SIC 5231 Paint, Glass, and Wallpaper Stores


SIC 5231

This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in selling paint, glass, and wallpaper, or any combination of these lines, to the general public. While these establishments may sell primarily to construction contractors, they are known as retail in the trade. Establishments that do not sell to the general public, or that are known in the trade as wholesale, are classified in the wholesale trade industries.



Paint, Varnish, and Supplies Wholesalers


Other Building Materials Dealers


Paint and Wallpaper Stores


There were two types of retail outlets for paint, glass, and wallpaper. The first was the independently operated store, which purchased products from manufacturers that operated distribution centers and warehouses. The second was the manufacturer-operated store, which offered factory-direct products and generally used its own distribution center. Both types of stores ran centralized operations from their headquarters.

Paint, glass, and wallpaper stores also were distinguished as either warehouse stores, also called discount houses, or small retail outlets. Typically, the warehouse stores purchased large quantities of products from manufacturers and sold them at discount prices. The small retail stores, many of which were owned by manufacturers, emphasized service and personalized attention. Many stores in this industry also hired contractors to provide glass installation services for customers. Small, independently run stores occasionally offered painting services.

Traditional paint, wallpaper, and glass stores have faced increasing competition from big-box home centers and discounters, but they continue to maintain a market niche by offering superior selection and service to customers.


By the early 1900s, establishments in this industry were emerging on a small scale. These establishments grew steadily as the country's population increased. In the early 1930s, many stores were adversely affected by the Great Depression. Public works projects, however, helped to boost paint and glass sales for these small companies. World War II saw another decline in home sales that affected the industry. Nevertheless, the growth of suburban America during the 1950s and 1960s created a period of tremendous growth for industry establishments. Many small companies expanded into chain stores, and manufacturers entered the retail market. An economic recession in the 1970s caused a decrease in new home construction and a slump in paint, glass, and wallpaper sales. During the 1980s, the industry experienced another boom period in sales, engendered by an active real estate market and home renovations. The industry was projected to grow at only 1 to 2 percent per year through 2000.

The major product sold by this industry was paint. Other products sold by companies in the industry were paint supplies; wallpaper; wallpaper adhesives and supplies; varnishes for wood, anti—rust coatings for metal, glass, glass...

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