The July 18 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 17th 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 18 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.
Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning, Senior Tabletop Buyer
Melissa Cameron, a 2016 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Impact Merchant in the tabletop category, has been touted as “the consummate professional” by her vendor partners.
This is the second time that Cameron has been selected. She was also an Impact Merchant in 2009.
Her buying career spans 28 years, with 25 of them being in tabletop exclusively. Cameron will mark 18 years with Tuesday Morning this November. Prior to Tuesday Morning, she was at NM Direct, the catalog division of Neiman Marcus. Prior to that, she was a buyer for nine years at Dillard’s, and seven years in the home area.
Her longevity in the home category brings her unparalleled knowledge of the tabletop category and an understanding of the unique nuances of the marketplace, said vendors.
She has a distinct focus over others who have frequently switched buying categories in their careers, said one vendor. In an SKU intensive category such as tableware, vendors said that Cameron understands the true value of what a product is worth, a talent that is gained from being a veteran buyer. Cameron is energetic and focused on growing the business, noted vendors.
“Cameron is how you wish every buyer would be,” praised another vendor. “She is experienced, confident in her decisions and responsive.” Partners have also praised her fair-mindedness and transparency. “She’s built great relationships from being straightforward,” said one vendor.
“When she gives her word, it happens. She knows the industry. She has great knowledge of what her competitors are doing and their prices. I wish more were like her as the industry would be much healthier,” said another vendor.
2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Bob Couch, Shopko
- Lance Allen, Home Depot
- Paul Casey, Groupon
- Melissa Gaeto, Sur La Table
- Michelle Rado, Costco
- Erica Price, Wayfair
- Joan Haney, Kroger
- Gregg Smith, The Cook’s Warehouse
- Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s
- Dallas Dobbs, Walmart
- Shawn Austin, Macy’s
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Chris Kutil, Bon-Ton
- Susan Cantalupo, Crate & Barrel
- Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Michael Beltrami, Cutlery And More
- John Gehre, H-E-B
- Diana Wilf, Gracious Home