Jennifer Cotreau, Wayfair, Category Manager

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.

Jennifer Cotreau, Wayfair, Category Manager

Characterized by a nominating vendor as among “the best category managers I have been able to work with,” Wayfair’s Jennifer Cotreau has earned the designation Impact Merchant.

Cotreau, the vendor added, has the ability to understand a supply partner’s value proposition, a capacity that resulted in its “tremendous” sales growth with Wayfair over the past several years.

Cotreau told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® that Wayfair recognizes its mission continues to be satisfying consumers in a marketplace where change is a constant.

“One of the most substantial developments I have witnessed in the home furnishings world over the last 12 months is the increase in consumer demand for faster delivery on large purchases for the home,” she said. “In today’s world, consumers are accustomed to receiving online orders within a week or less, and furniture is no longer exempt from this expectation. At Wayfair, we are breaking down barriers to provide an improved furniture delivery experience that consumers are hungry for.”

Going forward, she said, the Wayfair staff is focused on using technology to improve the customer experience.

“Integrating technological innovation into the world of furniture is going to be hugely beneficial for the industry,” Cotreau said. “As our daily lives increasingly move online, selecting furniture for our homes will be no different. By leveraging advanced 3D visualization tools and emerging technologies such as augmented reality, we can empower consumers to truly visualize a piece of furniture in their home before making the purchase, completely transforming the way our customers design and furnish their homes.”

2017 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):