People to Watch in 2016:
Steven Temares

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 CredentialsA longtime Bed Bath & Beyond executive, Steven Temares, CEO, has been part of a core management group that took the retailer to and past a billion in sales over the course of the last 25 years, a significant feat. A graduate of Rutgers who went on to earn a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Temares has focused on life as a merchant and helped guide the retailer to predominance in the home goods specialty retail sector and, now to a position as an emerging multi-channel, multi-banner operator.

What To Watch: Bed Bath & Beyond has been transforming for several years, first with its acquisitions of Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon, which put it more deeply into value and seasonal furnishings and beauty care. Since then, the company has acquired, buybuy Baby and Cost Plus World Market and developed a new format, And That. 

The retailer only gradually warmed to e-commerce, as its priorities were driving more footsteps through its growing portfolio of namesake and acquired stores where its merchandising capabilities could drive sales. Today, however, rapid growth through store additions is more difficult, not only because the company has added so many stores but also because of the rise of e-commerce. 

To adjust, Bed Bath & Beyond has been heavily investing in technology. In the latest quarter, web-based and mobile sales were the driving force behind the company’s comparable store sales growth. The retailer has developed a fresh conception of its website, The Beyond Store, as it upgrades functions and analytics to make it a more effective sales vehicle. The retailer is also preparing a new concept store that will open in Brooklyn next year, combining its four store formats and The Beyond Store as a single entity to create a comprehensive omnichannel retail platform. 

Perspective: “We’re building this thing as a foundation to be successful in what we do for decades,” Temares said at the company’s annual meeting in July. “We’re looking at satisfying the customer and growing the business.”

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