Angela Skogen, Cooks On Main, Owner

The July 22 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 20th 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 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.

Angela Skogen, Cooks On Main, Owner

After a seven-year career as a buyer for Target, Angela Skogen decided to take the skills she learned and head back home, opening Cooks On Main in Williston, ND, in 2010.

The store allowed her to combine the business sense she learned in corporate America with the passion she had for all things centered around the experience of food.

“I’m so excited to own a store specifically like Cooks On Main to share my passion for entertaining and cooking for those that you love. What better thing to do than to do something that you love every single day,” she said.

Skogen’s smart strategy around buying and promotions have earned her the title of 2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchant.

“The market is always changing, so I spend a lot of time on the sales floor and I talk to customers very frequently. I also think about what I would want as a consumer and what I would need a product or want a product to do,” she said.

Skogen said that one of the factors that has made her successful is taking advantage of year-round specials, even if she is purchasing product to sell later on. This, she said, allows her to save money, prep for year-round in-store events and have quality products on hand for sidewalk sales or other traffic-drivers.

Additionally, she said, she works with her housewares vendors in order to push the envelope forward on items that trend throughout the year.

“I take the categories that are doing well and I work with my vendors in order to work in a promotion or marketing strategy. This can be an exclusive product, a discount, or something that is going to drive add-on sales,” she said.

2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):

Debbie Hom, Pottery Barn

Cindy Koller Villari, Macy’s

Wendy Altamura, Wegmans

Deb Danielson, Target

Desirae Montgomery, Costco

Sunipa Kreuzer, Crate & Barrel

Adam Gregory, Target

Mark Callahan, QVC

Angela Skogen, Cooks On Main

Brandi Stone, H-E-B

Chrissie Puchta, Wayfair

Carolyn Feuer, Office Depot

Steven D’Iorio, HomeGoods

Jeremy Couey, Walmart

Czarina Tse, CVS

Kristin Bates-Ashton, Costco

John Jansen, Southeastern Grocers

Dan Willman, Best Buy

Leah Postema, Meijer

Gillian McDonald, BJ’s Wholesale Club