The July 23 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 19th 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 19 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.
LaToya Jackson, At Home, Furniture Buyer
When she started work as a merchandising coordinator for At Home 11 years ago, LaToya Jackson knew where she wanted to go. Jackson told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®that she had a five-year plan she realized a few months short of the deadline when At Home appointed her furniture buyer.
According to a vendor who works with her, reaching her goal was all to the good as he identified Jackson as a diligent buyer who follows up on the promises she makes and shoots straight with suppliers, while, at the same time, keeping a keen eye on industry trends. By following up on her suggestions, the vendor and At Home have been able to collaborate on dozens of new SKUs that have landed at stores as exclusive items for the retailer. Sell throughs on those items, the vendor stated, are near the top in their product segments, a consequence of the collaborative effort between the supplier and At Home.
Collaboration is an important factor in the market. Jackson said that the push to become faster to market is a critical factor in the current marketplace and one that At Home is emphasizing as fashion developments translate into the home furnishings market more quickly than they did in the past. At the same time, she remains focused on the value proposition At Home offers while simultaneously recognizing the eclectic nature of home fashion today. Given the circumstances, developing product assortments requires diversity of style at sharp prices. Delivery on those critical points, Jackson said, is key to serving the At Home customer.
“It’s always a collaborative effort,” she said.
2018 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Kirsten Quatromoni, HomeGoods
- Robert Wilburn, The Home Depot
- Dan Weiland, Menards
- Chris Etheridge, Conn’s
- Kevin Lubelczyk, Wayfair
- Cory Ellis, Kroger
- Kim Kimbriel, The Container Store
- Bill Nadel, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Becky Blake, Walmart
- Ashlee Cook, Ulta Beauty
- Amy Neuman, Kohl’s
- Michael Wolpert, Macy’s
- Harry Jacobs, HomeGoods
- LaToya Jackson, At Home
- Zoran Todorovic, Walmart
- Joe Hufford, J.L. Hufford
- Brittany Aluce, Kohl’s
- Allison McPartland, Wayfair
- Chris Gridley, DD’s Discounts