The August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th 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.
Heshy Biegeleisen, Gourmia, Founder
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Since launching Gourmia in 2016, Heshy Biegeleisen has continued to expand the company’s product assortment to include a host of core small electrics while also developing products that tap into the growing smart home segment. The company’s quick start with a wide range of products also caught the eye of many competitors in the small electrics segment.
WHAT TO WATCH: This is year three for Gourmia and the company, while having caught the attention of its competitors, must continue working to gain market share and grab shelf space and additional e-commerce space at leading retailers.
Over the past two years, the company has enjoyed strong placement on various e-commerce outlets from pureplays such as Amazon to the online outlets of brick and mortar chains such as Kohl’s and Best Buy.
While Biegeleisen has more than 30 years of experience in the world of housewares, first as a retailer and more recently on the vendor side, he has worked to expand his sales and marketing teams to allow the company to better manage relationships with a variety of retailers.
From a product standpoint, a continued area of focus for the company remains smart home. While committed to developing products with interactivity that allows consumers to control products remotely, the challenge for Biegeleisen and Gourmia is offering retailers products that meet the needs of today’s consumers.
Product suppliers in small electrics have largely stayed away from smart home, unconvinced that consumers will pay a premium for a countertop appliance that can be accessed via a smart phone app. Whether Biegeleisen and his team at Gourmia can convince retailers and ultimately consumers that connected products will be strong sellers and make the lives of consumers easier will be something worth watching.
PERSPECTIVE: When Biegeleisen and Gourmia debuted in 2016, first at the Consumer Electronics Show and later that same year at the International Home + Housewares Show, the company’s strong move out of the gate served to rattle the cage of the small electrics segment.
But to build off the company’s successes over the past two years, Biegeleisen and Gourmia will need to continue pushing the envelope with product development to differentiate from competitors and catch the eye of retailers.
2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Heshy Biegeleisen, Gourmia
- David Whitley, True Brands
- Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s
- Walter Lehneis, Groupe SEB USA
- Henry Liu, Cangshan Cutlery Company
- Darbie Angell, Darbie Angell
- Kevin Blossom, Spectrum Brands
- Mike Evans, Bush Industries
- Tom Neth, ThemoServ
- Jayme Smaldone, Mighty Mug
- Robert Wang, Instant Pot
- Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair
- Davide Sereni, Luigi Bormioli/Bormioli Rocco
- Kristi Forbes, Forty One Madison
- Jean-Philippe Peugeot, Peugeot Saveurs North America
- Michelle Gass, Kohl’s
- Bob Maricich, International Market Centers
- Lance Hood, Progressive International
- Kenneth Wilkes, Corelle Brands