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.
Debbie Hom, Pottery Barn, Omni Tabletop Buyer
As part of the Williams-Sonoma family of retail brands, Pottery Barn is part of the company’s One Registry Collective, which also includes Williams Sonoma, West Elm and Pottery Barn Kids. The program rolled out last year in an effort to enable registrants to house registry selections from each of the parent company’s brands, essentially, under one roof.
Debbie Hom, omni tabletop buyer at Pottery Barn, is one of those merchants that has helped the retailer and its vendors ride the wave of how consumers are shopping for and purchasing tabletop in today’s marketplace. Hom, who has been with Pottery Barn for more than four years, has been praised for her passion for and deep knowledge of the tabletop industry and vendors noted that her dedication is one of many reasons they have named her a HomeWorld Business 2019 Impact Merchant.
“She is knowledgeable not only of her categories, but all categories in the tabletop arena, so she can buy complementary programs, which is a necessity today,” noted one vendor.
This skill has proved fruitful for the vendors Hom works with as Pottery Barn has put effort into updating its tabletop offerings to meet the needs of both its registry and general customers alike. One such update to the retailer’s program includes a new collection from bridal designer Monique Lhuillier. The assortment of tabletop, giftware and bedding that the brand is offering underscores Pottery Barn’s, and its team of buyers, efforts to be a one-stop registry for consumers and support a more lifestyle approach when it comes to purchasing tabletop and housewares.
In addition, as the pressure continues to mount for retailers to stand out in a crowded marketplace, vendors also noted Hom’s expertise in field research and completive analysis to ensure she is always offering her customers a one-of-a-kind assortment.
“She is able to blend her assortment with basics and trend, from opening pricepoints to luxury pricepoints,” said a tabletop vendor.
2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):