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.
Paul Casey, Groupon, Category Manager
Since joining Groupon in the spring of 2015, retail veteran Paul Casey has utilized his experience in business and vendor relationships to develop the online retailer’s small electrics assortment.
“Groupon Goods has evolved immensely in just the short time I’ve been here,” he said. “We have many great processes in place now.”
That evolution along with a product mix that includes a host of well known national brands are key reasons for Casey’s selection as a 2016 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Impact Merchant.
Casey is no stranger to electrics suppliers, having spent time at Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Bed Bath & Beyond. He feels his base of knowledge was helpful in establishing parameters with the e-tailer’s assortment and his ability to plan, market and manage vendors.
The switch to online retailing also came with an adjustment period for Casey, noting a “new level of speed” when compared to traditional store retailing.
“I can meet with a vendor one day and have live product going a week later,” he said. “While this is exciting and integral to our success, it takes some time to understand how to manage an assortment when deals and opportunities are minute by minute.”
Casey said the key to growing a successful small electrics assortment at Groupon is working to keep the mix fresh. He feels it’s important to take a two-fold approach: offering his customers high-volume traffic drivers along with a better/best mix of products.
“We are going to give those options, but we’re going to give the best deal and back it up with the best guarantee,” he said. “I’m here to offer an assortment, but I’m offering her an amazing deal and experience so that she keeps coming back to Groupon first.”
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