Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair

Wayfair Ryan_GilchristThe August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th annual “Players,” 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.

Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair, Director, Category Management, Housewares

PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Gilchrist came to Wayfair from Bain & Co. where he was a consultant, manager and, finally, principal. Prior to that, Gilchrist served as an officer in the United States Marine Corp. A Naval Academy graduate, he got his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

WHAT TO WATCH: Gilchrist is charged with making Wayfair a major player in the housewares business where it has operated for some time but in a low-key manner as growth has focused on home furnishings. The e-tailer has been pursuing housewares initiatives to broaden its selection and develop more dedicated presentations while promoting itself as a go-to source for housewares. The company will continue leveraging its technology and delivery capabilities while also building on supplier partnerships in housewares.

As part of a push in the industry launched around this year’s International Home + Housewares Show, Wayfair introduced initiatives to give it more visual and collection-specific merchandising elements including a Mix ‘n’ Match tabletop tool with Fiesta. At the same time, the company developed technology to allow shoppers to bundle products for a set price.

Look for Wayfair to leverage its technology to provide more unique offerings to consumers that it can build off and expand as they prove successful. Gilchrist assured HomeWorld Businessthat the housewares category will be 75% online in 10 years and that Wayfair believes its offering will be disruptive.

PERSPECTIVE: “We continue to remain focused on creating the best possible shopping experience for home. That means helping our customers quickly and easily find just what they’re looking for among millions of options, offering inspiring merchandising to help them visualize items in their home, or on their table, plus fast delivery, and excellent service along the way. The shift to mobile is here, and thinking mobile first is more critical than ever. We’ve had this approach for a long time and we’re constantly thinking about new ways to engage with our customers. In addition, the Wayfair Registry continues to introduce our vast offering to newly-engaged couples and Millennials,” said Gilchrist.

2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):