Jeff Branz, Senior Category Manager, Wayfair

The July 13, 2020, issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 21st 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 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.

Jeff Branz, Senior Category Manager, Wayfair

The past few months have been exciting for Wayfair and Jeff Branz has been a critical part of the team that has helped the company meet customer needs for furniture during a period in the business when addressing their homes was very much an immediate consideration.

Branz, as a vendor described him, is a top-of-the-field merchant, and at a time when Wayfair had the advantage of a coronavirus-related surge in interest. He helped the company and his colleagues as they built on the opportunity circumstances afforded in demonstrating to consumers all that Wayfair could do for them in improving their homes.

As Wayfair representatives have shared with HomeWorld Business and Niraj Shah, company co-founder, co-chairman and CEO has announced publicly, Wayfair has seen a surge in sales, with some segments generating especially deep interest, including home office and outdoor furniture, yet also with pretty much the whole range of products the company offers getting more attention and delivering more revenue.

Branz has made an impression, the supplier said, with a transparent style of vendor management that makes working with him easy. Suppliers can count on him for quick turnaround and effective networking as he strives to drive key initiatives with the range of parties that need to contribute for successful outcomes. His positive attitude and partnership have prompted appreciation.

Branz joined Wayfair in mid-2018 and has made an impression. In doing so, and helping Wayfair make the most out of an extraordinary period in its history, he’s earned kudos as a 2020 Impact Merchant. —Mike Duff

2020 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):

Jay Cunningham, T.J. Maxx/Marshalls

Adam Gregory, Target

Karen Rapier, Walmart

Elena Weckerle, Ulta Beauty

Ryan Yarnell, Meijer

Deb Danielson, Target

Sarah Dipietro, Macy’s

Jeff Branz, Wayfair

Taylor Martinez, Costco

Rachel Tsupros, Wayfair

Korey Reed, Walmart

Susette Johnson, AAFES

Becky Blake, Walmart

Gretchen Dexter, Everything Kitchens

David LeClair, Staples