People to Watch in 2016:
Cindy Morris

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 10th Annual “Players,” 20 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.

Player’s Credentials: Cindy Morris recently succeeded longtime Dallas Market Center’s chief Bill Winsor, who spearheaded DMC’s expansion for more than two decades and now serves as chairman emeritus. Morris joined DMC’s apparel marketing group in 1989, ascending to evp/marketing in 1992 before her promotion in 2002 to COO. She has overseen strategic growth across all key DMC gift and home furnishings categories, including significant new business initiatives, retail development programs and international partnerships in Europe and Asia. 

Morris takes the day-to-day helm as DMC escalates an initiative that began about five years ago to build and promote its gourmet housewares mix to expand its role as a primary marketplace and service provider for the independent kitchenware retail channel. 

What To Watch: The number of housewares lines at DMC is widening in rep showrooms and in vendor-dedicated permanent and temporary space; and kitchenware buyer attendance is increasing, Morris said. HTI Buying Group, an information/training consultant and group buying organizer for gourmet kitchenware retailers and their vendors, has held official member meetings at recent winter and summer Dallas Total Home & Gift Markets; and HTI is looking to expand its DMC programming, Morris said. DMC also will debut at its January 2016 market a 3,000-square-foot shared showroom for housewares vendors in the center’s Trade Mart.

Another recent initiative finds Morris, Winsor and the DMC team cultivating an alliance of independent kitchenware retailers that don’t compete geographically to exchange sales data and other performance metrics though a secure portal. Morris said this program has enabled DMC to extend its value to independent gourmet housewares retailers beyond its traditional mid-U.S. market core. “We’re giving these retailers a valuable, one-of-a-kind tool to help them understand and manage their businesses more effectively,” Morris said.

Perspective: “When you look at the Dallas Market Center, partnerships and relationships are a critical part of our success. That was the philosophy of our founder, Trammell Crow, and it remains the core of our culture,” said Morris. “Even though we are a theater of inspiration and commerce for buyers and sellers, our opportunity has evolved. We’re in a unique position to help our partners build business and increase margins by being a center of information exchange. That’s the future of the marketplace: It goes beyond just bringing buyers and sellers together to buy and sell product.”  

2016 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):