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.
Chris Gridley, DD’s Discounts, VP/DMM Housewares
The longevity of Chris Gridley and his extensive knowledge base is what vendors pointed to when speaking about his expertise as a merchant and his positive impact on the housewares business. This garnered Gridley several nominations, ultimately naming him a HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® 2018 Impact Merchant.
Gridley began his business experience as a buyer for DXL casual male retail group in 1999. After four years there, he joined Ross Stores as a buyer and has been there since. He is currently a vp/dmm at DD’s Discounts, a division of Ross Stores. He is currently charged with buying for the housewares, personal care, fitness, food and electronics categories.
Gridley has grown within the company, leading the housewares team to work with vendors on closeouts and deals as well the development of unique housewares assortments for the chain’s target customer.
According to one housewares vendor, Gridley, “has always been a tough, but fair negotiator, often taking chances on products and ideas to further innovate his categories in the home department. He is very much a product person, understanding the full details of manufacturing and specifications, which truly helps when you understand costing and how to build a product up or down.”
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