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.
Liz Anderson, Sam’s Club, Assistant Buyer, Kitchen Electrics
When asked to choose her greatest strength as a retail merchant, Liz Anderson, assistant buyer with Sam’s Club, said, “It’s my ability to have clear communication and be open with my suppliers. I have expectations about quality and value and I don’t want them wondering what I am thinking.”
That straightforward approach was one of many reasons mentioned by product vendors who nominated Anderson as a 2017 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Impact Merchant. Small electrics vendors noted that she is clear in her direction, but also a fair business partner.
Maintaining clear lines of communication with her vendors has not only allowed Anderson to be successful, but has also proved to be a benefit to consumers shopping at Sam’s Club.
“The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that our members see a value in the items we carry,” she said. “They pay to walk in the door and when we’re able to provide them with products they see as a good value, I know that my negotiations are not going to waste.”
Her strong communication skills also prove to be an asset internally as well. Anderson said she continually speaks with store personnel and receives feedback from Sam’s associates who work directly with customers and have a clear understanding of their needs.
“Being in constant contact with the stores gives us an advantage and allows us to meet the needs of our members that rely on us to provide them the products they need,” she 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