Latin America Reports

Colombia’s Pintuco Builds Out Store

By Charles W. Thurston, Latin America Correspondent | July 7, 2014

Colombia’s Pintuco is building out its network of Pintacasa branded paint stores rapidly, having added 80 during 2013, and targeting a total of 236 stores in Colombia in 31 cities, as well as locations in the Andean Region, Central America and the Caribbean. Overall, Pintuco plans to invest $22 million this year, according to recent statements to the local press by Andrés Ortega Méndez, the managing director of Pintuco, in Medellin. Within five years, the company hopes to elevate the network to include more than 800 stores across Latin America, possibly adding Mexico and Peru to its sales region.

Pintuco indicates that 95 percent of its Colombian store network is franchise based and that only five percent are company owned. Pintuco also plans to expand the store network in Ecuador this year through franchises. Growth in the construction industry in Ecuador, in Colombia and in Panama, is expected to lead to greater industrial sales in those countries this year.

The Colombian market for architectural, automotive and industrial paint and coatings is estimated at 36 million gallons, of which Pintuco claims to hold nearly half. The architectural segment represents 30 million gallons of the total and the other segments combined represent six million, he suggested. With a portfolio of products in all three segments, Pintuco currently has sales in 11 countries, including: the Andean region – in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela; the Caribbean region – in Aruba and Curacao; and the Central America region – in Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Pintuco’s market is served by nine paint and coatings production plants and three distribution centers. Total paint and coatings sales for the company were up five percent to an estimated $240 million last year in Colombia, and to $360 million in sales in other countries. Sales increases in prior years were in the double-digit range, the company indicated.

Paint and coatings are the leading products for Pintuco parent Orbis, which changed its name this year from Grupo Mundial, which has been in business for 90 years. Water, chemicals and general trade are also business units of the conglomerate. The company’s major Colombian paint brands include Aerocolor, CRC, Kativa, Kem, Koraza, Pintuco, Protecto and Viniltex. It also sells the Pintec brand in Ecuador and the Venezolana de Pinturas brand in Venezuela.

Among competitors in the do-it-yourself market for company stores in Colombia is Chile’s Sodimac, which expanded its Colombian network by six stores during 2012 to a total of 29 stores in 16 cities. Sodimac Colombia launched $161 million in Colombian bonds to fund the expansion.

Along with the modernizing name change, Orbis plans a major advertising campaign through social media including the Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google platforms.As part of its sustainability activities, Pintuco last year provided several thousand gallons of paint for a community of houses on a hillside slum in Medellin, and at other sites with historic architecture. The effort is also supported by Orbis’ social responsibility charity, Fundación Orbis.