Wattyl driving paint to the painters

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2013
Wattyl paint truck shop
CARYS MONTEATH/ Fairfax NZ

TRUCK SHOP: Wattyl's mobile paint store caters for isolated tradespeople.

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One of Christchurch's largest paint sellers has opened a store with a twist - it's on a truck.

With many tradespeople working on rebuild projects in isolated spots across the city, Wattyl's mobile business model aims to bring the shop to the painters.

The mobile paint store, which opened this week, comes equipped with 3000 litres of paint, brushes, rollers and mixing equipment.

Managing director Richard Meagher said the truck would cut costs and save tradespeople time.

"When you come to Christchurch, and you know how hard it is for a painter just to drive from A to B across town, it makes sense to bring the shop to the painters," he said.

Meagher said the truck would "give us the opportunity to service the east side of Christchurch, where there are almost no paint shops". He believed painters working in the more isolated eastern suburbs will be one of the strongest markets for the initiative.

Paintworx manager Donna Stewart said many of her teams worked on the east side and the truck was "a great idea". At peak times, it would take 90 minutes for workers to pick up new paint.

"When you're running 30 jobs across town, that's a lot of downtime, so it becomes a massive saving," she said.

Paintworx project manager Chris Constantinos said the truck would be a "huge time-saver" for painters. "What they've done is stepped outside the box and given something different, which is needed here."

Meagher said the company would consider opening more mobile stores in New Zealand if the first was a success.

He said the Christchurch paint market was growing steadily as more Earthquake Commission, residential and commercial work projects began.

Wattyl had opened three new stores in Christchurch to keep up with demand.

The paint trucks were started in the United States by Wattyl parent company Valspar. The initial 40 mobile stores established across the US this year will be joined by 60 more over the next six months.

Last year Valspar was one of three major companies to win a $90 million government contract to provide paint for the Christchurch rebuild. Dulux Group, Resene Paints and Valspar Corp will supply 8 million litres for use in rebuilding houses.

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