Show on Jan. 12.

Initially the Kilz Pro-X line will offer 1,300 colors. Designed as part of Behr’s “Direct to Pros” program, the company hopes to begin with a February rollout and finish in May or June of 2011, when all 2,000 Home Depots will have the program.

“Professionals have been buying our DIY paint and watering it down so it works with their equipment,” Gordon Erickson, senior VP merchandising for Home Depot, told Home Channel News. With paint better formulated to their equipment, and specialized services to the paint pro customer, Home Depot and its paint suppliers hope to take a bigger bite out of the professional painter category.

Behr already has an in-store sales team of 450 people dedicated to Home Depot, Erickson said, and many of these work at the pro desk. But the retailer knows that Joe the painter doesn’t want to wait in line behind Susan the faux wall finisher to have his paint mixed. So the company is testing how to utilize dedicated pro personnel in approximately 100 pilot stores in the West, North and South regions right now, Erickson said.  

One possibility, according to Erickson, is outside reps and technicians who accompany paint deliveries to job sites. Behr is also offering factory tinting and volume discounts.