The August 14 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 12th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Gilles Gosselin, Atlantic Promotions/Starfrit, President
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: No stranger to the housewares business, Gilles Gosselin has been with Atlantic Promotions, the parent company of Starfrit, for more than 30 years. Prior to being named company president at the end of 2016, he held a variety of positions within the company, most recently having served as vice president and general manager. He now sits atop a housewares supplier that is looking to expand further into the U.S. marketplace with a full assortment of kitchenware products.
WHAT TO WATCH: Starfrit for years has marketed its The Rock non-stick coating in cookware and more recently expanded it to a selection of kitchen electrics and this year to a new line of cutlery. Having a broader assortment of products with its proprietary non-stick coating could service to entice retailers that, perhaps more than ever today, are looking for products that allow them to differentiate from competitors, be they bricks and clicks or e-commerce pure plays.
In addition, while cookware has been a focus for Starfrit in the U.S., the company’s broad assortment of kitchenware products that includes small electrics, cutlery, kitchen tools and gadgets and storage gives the company an opportunity to offer retailers a broad assortment of products from a single vendor.
In an interview with HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®, Gosselin said the company is not focused on reinventing the wheel, but wants to continue nurturing a sales team that is younger but also has a great deal of experience. “This allows us to have a younger mentality and think differently when we look to challenge the marketplace,” he said.
PERSPECTIVE: With Starfrit looking for new opportunities to grow its business with U.S. retailers, Gosselin feels The Rock will serve as the point of entry for the company. “Our launch of The Rock into small electrics exceeded our three-year goals in year one,” Gosselin said. “It’s a product that receives high ratings and once people use it they love it.”
2018 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Katrina Helmkamp, Lenox Corporation
- Terry Carlson, Lasko Products
- Gilles Gosselin, Atlantic Promotions/Starfrit
- Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S.
- John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
- Arjen Linders, Philips North America
- Mike George, QVC
- Rob Kay, Filament Brands
- Marc Lore, Walmart
- Kurt Jovais, Midea America Corp.
- Liz Zadro, Zadro Products
- Bradley Smith, Cheyenne Products
- Larry Witt, Oxo
- Lori Gonzalez, Twin-Star
- Bobby Griggs, Hammer Stahl
- Tony Curtis-Wellings, Faraday’s
- Brett Bradshaw & Robert Michelson, Bradshaw
- Rick Carey, Metal Ware