The July 23 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 19th 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 19 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.
Zoran Todorovic, Walmart, Senior Buyer, Storage and Organization
Similar to other housewares categories, storage and organization is transforming into a broader lifestyle category, one focused on bringing consumers a complete solution, based on how they live. It has become important for buyers in this category to stay abreast of trends and keep an open mind when working with vendors.
For these reasons, Zoran Todorovic, senior buyer, storage and organization at Walmart, has been selected as a 2018 Impact Merchant. Vendors in this category have recognized Todorovic for his thoughtful, engaged approach to his vendor relationships and the changing needs of the category.
“Todorovic has a good understanding of the market and works tirelessly to stay in tune with shifting variables, trends and behaviors. He has a laser-like focus on the customer and wants to delight the customer with an improved shopping experience,” said one vendor.
A pleasant, successful shopping experience is top of mind for retailers more than ever, especially in the wake of the popularity of e-commerce. A buyer’s relationship with suppliers is key to bringing that experience to life both in-store and online, and vendors recognized Todorovic for his omnichannel efforts in that regard.
“He asks good questions and listens. He puts forth a great effort to learn and understand from others with experience and always treats suppliers as partners and wants to create business relationships that deliver value for both parties,” said one vendor.
In addition, suppliers noted, Todorovic follows through on the commitments he makes and will not agree to a program unless he is confident that he can meet expectations for both the vendor and the retailer.
2018 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Kirsten Quatromoni, HomeGoods
- Robert Wilburn, The Home Depot
- Dan Weiland, Menards
- Chris Etheridge, Conn’s
- Kevin Lubelczyk, Wayfair
- Cory Ellis, Kroger
- Kim Kimbriel, The Container Store
- Bill Nadel, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Becky Blake, Walmart
- Ashlee Cook, Ulta Beauty
- Amy Neuman, Kohl’s
- Michael Wolpert, Macy’s
- Harry Jacobs, HomeGoods
- LaToya Jackson, At Home
- Zoran Todorovic, Walmart
- Joe Hufford, J.L. Hufford
- Brittany Aluce, Kohl’s
- Allison McPartland, Wayfair
- Chris Gridley, DD’s Discounts