The August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Bob Maricich, International Market Centers, Chairman and CEO
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Bob Maricich has a furnishings business history that goes back through his market involvement to leadership roles at various companies operating in the category. He was president and CEO of Century Furniture and, before that, president of American Drew and American of Martinsville. He has led International Market Centers since 2008.
WHAT TO WATCH: The key challenge Maricich faces over the next several months is building from the merger of AmericasMart and International Market Centers. He told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®that integrating the operations of the two markets will be a challenge but one that IMC understands given its major facilities purchases in High Point, NC. IMC, which operates the Las Vegas Market, is the major landlord in the North Carolina town that is host to the High Point Market.
The integration of AmericasMart includes a major survey of tenants and buyers developed to get a reading on their views of the markets, including Atlanta, and ways to make them more effective and efficient. IMC also is organizing an extensive strategic review to explore organizational and execution issues. IMC wants to combine expertise to make the existing operations it controls better serve stakeholders but also to help it establish another Las Vegas facility, an expo center slated to open in two-and-a-half to three years.
At the same time, the company is continuing to develop digital technology that will help buyers tap market resources year round in an effort to support them in doing their jobs on an everyday basis.
PERSPECTIVE: “I think the big picture is that a physical brick and mortar marketplace still is in demand, and there is almost no buyers who say they don’t want to get to a market or trade show. It gets back to how the market, how that experience, repays from a cost efficiency standpoint. Then we are adding to that digitally as another value add. We don’t believe that small regional shows can be relevant because buyers don’t have the time to go to multiple shows. We’re creating a program for them to see what is going on while saving them valuable time and delivering the best value proposition,” said Maricich.
2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Heshy Biegeleisen, Gourmia
- David Whitley, True Brands
- Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s
- Walter Lehneis, Groupe SEB USA
- Henry Liu, Cangshan Cutlery Company
- Darbie Angell, Darbie Angell
- Kevin Blossom, Spectrum Brands
- Mike Evans, Bush Industries
- Tom Neth, ThemoServ
- Jayme Smaldone, Mighty Mug
- Robert Wang, Instant Pot
- Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair
- Davide Sereni, Luigi Bormioli/Bormioli Rocco
- Kristi Forbes, Forty One Madison
- Jean-Philippe Peugeot, Peugeot Saveurs North America
- Michelle Gass, Kohl’s
- Bob Maricich, International Market Centers
- Lance Hood, Progressive International
- Kenneth Wilkes, Corelle Brands