The July 23 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 19th 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 19 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.
Becky Blake, Walmart, Senior Buyer, Gadgets & Cutlery
With a reputation as a well-organized, detail-oriented buyer with a positive attitude, Becky Blake of Walmart has been recognized by kitchenware vendors as a 2018 Impact Merchant.
Blake is a senior buyer for the gadgets and cutlery division of Walmart. Those that have worked with her have also commented that her upbeat personality is contagious and that she is always well prepared, two traits that are necessary in today’s fragmented and competitive housewares industry.
Blake has been a buyer with Walmart since May of 2014. Prior to her time there, Blake has held various positions including buyer and planner at J.C. Penney, Aaron Brothers and Neiman Marcus.
Her dedication to the housewares industry was praised by vendors. One vendor said, “Becky’s forward thinking has transformed housewares at Walmart to offer consumers hot trends in the kitchen and home. She knows the Walmart customer well and works hard to continue to give them the brands and products they desire for their homes.”
That dedication is in line with Walmart’s commitment to its shopper, a commitment that goes back to founder Sam Walton’s desire to offer consumers lower prices and great service. The company, despite its recent efforts to transition into an omnichannel retailer, still believes strongly in the in-store experience, something Blake also brings with her dedication to bringing the consumer the latest solutions the kitchenware industry has to offer.
2018 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Kirsten Quatromoni, HomeGoods
- Robert Wilburn, The Home Depot
- Dan Weiland, Menards
- Chris Etheridge, Conn’s
- Kevin Lubelczyk, Wayfair
- Cory Ellis, Kroger
- Kim Kimbriel, The Container Store
- Bill Nadel, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Becky Blake, Walmart
- Ashlee Cook, Ulta Beauty
- Amy Neuman, Kohl’s
- Michael Wolpert, Macy’s
- Harry Jacobs, HomeGoods
- LaToya Jackson, At Home
- Zoran Todorovic, Walmart
- Joe Hufford, J.L. Hufford
- Brittany Aluce, Kohl’s
- Allison McPartland, Wayfair
- Chris Gridley, DD’s Discounts