The July 17 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 18th 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 20 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.
Jason Perez, Costco, Assistant Buyer, Cookware
Jason Perez, assistant buyer at Costco, was nominated by vendors as a 2017 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Impact Merchant. According to those that work with him, Perez is “always very straightforward and communicates well,” which has made him enjoyable to work with, vendors said.
Perez joined Costco in 2007 as a merchandiser/stocker and has made his way up through the company ranks until he was named assistant buyer non-foods, inline/online cookware, commercial, wine accessories in 2015.
Now, in his current position, he is responsible for the procurement of high-end cookware in high volume purchases for more than 480 U.S. warehouses and Costco’s e-commerce site. He is also the global product development project leader of private label cookware items for global purchasing, ensuring all involved countries follow specific guidelines to ensure utmost quality and standards to Costco’s private label requirements. Additionally, he is also charged with forecasting inventory volumes to maximize sales and minimize lost margin through markdowns during allotted in-dates for product.
Vendors said that there are a plethora of benefits to being inside Costco stores, but two factors— the partnership Costco provides them as well as the brand recognition— emerged as major reasons why companies would look to the retailer. However, they said, it is merchants like Perez that make the process more streamlined and more efficient.
One cookware supplier recently noted that the merchants and executives at Costco bring an innovative spirit and merchandising excitement to the business.
2017 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Jennifer Cotreau, Wayfair
- Liz Anderson, Sam’s Club
- Jason Kloster, Walmart
- Tamara Rosenkranz, Williams Sonoma
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Alison Alness-Richmond, Target
- Dan Willman, Best Buy
- Carol Nakauchi, Dollar General
- Natalia Goncalves, BrandsMart
- Jason Perez, Costco
- Tracy Godshall, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Kanani McNerthney, Kroger/Fred Meyer
- Jason Rogers, Walmart
- Karen & Brad Hughes, Artichoke
- Kim Kimbriel, The Container Store
- Alison Fosbenner, Lowe’s
- Harry Jacobs, HomeGoods
- Amy Eshuys, Christmas Tree Shops
- Sean Le Deit, Houzz
- Brad Wiesner, Bed Bath & Beyond