Sunipa Kreuzer, Crate & Barrel, Senior Merchant, Kitchen

The July 22 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 20th 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.

Sunipa Kreuzer, Crate & Barrel, Senior Merchant, Kitchen

A combination of creativity and analytical prowess has made Sunipa Kreuzer successful in her role as senior merchant, kitchen, at Crate & Barrel, vendors said. Additionally, her attention to detail and positive attitude has influenced vendors to nominate her for a spot on the 2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants list.

Kreuzer graduated from The Wharton School of Business with a degree in marketing in management in 2000, followed shortly after by an MBA in management and organizations, and marketing management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School Of Management.

She joined Target’s buying team in 2008 and by 2010 was immersed in housewares as the brand’s senior buyer for kitchen tools, gadgets and cutlery. During this time, she managed a $250 million business, across 650 SKUs from more than 30 vendor partners. She also worked with a combination of national and owned brands.

After more than three years in that position, she joined PepsiCo as the senior brand manager of premium innovation. There, she led innovation and strategic development for brands in the premium portfolio. Some of her key tasks included identifying incoming product and wellness trends; understanding target consumer needs; working closely with research and development; and gauging retailer interest in product concept fit.

From there, she was named the replenishment lead at Walmart, specializing in Apple products, and then joined Crate & Barrel in 2017 as a buyer for kitchen. She was named the company’s senior merchant for kitchen in April of 2019.

2019 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):

Debbie Hom, Pottery Barn

Cindy Koller Villari, Macy’s

Wendy Altamura, Wegmans

Deb Danielson, Target

Desirae Montgomery, Costco

Sunipa Kreuzer, Crate & Barrel

Adam Gregory, Target

Mark Callahan, QVC

Angela Skogen, Cooks On Main

Brandi Stone, H-E-B

Chrissie Puchta, Wayfair

Carolyn Feuer, Office Depot

Steven D’Iorio, HomeGoods

Jeremy Couey, Walmart

Czarina Tse, CVS

Kristin Bates-Ashton, Costco

John Jansen, Southeastern Grocers

Dan Willman, Best Buy

Leah Postema, Meijer

Gillian McDonald, BJ’s Wholesale Club