The HomeWorld Players, our annual assembly of people to watch in housewares (August 20, 2018, issue), is always an eclectic group, highlighting the wide-ranging experience, talents and ideas that make up a business otherwise unified by common challenges and opportunities.
Whereas specialization can be an asset along the climb to chief decision-maker status in a company, being a true “Player” in today’s volatile, ever-morphing retail marketplace requires multi-dimensional skillsets and perspectives.
Vision in a tunnel may lock you into a specific objective. But today’s marketplace serves up a dizzyingly wide array of options demanding a clear, panoramic view of all possible pathways that may or may not lead to success.
With that, this year’s HomeWorld Players ultimately will be judged not just by what they have accomplished to reach their current positions of significance. Their final grades will apply more weight to the outcomes of their next moves, which no doubt will require the ability to juggle multiple tasks and the agility to adjust course sooner than later when the need arises.
The latest HomeWorld Players include veteran merchants in new assignments that could play key roles in renewing the vitality of brick-and-mortar retailing.
There’s an online pure-player working to build a viable growth alternative for a housewares business shackled by a certain company’s e-commerce dominance.
There are newly installed, recently promoted and established senior executives of veteran housewares companies tasked with reinventing longstanding business models and brands.
There’s a company namesake orchestrating a sweeping refresh of a venerable company name.
There are fledgling housewares entrepreneurs working for growing shares of mind and market by disrupting conventional wisdom and practice.
And there are executives overseeing dramatic evolution of the trade show and business-to-business marketplace.
Let me be the first to congratulate each of this year’s HomeWorld Players on their selection to this influential assembly of experience, talent and ideas. They’ll understand if we hold the applause for a while, though. Because they know there is still so much work to be done.
Remembering A True ‘Player’
While we’re on the subject of influential people, the HomeWorld Business team lost a leader, colleague and friend with the recent passing of Jay Schultz, longtime publisher and senior vp of our sister Hotel Business group.
Although some housewares companies that crossed into hospitality and food service knew Jay, most of our readers never had the honor of meeting and working with him. Jay’s creativity, integrity and irrepressible work ethic during his 26 years here, however, set an example for our entire company that is reflected in so much of what we do at HomeWorld Business.
And for that, Jay Schultz will forever be a true HomeWorld Player.