TWST: Give us a short summary on Sherwin-Williams. Then describe what you see as the business and company today.

Mr. Connor: Sherwin-Williams is a 134-year-old manufacturer, distributor and retailer of coatings. We started in Cleveland, Ohio when Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams came together in 1866 to start this company. Today we sell the majority of our coatings through company-operated stores. Our sales through controlled distribution account for approximately two-thirds of our volume. The rest of our business goes through external distribution. We operate primarily in the Western Hemisphere, with the majority of our business in the United States. We have, over the years, assembled an impressive array of brand names associated with our company. The Sherwin-Williams' brand is the leading brand of architectural paint in the United States today. Complimenting that and assisting our sales through external distribution are the other leading brand names like Dutch Boy', Martin-Senour', Pratt & Lambert', Minwax' interior stains and sealants, Thompson's' exterior water sealers and wood protectors, and Krylon' aerosols. We like brands and believe that building brands and enhancing their quality is an important part of our mission going forward. We operate 2,600 paint and automotive coatings stores in the Western Hemisphere. They are the number one vehicle that we use to get a majority of our products to market. There are over 2,400 paint and automotive coatings stores in the United States alone. Architectural coatings is the largest segment for us. We have a leading position in architectural coatings in the United States and many other markets around the world. We have a strong position in industrial maintenance and automotive coatings in the same geographic locations. In product finishes we have significant sales but low market share in the United States and a developing position abroad.

TWST: Do you feel that your skill sets, the top management skill sets, are addressing today's opportunities and changes?

Mr. Connor: As we look forward, we see a significant shift happening in America. There is a demographic shift occurring as America ages, has less free time, and has more accumulated wealth. These trends are having an impact on the paint industry. A decade ago, we might have pointed to a business mix between the do-it-yourselfer and the professional painting contractor of 50-50 share in the architectural coatings market. Today, 62% of all the architectural coatings are bought by professional painting contractors, with only 38% being purchased by do-it-yourself consumers. We expect this trend to continue and this difference to widen, as the demographic factors I mentioned continue to grow in the same direction. So when we look at that, we say we need to make sure that our company has the focus, management and commitment to service the growing painting contractor segment with the right products, the right stores, the right strategies, and the right services going forward. The majority of my 17-year career at Sherwin-Williams has been in the Paint Stores Group. This is the segment that is responsible for taking the Sherwin-Williams brand to the professional customer. This gives me good insight into the day-to-day operations of these stores, the needs of this customer base and allows me to ensure that the entire corporation's focus and effort remain committed to these professional wholesale customers.

TWST: When you look out over the next 12 to 24 months, what's on the agenda? What specific accomplishments would make that time frame a success for Sherwin-Williams?

Mr. Connor: Starting with the Paint Stores Segment, in order to continue to service the professional customer, we expect to significantly increase our presence. This past year we added 69 new paint stores in the United States. Our plans for 2000 are to open over 75 stores. For 2001, it will be north of 80 stores. That would be an additional 160 stores at a minimum in the next 24 months. The mission of these stores is predominantly aimed at this wholesale segment. Today, 87% of all the volume that goes through the Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Segment is sold to the wholesale professional user of coatings, as opposed to the do-it-yourselfer. So the more of these stores that we open, the more customers we get closer to and the better our services, the more market share we will gain for the company. Looking at the top 10 competitors in the paint store segment, with 2,300 stores in the United States, we're in first place by a wide margin. In fact, if you take the number two player all the way down to the number 10 competitor and you add them together, totaling up the store count they have, you come up somewhere around 1,550 stores to our 2,300 stores. So we have a 750-store lead on the rest of the pack combined, and with the addition of 69 stores last year and over 75 stores this year, and more in 2001, that gap is widening. We're continuing to take a stronger leadership position against this segment. Supporting that would be the continuing addition of new products through that same channel. This past year we added 50 new products. We would expect to continue that process, adding technologically leading products into that channel, to differentiate our service, our position and our commitment to that wholesale buying community. Those are really powerful strategic initiatives that play to our strength and into this growing segment. On the external side of our company, in our Consumer Segment, where we have our other well-known brands aimed at external paint marketers and retailers, we expect growth as well. Our number one initiative is to get increased shelf space, either through existing customers that we already have a relationship with or new customers that we bring to the company. A case in point would be Wal-Mart, a large important paint customer of ours. Today, we manufacture Wal-Mart's private label brand of paint under the ColorPlace' name. Within the last three months we launched a new line of exterior house paint through Wal-Mart, taking the Thompson's' Water Seal' brand and the equity of that brand name, which has great recognition for exterior coatings, weather protection and durability, and putting a house paint product under that label for the first time. Wal-Mart is now the marketer of Thompson's' Exterior House Paint. We've gained shelf space in their stores and expect to have a strong growing presence with this important retailer. There are other initiatives like that in the external side of our business in the Consumer Segment where we're finding opportunities to expand shelf space and gain new customers.

