The August 19 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 14th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents 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 “People To Watch” 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.
Ross Patterson, Robinson Home Products, President
CREDENTIALS: Robinson Home Products appointed Ross Patterson president in 2016, with Jim Walsh remaining as the company’s CEO. At the time, Patterson had spent more than six years as director of business for the tabletop division at Robinson, which at that point, held the license for the Oneida consumer product categories in the U.S. including tabletop, flatware, cookware and bakeware. Patterson had come to Robinson when it acquired the Oneida license in 2009 and helped Robinson grow that business 40% in the tabletop category over that time. Prior to his time at Robinson and Oneida, Patterson had a decade-plus tenure in marketing at Waterford Wedgwood USA.
WHAT TO WATCH: Tasked with growing the business in various categories by leveraging the synergies of the company’s brands that include Oneida, Sunbeam, Chip Clip, Squish and Zing, Patterson has more recently been challenged to guide Robinson Home as it grows its business without the Oneida license. The company exited the Oneida tabletop business last year and has since moved ahead with a new business direction, corporate identity and a focus on launching and managing its own tabletop brands.
According to Walsh, Patterson has successfully led the rebuilding of Robinson with the launch of CraftKitchen, a housewares collection; Robinson, a premium flatware and dinnerware line; and Living by Robinson, a modern and stylish flatware line intended for more casual dining. “This channel specific branding is the foundation of the future strategy of the company,” he said.
With the new in-house brands, which honor the company’s heritage while representing its future, the company’s goal is to be more focused on who it is targeting. Robinson is also focused on working with its current roster of retail customers as part of an effort to offer them tableware collections that differ from mass merchants and e-commerce pure-plays.
PERSPECTIVE: “I am very excited about Robinson’s direction and look forward to further diversifying our approach in 2020. We have some new projects that will be revealed in 2020 that help Robinson gain incremental distribution and bring unique products to the marketplace,” said Patterson.
2020 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):