Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush

Bestar Bush people to watch 2021

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 15th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld “People To Watch” are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush, President and CEO

CREDENTIALS: Mike Evans has enjoyed a long career at ready-to-assemble furniture maker Bush Industries during which time he assumed multiple executive roles including supervising the company’s product leadership and global sourcing, and business development functions. In 2014, he and three other Bush executives purchased the company, at which time Evans became chief marketing officer. In 2018, the group sold the company to Lorraine Capital and Evans became Bush president and CEO. Early this year, Bush was acquired by Novacap, a Canadian private equity firm, through its portfolio company Bestar, an RTA furniture manufacturer with plants in Quebec. Evans then became president and CEO of Bestar-Bush.

WHAT TO WATCH: Bestar-Bush continues consolidating its various functions while at the same time responding to demand for its furniture prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers doing more at home, including office furniture but also in other product segments. The company has been working hard to simply keep pace with demand. At the same time, the company is building out product segments that it has been entering over the past couple of years from office seating to fireplace furniture. And the company is building off of and refreshing best-selling lines to continually extend market success, all of which means that Bush will push hard to gain traction across its expanding product portfolio going forward.

PERSPECTIVE: “Bestar-Bush is having another fantastic year with continued significant growth across all categories with a recent surge in sales in the home office category,” said Evans. “Year to date, we have added more new products in the first six months of 2020 versus 2019 as a whole. Along with new product, we are continuing to drive our category expansion plans with several exciting new introductions in universal storage, bathroom collections and a modular entryway program. Our biggest hurdle is ramping up domestic and import inventories to keep up with demand and replenish our inventory base. As a direct result, we are hiring over 100 new employees for our facilities in Jamestown and Quebec to meet our production needs. We are continuing the integration of our two companies and have begun cross-selling products between the portfolio of brands. Over the next 12 months, we will be merging our distribution network to improve efficiencies and delivery dates. We will also be focusing on key acquisition opportunities that will drive our portfolio growth more quickly.” —Mike Duff

2021 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Janet Hayes, Crate & Barrel Holdings

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Samantha Rose, GIR (Get It Right)

Jay Zilinskas, Legacy Companies

Ed Vlacich, Lasko Holdings

Ben Gadbois, Corelle Brands

Joana McKenna, Walker Edison

Andreas Hansen, Plum

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s

Chris McDonough, Corkcicle

Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond

Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush

Greg Cairo, Le Creuset of America

Pamela Stafford, Hestan Culinary

Bob Maricich, International Market Centers

Mark Rosenzweig and Mark Barrocas, SharkNinja