Dan Willman, Best Buy, Floor Care Buyer

The July 17 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 18th 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 20 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.

Dan Willman, Best Buy, Floor Care Buyer

The floor care and cleaning segment has changed rapidly in the last year, and vendors said Best Buy has kept its eye on the evolution of the market.

The development of robotics and connected technologies, for example, has enticed more consumers into the category. While met with some resistance at retail, vendors said Best Buy has upped its acquisition of floor care appliances that feature these advanced and evolving technologies.

Vendors also noted the electronics retailer’s willingness to innovate in the segment with merchandising, highlighting its broad range of floor care options across myriad pricepoints.

Recognized by vendors for his approach to the rapidly evolving floor care business, Dan Willman, floor care buyer, Best Buy, has been named a 2017 Impact Merchant for the floor care category.

Though new to the category, vendors touted Willman as a quick study and a retail buyer able to accurately understand the full and rapid growth of the category.

Floor care suppliers noted that Willman came to the category with detailed knowledge of the market’s key product features and benefits, and that it is this knowledge that allows him to position an appealing and educational shopping experience for his customers.

In addition, vendors said Willman is open to driving volume in a differentiated manner, a positive signal for new technologies in the floor care category.

“I predict his share of the business will grow significantly over the next 18 months based on his approach and vision,” said one floor care vendor.

2017 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):