Jay Jordan, Home Meridian

jay_jordan_homemeridianThe August 19 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 14th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents 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 “People To Watch” 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.

Jay Jordan, HMidea, President

CREDENTIALS: Jay Jordan, before taking his latest position as president at Home Meridian’s new HMidea operation, helped supervise a reorganization at Ameriwood intended to increase flexibility and maximize resources.

As president of that Dorel Industries division, he had responsibility for an operation that drew from sources both in North American and further afield.  Before his Ameriwood position, Jordan was president of Homestar North America, a division of Homestar Corp. of Fuzhou, China, that has been manufacturing ready-to-assemble furniture, storage and electric fireplaces in the United States and internationally.

WHAT TO WATCH: Jordan told HomeWorld Business that the plan in launching HMidea is “pretty simple” but could have significant returns. HMidea is combining a wider approach to sourcing, looking beyond China across Asia and as far as Europe, where efficient RTA manufacturers operate currently even if furniture providers in the United States aren’t tapping their production.

HMidea will do that, he said, and use the expertise and materials that exist in various production centers to develop more innovative designs than the market currently provides. Those same products will feature quick assembly, too. By providing that, and taking away the barrier of complicated assembly, Jordan said HMidea wants assembly of all products to take less than an hour with 80% requiring 30 minutes or less of purchaser labor— HMidea can provide consumers products that are distinctly its own.

PERSPECTIVE: By looking more broadly for production, HMidea can avoid issues plaguing China, with tariffs currently being the main issue but not the only challenge as the manufacturing region matures, while at the same time tapping fresh design inspiration and know how. Already, RTA producers have begun looking beyond China as they balance their risks in manufacturing there against the challenges of moving production elsewhere. HMidea wants to get ahead of the competition by looking at tapping new centers of production as an advantage and, to the extent it can develop distinct designs as a consequence, has a chance of giving consumers with more interest in home design something fresh enough to prompt some enthusiasm.

2020 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Rich Krause, Capital Brands

Jill Soltau, J.C. Penney

Marcelo Borges, Tramontina USA

Ross Patterson, Robinson Home

Dave Albert, Spectrum Brands

Christopher Banning, Meyer Corp. U.S.

Kris Malkoski, Arc Americas

Bryan Welsh, SodaStream U.S.

Todd Wanek, Ashley Furniture

Mike Otterman, Lodge

Mike Bauer, Libbey

Corie Barry, Best Buy

Lee Bird, At Home

Ryan Ross, Williams Sonoma

Mark Eichhorn, The Oneida Group

Ravi Saligram, Newell Brands

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Arthur Zambelli, Bradshaw Home

Mads Ryder, Lenox Corp.

Jay Jordan, Home Meridian