blog: news + information from “the home authority”

CHESS 2014 Examines the “Consumer Path to Purchase”

September 16th, 2014

The consumer’s path to purchase has grown from simply shopping at brick and mortar stores to surfing online retailers, buying direct from manufacturer websites or visiting a store to see a product then finding the best deal online. Industry experts and senior housewares executives will explore what navigating this omni-channel retailing means to housewares suppliers during the 2014 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), Oct. 7-8 in Rosemont, Ill.

CHESS is the strategic and networking event for industry leaders. It is designed for chief officers of all IHA member companies and their top decision-makers, and features sessions on design and innovation, digital commerce, social media, capital acquisition, retail trends and more. The early discounted registration fee of $500 has been extended to Sept. 15.

The program opens Oct. 7 with a keynote session featuring a blue-ribbon panel of housewares CEOs exploring the “Housewares Hot-Seat: Securing Your Place Along the Purchase Path.” Moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business, the panel will include Richard Boynton, president, Jura Inc; AJ Khubani, president/CEO, TeleBrands Corp.; Brian Melzer, president, Epoca International Inc.; and Jay Zilinskas, managing director, Meyer Corporation. Among the topics to be addressed are how to win more favorable in-store and digital commerce positions; deploying impactful, cost-effective media campaigns and optimizing alternative channels of distribution.

Other first-day sessions include:

  • “The Path to Purchase—The Big Picture,” by Tony Chapman, founder/CEO of the ad agency Capital C, TV personality and marketing thought-leader. A wave of disruptive change is rendering conventional marketing strategy obsolete: retail is saturated, media is fragmented, clicks are overrunning the bricks and working dollars have to work harder. Chapman sees an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs who have the courage to disrupt this disruption.
  • “Design/Innovation: Leveraging the Maker Movement” featuring three presentations by design experts: “The Designer’s Perspective” by Walter Herbst, product designer and professor at Northwestern University; “Bringing New Product to Market” by Paul Rowan, co-founder of Umbra; and “The Maker Entrepreneur” by Joanne Domeniconi, co-founder and chief discovery officer at The Grommet.
  • “The Secret Sauce of Modern Retail: It’s Physical With Digital” by Helaine Suval, president, Suval Consultants; former EVP/GMM, and a member of the Lenox Board of Directors. According to Suval, 90 percent of all retail sales are still transacted in stores and 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick and mortar presence. That’s a staggering statistic given the number of online retailers and Amazon’s influence, but it shows that shoppers actually find physical stores appealing—very appealing.

Day 2 opens with a keynote presentation by Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and best-selling author. In his talk, “Inspired Leadership Through Challenging Times,” Greitens, an expert on how to lead organizations through hardship and challenging times, will explain how through all of his experiences he has seen that the most successful leaders do more than endure challenges, they embrace them. All attendees will receive an autographed copy of his bestseller, “The Heart and the Fist.”

“Social Media: Influencing the Consumer Path to Purchase” will feature presentations by three social media experts. Katy Lynch of SocialKaty/Manifest Digital, will explore “Engaging the Consumer Through Social Media Marketing”; Steven Kydd of the YouTube network, Tastemade, will explain “Reaching the Consumer Through YouTube”; and Kathleen Henson, CEO of Henson Consulting, will address “Developing a Consumer Marketing Strategy—What IHA is Doing to Support the Housewares Industry.”

A panel of financial experts will explore the critical elements of a business growth plan in “So You Don’t Want to Sell Your Business: How Do You Get the Capital to Grow It?” Moderated by Linda Graebner, executive chairman of Chef’n Corporation, this panel will feature Katie Fitzgerald, CircleUp Network, Inc.; Ted Koenig, Monroe Capital LLC; Bruce Lubin, The Private Bank; and Jon Lucas, CIT Commercial Services.

Closing out CHESS 2014 will be Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, who will explore how to balance new approaches to conventional channels without losing the edge on digital initiatives in his presentation, “The New Retail Landscape: Reaching the Omni-Channel Shopper.”

Networking breaks, luncheons and a cocktail reception and dinner also provide time for attendees to network and meet informally with speakers, industry service providers and their colleagues—the most valuable part of the program according to past participants.

To register for CHESS or for more information, visit the CHESS website at or contact Judy Colitz of IHA at

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Brazil’s Booming Internet Retailing

September 15th, 2014

by Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator

Digital businesses are investing in Latin America’s rapidly evolving B2C retailing, according to the September 2014 issue of Internet Retailer, published by Chicago-based Vertical Web Media, LLC. The magazine maps internet retail’s growth in Latin America and describes how web merchants spend heavily and think creatively to overcome obstacles in Brazil’s e-commerce market.

Internet Retailer profiles the top e-commerce markets in Latin America and spotlights the region’s largest economy. Brazilian e-retailers claimed 65.2% of Latin America’s web sales in 2013. A compound annual growth rate of 20.09% is expected to more than double sales from US $15 billion in 2013 to US $31.2 billion in 2017. Similarly, the number of online shoppers is projected to expand 13% annually from 30.9 million in 2013 to reach 50.3 million in 2017.

