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.
Shawn Austin, Macy’s, EVP/GMM, Home Store
Currently the evp/gmm Home Store for Macy’s, Shawn Austin is a seasoned housewares professional who is responsible for directing a team in assortment planning, store and site merchandising, marketing, retail forecasting and more.
Characterized by vendors as hardworking with a deep knowledge and understanding of his customer base, Austin started with Macy’s in 1997 and spent almost four years as a buyer for various categories, including decorative housewares, lighting, RTA furniture, flatware, dinnerware, cookware, cutlery, gadgets, bakeware and luggage. He then left Macy’s for Linens ‘N Things, where he worked as a buyer in the cookware, bakeware and cutlery segments. Austin was previously named an Impact Merchant in 2003 while working for Linens ‘N Things.
He returned to Macy’s in 2003 as dvp/food prep category. He ascended up the ranks, working for the Macy’s Home Store division for four years as a vp, and as the dmm of several different product categories. In 2014, he was named svp/gmm center core at Macys.com and in 2015 was appointed omni evp/gmm Home Store.
Austin was instrumental in the renovation of the brand’s housewares and tabletop department in its flagship Herald Square store in New York. The department was re-organized, concentrated to one floor and placed alongside bridal to capitalize on registries while making the department easier to shop for consumers. The launch also featured a Le Creuset shop and an area dedicated to the department store’s 360-degree approach to coffee.
Most recently, Austin was involved with coordinating Macy’s Home launch with talk show host Kelly Ripa.
2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Bob Couch, Shopko
- Lance Allen, Home Depot
- Paul Casey, Groupon
- Melissa Gaeto, Sur La Table
- Michelle Rado, Costco
- Erica Price, Wayfair
- Joan Haney, Kroger
- Gregg Smith, The Cook’s Warehouse
- Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s
- Dallas Dobbs, Walmart
- Shawn Austin, Macy’s
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Chris Kutil, Bon-Ton
- Susan Cantalupo, Crate & Barrel
- Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Michael Beltrami, Cutlery And More
- John Gehre, H-E-B
- Diana Wilf, Gracious Home