The July 18 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 17th annual Impact Merchants special report. Housewares suppliers, representing the categories that HomeWorld covers, once again were asked to nominate buyers and merchandisers believed to have made a significant impact during the past year.
The selection of the 18 Impact Merchant winners is not intended as a definitive list of the best merchants in housewares retailing. Votes went to several more merchandisers than those featured. This year’s honorees represent buyers in given categories that received the majority of votes by vendors polled.
Voters were asked to give added weight to merchandising creativity, trend and marketing astuteness, attention to detail, openness to risk, flexibility, relationship building and the ability to deliver a profitable program for both the vendors and retailer while providing value to consumers. One thing this year’s Impact Merchants share is a vote of respect by their vendors. In today’s unpredictable retail environment, that vote really counts.
Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond, DMM
It has been little more than a year since Alex Ogof joined Bed Bath & Beyond as the home specialty retailer’s dmm. But the retail veteran is no stranger to suppliers in housewares, having previously served as merchant for several leading retailers.
Prior to joining Bed Bath and Beyond, Ogof spent three years with Gilt.com as its vp/merchandising and three years with Macy’s in hardlines and softlines merchandising positions. His longest tenured run was with Linens ‘N Thing where he spent more than nine years and held several titles including merchandising manager, buyer and assistant buyer within numerous housewares categories.
When asked about Ogof’s strength as a merchant in the world of home goods, suppliers cite his diverse background and knowledge that covers an array of categories.
In joining Bed Bath & Beyond in 2015, Ogof walked through the home specialty retailer’s doors at a time of transition. With sales across the company largely flat, the retailer has gone through several changes within the upper levels of its merchandising team in what some felt was an effort to bring in new blood and spark sales.
Within the small electrics segment, Bed Bath & Beyond maintains a strong assortment in key categories including coffee and blending and remains the go-to home retailer for many vendors when launching new collections.
Bed Bath has been the retailer of choice for the launch of such recent notable collections as the Bialetti-branded assortment of kitchen electrics and more recently the return of the Braun brand to the kitchen segment with appliances including an immersion blender and coffeemaker.
2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Bob Couch, Shopko
- Lance Allen, Home Depot
- Paul Casey, Groupon
- Melissa Gaeto, Sur La Table
- Michelle Rado, Costco
- Erica Price, Wayfair
- Joan Haney, Kroger
- Gregg Smith, The Cook’s Warehouse
- Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s
- Dallas Dobbs, Walmart
- Shawn Austin, Macy’s
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Chris Kutil, Bon-Ton
- Susan Cantalupo, Crate & Barrel
- Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Michael Beltrami, Cutlery And More
- John Gehre, H-E-B
- Diana Wilf, Gracious Home