Deb Danielson, Target, Director of Merchandising

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.

Deb Danielson, Target, Director of Merchandising

For more than a decade, Deb Danielson has been a key member of the buying and merchandising team at Target. During her tenure, she has worked on the store and dot.com sides of the retailer’s business.

Danielson this year was tabbed as a 2019 Impact Merchant by suppliers in the kitchen electrics category. Her selection comes just weeks after HomeWorld chose Target as its Retailer of the Year.

It’s been a busy past couple of years for Danielson and her fellow home merchants at Target. As the retailer has worked to rebound from a period of several years of stagnant sales, Target executives refocused the company’s efforts on its housewares and home goods assortments as a key component of a plan to drive store traffic and give shoppers a product selection that is unique and differs from brick-and-mortar and e-commerce competitors.

Part of that effort was an investment by Target in its stores. The retailer, which built its reputation on offering an assortment of products that are fashion-forward and affordable, is in the midst of a major store remodeling project that highlights a host of product categories, including housewares.

In stores that have received a facelift, the housewares section— anchored by Target’s broad assortment of kitchen electrics— is showcased in one corner of the store caddy-cornered in an open format. This gives shoppers the ability to easily browse the store’s selection of housewares.

Brands today remain a key component of Target’s kitchen electrics set in stores, with the likes of Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Keurig and Nespresso garnering significant shelf space.

In addition, the retailer also shows a willingness to give its shoppers a selection of products that are feature rich, but also carry higher pricepoints. A majority of the assortment is priced well above the traditional opening price levels of the discount mass merchant, with items priced at $200 and above commonplace.

2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):

Debbie Hom, Pottery Barn

Cindy Koller Villari, Macy’s

Wendy Altamura, Wegmans

Deb Danielson, Target

Desirae Montgomery, Costco

Sunipa Kreuzer, Crate & Barrel

Adam Gregory, Target

Mark Callahan, QVC

Angela Skogen, Cooks On Main

Brandi Stone, H-E-B

Chrissie Puchta, Wayfair

Carolyn Feuer, Office Depot

Steven D’Iorio, HomeGoods

Jeremy Couey, Walmart

Czarina Tse, CVS

Kristin Bates-Ashton, Costco

John Jansen, Southeastern Grocers

Dan Willman, Best Buy

Leah Postema, Meijer

Gillian McDonald, BJ’s Wholesale Club