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.
Michael Wolpert, Macy’s, Omni-Buyer, Cookware
According to housewares industry vendors, Michael Wolpert’s understanding of the Macy’s customer has helped to name him a HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® 2018 Impact Merchant.
With Macy’s for more than 10 years after joining the company in June 2008, Wolpert worked his way from a buying trainee to a buyer in men’s clothing. He made his way up the ladder and was charged with buying for men’s furnishings and sleepwear, men’s accessories and gifts, men’s active and Levi’s, but settled into the cookware buyer position in May 2016.
Wolpert, said a vendor, is a “smart, talented negotiator who understands the Macy’s customer and develops the products and programs which have helped drive successful sales in his current role.”
Vendors noted that cookware has been thriving at Macy’s recently, and many credit Wolpert’s decisions on product assortment as one of the major reasons the category is seeing success at the department store. In addition, he is said to provide clear communication on what product, pricepoints and programs he is looking to develop for the store’s customer base.
“He has very transparent communication and an open vision,” said one housewares manufacturer. “He is also constantly looking to continue innovating new products based on trends, but also reinventing successful past programs that can bring additional products to the customer and drive incremental business.”
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