The July 18 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 17th 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 18 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.
Diana Wilf, Gracious Home, Buyer
Diana Wilf, a 2016 Impact Merchant in the tabletop category, has been touted by her vendors for expanding New York-based Gracious Home’s tabletop assortment and making the retailer a destination.
Wilf has been a buyer for Gracious Home for more than three years; prior to that, she was a buyer at Michael C. Fina for more than 14 years.
One vendor touted Wilf’s sense of style as a personal attribute that has translated into tabletop sales.
“Like every great trendsetter, she takes risks and pushes her vendors to do the same. In addition to this, she has extensive knowledge in the tabletop category and knows what she wants to accomplish and achieve,” added another vendor.
While Wilf has a rich background in the tabletop business, she is open to new ideas and she, “pushes for creative innovation in her executions,” the vendor added. With this focus on innovation, Wilf helps tabletop stay relevant in an ever-changing market.
In addition to choosing trend-right tableware, Wilf backs it up with customer service. “Wilf is very visible in the store, she engages with store staff and knows her customer. She is a true merchant and is hands-on with merchandising,” said another supplier.
“Gracious Home is one of the few local stores in Manhattan that carries a wide tabletop assortment,” said one supplier. Wilf has been instrumental in updating and expanding the selection. She has also helped less established tabletop brand partners grow.
“Gracious Home is arguably the leading independent home and tabletop retail destination in Manhattan and holds its own in this competitive market,” said one supplier.
2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Bob Couch, Shopko
- Lance Allen, Home Depot
- Paul Casey, Groupon
- Melissa Gaeto, Sur La Table
- Michelle Rado, Costco
- Erica Price, Wayfair
- Joan Haney, Kroger
- Gregg Smith, The Cook’s Warehouse
- Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s
- Dallas Dobbs, Walmart
- Shawn Austin, Macy’s
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Chris Kutil, Bon-Ton
- Susan Cantalupo, Crate & Barrel
- Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Michael Beltrami, Cutlery And More
- John Gehre, H-E-B
- Diana Wilf, Gracious Home