TWST: As you add the stores you've spoken about, how do you see the geographic density of your regional expansion increasing within the North American marketplace?

Mr. Connor: Within the North American marketplace, our geographic reach is pretty thorough. Today we operate in all 50 states with paint stores. We're in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and parts of the Caribbean. Our penetration in this corner of the world will continue along those same lines. There are lots of markets within North America and the US where we can continue to add stores and that expansion will continue. The same is true for our external businesses. We look for the opportunity to continue to tie in with growing retailers and opportunities to ride their expansion into growing markets. We support our external retailers' growth by offering them the strong brands that I've talked about earlier. Although we have many opportunities for expansion and growth left in North America, we also look outside North America for geographic expansion. Argentina, Brazil and Chile are strong countries for us. We're using our current base of operations to expand to new markets within those countries and bordering countries and we look to other corners of the world as well.

TWST: Can you give us a sort of summary from the perspective of not only the merger and acquisition process, but the culling process?

Mr. Connor: On the merger and acquisition side, we are participating in an industry that is still going through a considerable amount of consolidation. There are still 700 paint companies in the United States today and the opportunities for a company of our size and scope to continue to be acquisitive is fairly considerable. So we look at lots of them. We will continue to participate in that market and we do look to acquisitions to help fund growth, although not as the predominant growth factor. We look more for our core, existing businesses to drive that. The types of acquisitions that we like are ones that bring us products with technological leadership and customer preference. We also like acquisitions that allow us to establish a relationship with the end user of the product. Products and companies that would tuck into our controlled distribution would be our primary targets. These are businesses that augment our paint store and automotive branch segments. On the culling process, we have a stated objective inside the company that we'll be in the first, second or third place in market share in every segment that we operate in. Most of our businesses are there today and those that aren't, we expect them to have aggressive plans and programs to improve their operations and get there. If you look back over our history, there has not been a lot of culling that's gone on in this company. We're not a company that churns businesses. We don't buy them and try them and then spin them back out. Divestitures will not be a significant part of our activities going forward.

TWST: At this point, how could the investment community better understand Sherwin-Williams? What are the misperceptions that you encounter and confront?

Mr. Connor: I think that for the most part, there's not a lot of misunderstanding about our company within the financial and analyst community. We're followed by some very good analysts and have been for quite some time. Our story is fairly well known. I think what we have been frustrated with has been obviously the undervalued position of our stock right now. We believe our stock price, despite Sherwin's 22 consecutive years of improved earnings per share growth, is perhaps undervalued because of the perception that we can't grow sales more aggressively and, as a result, our earnings trend won't continue. We disagree. We see a future of strong growth for us. We believe that we have excellent brands, that we have businesses that are aimed at the growing segment of the market, that we have relationships with outstanding retailers like Wal-Mart and others, and that given those things, our top line growth has a bright future. The fact that we haven't done that in the last couple of years cannot be argued. Those are the facts. When we start delivering the results and we are off to a very good start this year we would expect the market to respond accordingly.

