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.
Cory Ellis, Kroger, DMM, Housewares
The first step Cory Ellis took into the world of retailing was a decade ago as he joined Kroger’s Fred Meyer division in 2009 as an assistant buyer in housewares. In the years that followed, he has worked his way up the merchandising team ranks at Fred Meyer and Kroger, and today holds the title of DMM for housewares, seasonal and storage for Kroger.
As a HomeWorld Business 2018 Impact Merchant, as nominated by vendors in the housewares industry, product suppliers laud Ellis for his broad skill set that includes merchandising, merchandise planning and inventory management that have allowed him to build a successful career at Kroger.
After spending two years in the assistant buyer/housewares position, Ellis was named assistant planner for seasonal and storage at Fred Meyer, a job he held for nine months. He was then named planner for Fred Meyer where he managed the open-to-buy and store allocations within the retailer’s Garden Center.
A year later, Ellis was promoted to DMM planning for home electronics at Fred Meyer and was then named DMM planning for Kroger’s home fashion and electronics departments. In the latter position, he had oversight of the planning department for several categories including housewares, domestics, décor, furniture season and electronics.
In May of 2015, Ellis was named to his current position as DMM, housewares, storage and seasonal. He oversees categories that offer shoppers a host of national brands that are mixed with proprietary brands, including Dash of That in housewares and HD Designs in home furnishings.
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