The article presents information and forecasts from sources such as Latin American web marketplace operator MercadoLibre, Inc., which began its online shopping portal in 1999, Forrester Research, Euromonitor and the World Bank. A strong middle class with steady household incomes, increased spending online and growing internet access attracts merchants to invest in e-commerce now. They see the next two to three years as their prime opportunity to build market share, especially among the growing number of consumers with smartphones and access to the mobile web. The online shopper in Brazil is becoming more mass market, with middle-and lower-income consumers now shifting their spending online and online sales expanding outside of the major cities.

Brazil’s online merchants of all sizes face significant challenges in logistics and communication. The national highway system is poorly developed and there are no large private carriers such as FedEx or UPS to manage deliveries nationwide. Internet connectivity can be spotty and slow and many of Brazil’s rural areas don’t have web access.

B2W Digital, Latin America’s largest online retailer, in aiming to build its own infrastructure so that it will eventually be able to offer overnight nationwide delivery, acquired developers of e-commerce systems and search applications as well as a logistics and fulfillment company. Some web merchants establish their own delivery systems; companies offering fulfillment services are emerging. Brazil is Amazon’s fastest-growing foreign market; by learning how consumers shop online, Amazon is crafting its growth strategy. By year end, will have grown from 10,000 SKUs in 2008 to more than 2 million SKUs, its inventory propelled by a marketplace opened on the website in 2013 that allows outside merchants to sell their goods. Walmart is also expanding its fulfillment center network around the country.

As strong brands stake their territories, the e-commerce landscape in Brazil will soon look very different than it does today. Read the full article about how Brazil is shaping online market dynamics in Latin America

IBC members have access to several Key Retailer and Distributor Reports focusing on Brazilian and other Latin American companies as well as a presentation delivered at the 2014 Global Forum by Brazilian retailer Etna and a presentation delivered at the 2013 Global Forum by Brazilian distributor Dellar. This information is available in the IBC Members Only section at:

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Industry Update from the Japan DIY Industry Association

August 18th, 2014


Information provided by the Japan DIY Industry Association shows remarkable development in the sales and number of DIY stores/home centers in Japan since the first DIY store was opened in the country over 40 years ago. There are now over 4,500 DIY stores/home centers in Japan, the annual general proceeds reaching 3.97 trillion yen.

Home centers have expanded throughout Japan to the point that they are indispensable for consumers in every region. There are showing signs of an upturn in the economy, but retailers in the home center industry are still facing an uphill battle against market saturation caused by an increased number of home center stores. However, on the other hand, the interest by women in recent years in DIY, hand-made goods, and general craftsmanship is on the rise, and the promotion of home centers through TV and magazines as a home ground of hand-made is leading to increasing interest in DIY and home centers, with this trend forecasted to continue into the foreseeable future.

The key industry event for the DIY industry in Japan, JAPAN DIY HOMECENTER SHOW is an annual event organized by the Japan DIY Industry Association. Held under close cooperation between the member companies of the association from three different sectors of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, the show is the most significant event to share information in the Japanese DIY/home center industry.

Established in 1978, JAPAN DIY HOMECENTER SHOW is proudly celebrating its 50th edition in 2014. The Show last year, 2013, featured 412 exhibitors from Japan and overseas presenting in 925 booths and hosted 86,000 visitors.

The 2014 Japan DIY Homecenter Show takes place at the MAKUHARI MESSE Hall in Chiba, Japan, on August 28-30.

For more information on the show, see the show’s website at

Japan DIY Market 2013

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Housewares Exports to the UK Market

August 15th, 2014

Report and analysis by: Laura Spingola, Trade Resources Ltd.

The United Kingdom represents a special market for U.S. housewares exporters. Ranking third among global markets for U.S. housewares exporters, many IHA members are active in the UK, yet many more new-to-export and experienced exporters should make “go/no-go” decisions about this important and inviting single market area. As you know, the IHA is planning a Trade Mission to the UK from November 9-14.

Current export data shown below illustrates steady demand that grew 1.1% in the past year to nearly $122 million. Bakeware, cookware and personal care segments increased between 7.5% and 43.9% while household electrics, space organizers and tabletop dipped 7.3% to 27.7% from 2012. The UK ranked near the top of global markets in all categories.

The actual trends for one and two-years follow respectively: Bakeware +7.5% and +17.2%; Cookware +13.5% and +24.6%; Household Electrics -27.7% and -14.6%; Personal Care +43.9% and +24.7%; Space Organizers -8.8% and -23.9%; and Tabletop -7.3% and +10.8%. These results are anticipated to improve as consumers continue to recover from the recession and the pound strengthens.


As previously mentioned in a global context, UK ranks third behind only Canada and Mexico in importing U.S. housewares. Thus, the UK is the largest export market in Western Europe. It represents nearly 3% of the U.S.’ export market share.

