Housewares Industry Rises to Challenges of Pandemic Year

Focus on supply chain management, a truly omni-channel marketplace and changing consumer wants/needs (for now)

If there was one universal lesson from 2020, it was the importance of being adaptable. This was, after all, the year when a pandemic quickly took over the world – complete with retail and manufacturing shutdowns, combined with unprecedented demand for housewares and home goods. As housewares executives reflect on the past year and outline their goals for 2021, there’s consensus that even the best-laid plans need to be ready to change.

“Change is inevitable,” says Bill Endres, president of Select Brands and chairman of the International Housewares Association’s (IHA) Board of Directors. “It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, where you live, or anything else … how we embrace that change and how we address that change is what brings success.”

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January Message From FEIBP President

Andrew McIlroy

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year and all the best for a prosperous 2021. I trust you all enjoyed a good Christmas break, under whatever restricted conditions there were in your respective countries.

2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Some areas of our industry were particularly hard-hit by national restrictions and a large drop-off in demand back in spring 2020. Since the summer, our industry did manage to recover somewhat, and the remainder of the year was certainly better for the majority of our members. We, therefore, go into 2021 with hopefully a more optimistic outlook for our businesses, even though the next few months will see restrictions continue for all of us, especially regarding travel and contact with others.

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Summary of the EU-UK Brexit Agreement

The European Commission reached an agreement on December 24, 2020, with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen says, “It was worth fighting for this deal because we now have a fair and balanced agreement with the UK, which will protect our European interests, ensure fair competition, and provide much-needed predictability for our fishing communities. Finally, we can leave Brexit behind us and look to the future. Europe is now moving on.”

The European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, says, “We have now come to the end of a very intensive four-year period, particularly over the past nine months, during which we negotiated the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU and a brand new partnership, which we have finally agreed today. The protection of our interests has been front and center throughout these negotiations and I am pleased that we have managed to do so. It is now for the European Parliament and the Council to have their say on this agreement.”

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Jones Strengthens Operations and HR Teams

In a year that has been challenging for all businesses, Jones Family of Companies has continued to thrive and progress. Along with the recent acquisition of Rontex America and the opening of a new office in Richmond, Virginia, Jones is improving its Operations and Human Resources teams across all facilities by bringing on even more highly skilled employees. The most recent additions to the Jones family are Pranil Vora as Manager of Quality Engineering and Performance Improvement, in Morristown, Tennessee; Alex Webster as Plant Operations Manager in Humboldt, Tennessee; and Kassey Cruz as HR Generalist and Operations Recruiter in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Tanis Incorporated Acquired By Private Investor

Scott Tanis (left) Chuck Tanis (right)

On December 23, 2020, Scott Tanis sold Tanis Incorporated to private investor Nick Mallinger. Tanin Incorporate was started by Scott and his late father, Chuck Tanis, 33 years ago and has grown during that time to include three manufacturing facilities and 121 employees. Tanis provides industrial and medical customers a complete line of brush configurations for surface conditioning, sealing, materials movement, cleaning and many other applications.

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