People to Watch in 2016:
Darrin Johnston

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: Darrin Johnston started with Meyer 18 years ago as an entry-level account executive in the company’s sales department. However, he has come a long way since then. Johnston climbed within the organization and by 2014, he was the svp/sales, a position that was created for him. By 2015, Johnston was named to the post of managing director of the company and is now in charge of the U.S. and Latin American divisions.

What To Watch: With the recent paradigm shift in housewares, one that includes the increasing influence of the Internet on purchases, Johnston will have to navigate a changing retail channel that, he said, will require a significant investment in asset support in the coming years.

“The relationship between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail will continue to evolve, requiring us to be more diligent than ever in reviewing and adjusting our brand distribution and positioning strategies,” Johnston said.

In his new role, Johnston will also be at the helm as the Millennial consumer comes to the forefront and begins making major purchases. “They have immense amounts of information at their finger tips and will be the most educated consumers the market has ever experienced. Speed will be the key to engaging this consumer, motivated by immediate gratification,” he said.

Johnston noted that he plans to continue building the portfolio of brands that the company has been known for. “By continuing to focus long-term on how to expand that brand portfolio but also stay focused on growing the portfolio that we have, it’s going to give us a lot of options and the ability to move and shift the right ways as the market evolves,” he noted.

Perspective: “As a company that has built its business on managing a significant brand portfolio, we are working very hard to insure we protect and maintain the value statement behind each of our brands. This is extremely important to the current and future health of our organization as well as our retail partners,” Johnston said.

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