TWST: What's the ultimate vision when you look long term for Sherwin- Williams, whether that time frame is five years, 10 years or even longer?

Mr. Connor: We expect to continue to be a leader in the Western Hemisphere in the businesses that we are currently operating in. We carefully pay attention to market share and set goals for ourselves to achieve stronger positions in each of our segments. We've had, for a number of years, a goal of achieving 30% architectural market share in the United States. Recently we raised that hurdle to 40% as we approached the old goal. We continue to raise expectations for ourselves and we have strong growth initiatives in every business segment. I think the other things, as we look into the future, would be the outstanding track record of earnings performance and the culture that we've developed inside Sherwin-Williams delivering consistent earnings results, year after year, always improving would be real core tenets for us going forward. We look to stronger sales performance, better market share penetration, expansion of each of the businesses, in each of the countries that we operate in, all the while driving our earnings performance to better numbers and ratios on an annual basis.

TWST: Do you feel that you're ever given value for the intellectual property that each of these brands has technologically behind it?

Mr. Connor: Let's start with the customer base. The customer base clearly recognizes and rewards our company for our technological effort, introduction of new products and leadership position. In fact, it's why we hold leadership positions in so many of these professional coatings user segments. Let's talk about architectural paint for a moment. Painting contractors have to rely on the coatings they purchase to really create the reputation and standing for their companies in whatever line of business that they operate. Whether they are new residential house painters, property management painters or painting skyscrapers in New York City, they look to a company to continue to bring out products that will perform better. Their performance criteria include better hiding, faster drying, and longer durability, allowing them to get on and off jobs quicker with excellent application characteristics and performance properties. And we've been rewarded for that. Typically, we're not bringing out products on the low end of the spectrum trying to drive prices down, but rather on the high end trying to add enhancements and improvements to these products that come with an increased price point. That has clearly been seen, recognized and rewarded by that type of customer base. So to that end, I would say customers clearly recognize and reward us. Does the financial community understand and see the hurdles that are there and the advantages that we have? Probably not to the same extent as our professional customers. So it's our job to articulate that, explain it and do so every chance we get to talk to the financial community.

TWST: What would be the short list of strengths and highlights that you feel do compel an investor today to buy in?

Mr. Connor: We would tell them that they ought to be looking at us for who we are and that is a market share leader in the segments that we compete in; with a consistent track record of 22 years of continuous earnings per share gains; that we have sound strategies and opportunities for growth; with a strong management team in place focused on top line sales growth. We manage a company with a very strong balance sheet and strong cash generation. This cash has been used consistently over the last two decades to support an increasing dividend policy, to participate in our consolidating industry through acquisitions, to keep our debt at low and manageable levels and probably most importantly in this environment, to aggressively purchase our stock.

TWST: What have I overlooked? Are there any major points or specific points that you'd like to make?

Mr. Connor: I think if there's anything we've not covered, in the constraint of time, it's just that I haven't been able to give a strong sense of our automotive and international businesses and the strategic focus that we have in those businesses and growth opportunities. To be brief, these are our other two segments, in addition to Paint Stores and Consumer, about which we've talked a great deal. The Automotive Finishes Segment, with its 172 company-operated stores, will increase sales due to an expanded store platform which will increase our service area and new product launches. Our International Segment has many number one, two or three market share positions in important countries of Latin America and the United Kingdom, from which we expect to grow. We see a bright future for both of these segments with very good growth opportunities, product technologies and customer alliances. We're very confident about Sherwin-Williams' future.

TWST: Thank you.

CHRISTOPHER M. CONNOR Vice Chairman & CEO The Sherwin-Williams Company 101 Prospect Avenue NW Cleveland, OH 44115 (216) 566-2000 (216) 566-2947 - FAX

Each Executive who is the featured subject of a TWST Interview is offered the opportunity to include an Investors Brief or other highlight material to be provided and sponsored by and for the company.

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