The August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent 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 Players 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, Bush Industries, President and CEO
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Mike Evans is a long-time Bush Industries executive who was named evp/marketing in 2008. In 2014, he and three other executives purchased Bush. At the time of the purchase, Evans was evp/business development, and he assumed the position of chief marketing officer. This year, the executive ownership group sold the company to Lorraine Capital. With the change of ownership, Evans became president and CEO of Bush Industries.
WHAT TO WATCH: Bush has adopted a growth model based on developing concept collections, getting feedback from retailers, launching the lines, then adding new items to those proving most popular. The company has made gains under that model, while at the same time updating its partnership with Kathy Ireland Worldwide and entering new product categories such as bedroom and office seating. Bush also has been capitalizing on emerging trends with adjustable height desks, as an extension of the company’s commercial and home office furniture businesses.
Expect Bush to continue pursuing its radial-style strategy as it explores new product segments. At the same time, look for it to refine and grow its online business as it leverages digital expertise. The company will continue to build from its manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. while continuing to refine its overseas sourcing operation to maintain growth and flexibility.
PERSPECTIVE: “Key opportunities for us include our initiative to expand our product portfolio through the addition of new collections and entering new product categories. We are strategically well aligned to capture growth related to the ongoing and significant shift in furniture shopping online. Key challenges we are facing include a shortage of qualified employees that allow us to grow our team so that we can expand both production and distribution capacity. We will continue to invest in people, systems and processes that further our ‘Easy, Fast and Affordable’ brand promise and related capabilities. We also continue to invest in our e-commerce sales and marketing capabilities. Finally, the China tariff situation could be a major concern if the levels are increased to the 25% level or greater,” said Evans.
2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Heshy Biegeleisen, Gourmia
- David Whitley, True Brands
- Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s
- Walter Lehneis, Groupe SEB USA
- Henry Liu, Cangshan Cutlery Company
- Darbie Angell, Darbie Angell
- Kevin Blossom, Spectrum Brands
- Mike Evans, Bush Industries
- Tom Neth, ThemoServ
- Jayme Smaldone, Mighty Mug
- Robert Wang, Instant Pot
- Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair
- Davide Sereni, Luigi Bormioli/Bormioli Rocco
- Kristi Forbes, Forty One Madison
- Jean-Philippe Peugeot, Peugeot Saveurs North America
- Michelle Gass, Kohl’s
- Bob Maricich, International Market Centers
- Lance Hood, Progressive International
- Kenneth Wilkes, Corelle Brands