Alison Alness-Richmond, Target, Senior Buyer, Small Electrics

The July 17 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 18th 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 20 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.

Alison Alness-Richmond, Target, Senior Buyer, Small Electrics

For more than a decade, Alison Alness-Richmond has been a fixture in the buying offices at Target. This year, as an Impact Merchants honoree, she was nominated for her work in the ever-challenging small electrics category.

Suppliers that work with Alness-Richmond told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® that upon first entering the category, she became a student of the business and worked to identify key products that would allow Target to offer its “guests” an assortment that differs from its competitors.

“Alison is always eager to learn and receptive to new ideas,” said one small electrics vendor. “But she remains focused on her objectives and her communication is clear and her actions are swift.”

Today, Target’s small kitchen electrics assortment is broad and offers everything from the value priced automatic drip coffee maker and two-slice toaster, to higher end selections that includes Vitamix blenders and Nespresso single-serve coffeemakers.

In addition to the many products merchandised on the small electrics shelves at Target, select products including SodaStream carbonated beverage makers and even the retailer’s assortment of single-serve coffeemakers are cross merchandised with products ranging from flavors to add to carbonated water to accessory products to enhance the user experience when using their single-cup brewers. This provides Target with add-on sales opportunities.

In addition, suppliers also hinted that other significant changes could be on the way at Target, with some well-known brands rumored to be gaining placement by the fourth quarter.

2017 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):