Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s, Beauty Buyer

The July 18 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 17th 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 18 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.

Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s, Beauty Buyer

Personal care vendors have praised Kohl’s as on trend and forward thinking when it comes to beauty category growth. Vendors noted the retailer’s recent decision to expand its beauty presence, beginning with fragrances, creams and skin care appliances. According to vendors, the expansion plan has created sales success in personal care.

In addition, one vendor noted that after the expansion, Kohl’s “then went looking for one of the adjacencies that would make sense to further expand their beauty foot print and hair tools was one of those categories.”

While the strategic move was a company wide effort, vendors recognized Sara Stuckert, a beauty buyer for Kohl’s, for her ongoing efforts to support the vendor and retailer relationship during the merchandising change.

“Sara is part of the team that is executing all of this, and it is an extremely successful win for the entire chain,” one vendor said.

With her efforts recognized by multiple vendors, Stuckert was chosen as a HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® 2016 Impact Merchant.

“She’s not saying it’s all me. She’s saying I have a team and they’re a good team and I have to make sure my vendors see all the members of the team and participate in as many programs as possible. That’s a very valuable leadership quality,” one vendor said.

“The company is very impressive because they are really building a fully integrated marketing and merchandising program. As far as I’m concerned they’re doing it right. They are showing that they are definitely increasing their share of market because of their presentation, their focus and their marketing program,” one vendor said.

2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):