UK Chart 2 - US Housewares Top 5 Export Markets

UK Chart 3 - US Housewares Top 5 West European Markets









Some relevant market characteristics are: 1) The UK is a friendly, receptive market that is English-speaking and appreciates U.S. innovation and branding. 2) With a population of nearly 64 million dispersed across a small and highly developed geographic area; it is relatively easy to plan distribution. 3) British consumers appreciate unique U.S. goods and have ample spending power of over $37,000 in terms of GDP per capita. 4) Nearly 20 retailers account for over 60% of sales in the UK. 5) Being savvy and having a good range of retail options from which to choose, purchase decisions maybe made based on price sensitivity. 6) Increased internet usage ranks 7th attests to consumer sophistication.

And, as pertains to international markets in general, there are distinctions to be recognized and adapted to. For example, use of special occasion china and tendency to barbecue may not be as prevalent as in the U.S.

What are qualified opportunities in the market? In 2013, demand in the UK was highest in the following export classifications by product category:


HS 3924100002 – Tableware and Kitchenware of Plastics

HS 7323930010 – Stainless Steel Cooking and Kitchenware

HS 7013490000 – Other Table or Kitchen Glassware nesoi


HS 7323930010 – Stainless Steel Cooking and Kitchenware

HS 7013490000 – Other Table or Kitchen Glassware nesoi

HS 7323990000 – Household Articles/Parts nesoi, Not Enameled, Not Cast Steel, Not Stainless

Household Electrics

HS 8509400020 – Electric Food Mixers including Blenders, Domestic

HS 8516604000 – Electric Cooking Stoves, Ranges & Ovens, Domestic

HS 8509805091 – Electromechanical Domestic Appliances, nesoi

Personal Care

HS 9019102000 – Mechano-Therapy Appliances & Massage Apparatus, Parts

HS 8510200000 – Electric Hair Clippers

HS 8516320000 – Electrothermic Hair Dressing Apparatus, nesoi

Space Organizers

HS 3924100002 – Tableware and Kitchenware of Plastics

HS 3924905500 – Household Articles & Toilet Articles of Plastics, nesoi

HS 4202927000 – Containers nesoi with Outer Surface Plastic/Textile Materials


HS 3924100002 – Tableware and Kitchenware of Plastics

HS 7013490000 – Other Table or Kitchen Glassware nesoi

HS 8205510000 – Household Tools and Parts Thereof, Base Metal

The UK is often the starting point for new exporters to become engaged in international markets, and a launch into other European markets on the continent. Data confirms the UK as a viable and vibrant market for U.S. housewares exporters that deserves long-term commitment. Take advantage of this qualified opportunity for establishing business success and furthering friendly relations!

Report and analysis by: Laura Spingola, Trade Resources Ltd., Chicago, IL

+1.312.939.5030 /

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Global Retail News: Costco, Sainsbury, Walmart, Auchan, Carrefour

August 14th, 2014

Costco hits the spot in Seville 

Last month, US-based Costco opened its first unit on continental Europe in Seville, Spain. The warehouse club retailer has proven sufficiently adventurous to venture into the country at a time when Spain is experiencing the nascent twitches of recovery following six years of the worst economic crisis in decades.

Source: Planet Retail

Sainsbury’s turns discounter
In a surprise move, Sainsbury’s has today unveiled a joint venture with Danish counterpart Dansk Supermarked, which will bring the latter’s Netto discount banner back to UK shores for the first time since it sold out to Asda in 2010. 

Source: Planet Retail

WALMART India preps online B2B operation

Walmart India is to launch wholesale e-commerce operations in Hyderabad and Lucknow next month before expanding to other cities where it has a physical presence by early 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Source: Planet Retail

AUCHAN Vietnam and India

As has been heavily hinted at for over a year now, Auchan is finally entering the Vietnamese market. In May last year, the French retailer met the Vietnamese Minister of Planning & Investment, and stated that Auchan intended to USD500 million over the next 10 years in the country.

However, as of August 13, 2014, the French retail giant is set to exit India, calling time on its two-year agreement with Landmark Group, which is probably the strongest signal yet that multinational retailers have lost patience with the market – or, more specifically, those who dictate how the market operates and who should be allowed to participate in it.

Source: Planet Retail

Mexico April Retail Sales: Grocery Catching Up to Department Stores, Walmex Hanging On

The Mexican Retail Association (ANTAD) published same-store sales growth for the month of April, with a consolidated 2.4% YoY growth. April was positively impacted by the Easter shift, which analysts estimate adds about 300 bps to Same Store Sales  growth for grocery, but is not as relevant for department stores. Total Sales grew 6.8%. These results are major improvements over March when SSS fell 2.4% and overall sales grew just 2%.

Source: RNG RetailNetGroup

Carrefour India

On July 7, 2014, Carrefour announced  its intention to close its five cash & carry outlets in India, ending its four-year presence in the country. The closure of Carrefour’s business in India will be completed by the end of September 2014.

Source: Planet Retail

Walmart’s Plans in India 

Walmart is to take over exiting Carrefour stores in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.  The readymade stores would give time advantage of 18 months to Walmart. Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president of corporate affairs at Walmart, said: “Our planning team is diligently progressing on our growth strategy, as announced earlier, for opening an additional 50 cash and carry stores in the next four to five years in the country.”

Source: TradeBriefs Retail


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