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 Rogers, Walmart, Senior Buyer, Housewares
According to vendors, Jason Rodgers has been able to grow his category year after year compared to other retailers that lost market share year-over-year. This, vendors said, is due to his ability to take risks, and his open mind when it comes to trying something new.
Walmart, the 2017 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Retailer Of The Year, has been striving to differentiate its housewares departments. The retailer is accomplishing this by brand, product selection, pricepoint and merchandising and is varying these points from store to store, depending on consumer base and location.
The brick-and-mortar stores have been evolving to match consumer demographics, carrying different products in different regions as well as bringing in new merchandising ideas to target specific customer segments. Rogers, according to vendors, has been instrumental in the growth of the housewares department at Walmart through his experience and his “tough but fair” approach.
A seasoned veteran, Rogers has been connected to housewares since his job as a small electrics buyer at Foley’s, which he took in 2000. After five years in that position, he became a housewares buyer at Belk and then a cookware and cutlery buyer at J.C. Penney. After almost five years at the department store, he accepted the senior buyer position at Walmart in 2012.
His experience in the industry, suppliers said, has also been key to his success. Because he is fully versed in market trends, business trends and consumer shopping trends, it allows him to give honest product feedback, vendors said.
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