Natalia Goncalves, BrandsMart, Senior Buyer, Housewares

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.

Natalia Goncalves, BrandsMart, Senior Buyer, Housewares

With the current era of retailing dominated by e-commerce giants and national brick-and-mortar chains, regional retailers at times operate in the shadows but nonetheless enjoy success and a high degree of customer loyalty.

The challenge for the regional chains is to find a way to differentiate from their big box brethren while simultaneously meet the needs of its customers.

One such retailer is BrandsMart, and small electrics vendors said Natalia Goncalves, the chain’s senior buyer for housewares, is an important part of the retailer’s merchandising team as she manages the chain’s small electrics assortment.

Product suppliers that nominated Goncalves as a 2017 Impact Merchant said she is a merchant who is fair and also knows her business very well. Vendors also laud Goncalves, who has been with BrandsMart for nearly seven years, as having an accomplished track record and has demonstrated continued growth during her time with the regional retailer. She is also viewed as a team player and a strong communicator with strong negotiating skills.

This skill set comes in handy for Goncalves at BrandsMart, which carries an assortment of kitchen electrics that is both broad and deep.

Regularly, the Florida-based retailer, which has seven locations in the Sunshine State and two locations in the Atlanta metropolitan area, advertises an array of small electrics that range in price from less than $10 to more than $200. Managing that type of assortment is challenging, but vendors noted that Goncalves’ strong command of her shoppers’ needs allows her to find the right products.

2017 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):