Rachel Tsupros, Senior Category Manager, Tabletop, Wayfair

The July 13, 2020, issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 21st 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 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.

Rachel Tsupros, Senior Category Manager, Tabletop

As the housewares industry collectively navigated the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, the relationship between vendor and retailer was more critical than ever. Buyers that were able to step in and help vendors navigate the uncertainty became a welcomed partner. Rachel Tsupros, senior category manager, tabletop, at Wayfair is one of those partners and for that, she has been named a 2020 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS Impact Merchant.

In the early stages of the pandemic, as consumers were instructed to shelter in place, Wayfair noticed an uptick in online sales. With many consumers finding Wayfair for the first time, online buying presented a unique opportunity for the retailer.

The tabletop category especially emerged as an area of interest as consumers were eager to present their home cooked meals in special ways for their families and on social media. Vendors in the category said they have appreciated Tsupros’ creativity and business acumen during that time and to date, showing compassion for her vendors and at the same time pushing them to do their very best for her consumers.

Tsupros previously worked as an assistant buyer at American Eagle, as well as an associate buyer at Dick’s Sporting Goods. She made the move to Wayfair in August of 2018 and has since earned a reputation as a valued collaborator.

Tabletop vendors that have worked with Tsupros have said that during the COVID crisis, she has been a focused and strong business partner. She has worked collaboratively with vendors to manage the surge in near-term demand, while focusing on establishing a foundation for future growth. —Lauren DeBellis

2020 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):

Jay Cunningham, T.J. Maxx/Marshalls

Adam Gregory, Target

Karen Rapier, Walmart

Elena Weckerle, Ulta Beauty

Ryan Yarnell, Meijer

Deb Danielson, Target

Sarah Dipietro, Macy’s

Jeff Branz, Wayfair

Taylor Martinez, Costco

Rachel Tsupros, Wayfair

Korey Reed, Walmart

Susette Johnson, AAFES

Becky Blake, Walmart

Gretchen Dexter, Everything Kitchens

David LeClair, Staples