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.
Cindy Koller Villari, Macy’s, Omnichannel Buyer, Cookware
Recently added to the cookware team at Macy’s, Cindy Koller Villari is continuing to raise the profile of the department store retailer’s cookware offerings going into the next year.
With Macy’s since 1996, Villari has experience in buying for the company, as well as financial and strategic planning. This, said vendors, has served her well as the newest omnichannel buyer in the cookware segment at Macy’s.
Villari took over the position from Michael Wolpert, who was chosen as a HomeWorld Business Impact Merchant in 2018, in November of 2018. Stepping into big shoes, vendors said they have benefited from a seamless transition.
“Cindy is extremely creative, fashion forward and understands what the Macy’s customer is shopping for,” said a vendor who works closely with Villari.
Additionally, vendors noted that Villari is very focused on developing a core cookware business that provides the latest trends in the home and focuses on quality pieces, while also putting an emphasis on working within the financial parameters that are the most appealing to consistent Macy’s shoppers. This, noted housewares vendors, allows both parties to be successful in the department store retail channel.
Vendors also said that the cookware department that was thriving under Wolpert’s leadership has continued to push forward now that Villari is at the helm, making Macy’s a retailer to watch in the cookware category going into 2020.
2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):