Home-Housewares Industry Letter from Derek Miller

When Coronavirus first surfaced in late January of 2020, no one could ever have predicted that we’d still be having conversations about the virus more than two years later, but here we are.  Although we’ve been a bit beaten and battered at times, we are still standing together as an industry and supplying desired products to consumers throughout the world – housewares are often necessities and many times luxuries, and as the world worked from home, we were there to meet the consumer need.

Our industry is resilient, and after the past two years, we are no doubt ready to take on the many opportunities that 2022 will offer, and I look to the coming month as a turning point when we will once again be able to come together to discover new products and supply chains, to learn from industry peers and experts and to connect with current and new partners.

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Housewares Companies Look to Strengthen in 2022

The numerous headwinds facing the housewares industry will remain in 2022, and uncertainty remains. But after the pandemic’s second year, many housewares executives have found a way to manage those headwinds while also putting plans in motion to not only maintain their position, but build on it.

“Unpredictability felt like the new normal in 202l, and now we’re going through another unimaginable event with the Omicron variant,” says Yvette Laugier, managing director of Peugeot Saveurs North America, LLC, and chair of the International Housewares Association’s (IHA) Board of Directors. “But our industry has become more resilient, and we’ve learned to adapt quickly. Together we can face any challenge thrown at us.”

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Proposals For The Inspired Home Show Education Sessions

The International Housewares Association (IHA) is accepting topic proposals for education sessions during The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market. With a view on developing successful post-pandemic strategies, retailers, trend forecasters and marketers, intellectual property attorneys and designers, along with experts in branding, packaging and smart home and other crucial business topics, are invited to submit proposals for presentations in the Innovation Theater and Inventors Revue at the 2022 show. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2021.

The Inspired Home Show, formerly known as the International Home + Housewares Show, will be held March 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Complex. Along with the more than 1,600 exhibitors, the Show features world-class industry education to help attendees grow their businesses. Speakers for the Innovation Theater and Inventors Revue come from within and outside of the housewares industry.

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IHA Collaborates with Wayfair on Virtual Product Discovery Event

Connect WAYFAIR to offer IHA members opportunities to pitch retailer’s buyers

The International Housewares Association is collaborating with online retailer Wayfair to create Connect WAYFAIR, a virtual event bringing together IHA suppliers with Wayfair buyers. Scheduled for November 11, 2021, the event will provide an opportunity for IHA members not currently selling to Wayfair to pitch their new products to the rapidly growing, online home retailer, which has 31 million active customers, $14 billion in net revenue and more than 22 million live products on its website. The deadline to sign up is October 22, 2021.

“Wayfair is dedicated to its customer base and its ever-growing supplier partners, and continuously seeks out opportunities to increase its assortment of products,” says Derek Miller, IHA president. “We are pleased to be able to offer our members this opportunity to expand their retailer customer base and connect with Wayfair.”

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StoreBound’s Glenn DeStefano Elected to IHA Board Of Directors

Yvette Laugier Elected Chairman of the Board

Glenn DeStefano, president of StoreBound LLC, has been elected to the board of directors of the International Housewares Association (IHA), the full-service trade association for the housewares industry. His three-year term begins October 1, 2021 and ends September 30, 2024.

Also elected were new board officers:

  • Chairman – Yvette Laugier, managing director, Peugeot Saveurs North America, LLC
  • Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect – Steve Greenspon, CEO, Honey-Can-Do International LLC
  • Treasurer – Neal Asbury, president & CEO, The Legacy Companies

Retiring from the board is Howard “Chip” Steidle, Jr., president, John Ritzenthaler Co. Re-appointed for a second three-year term was Lisa Knierim, CEO, Creative Tops Inc.

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IHA’S CHESS To Hold In-Person Event in October

CHESS, the Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession, returns in 2021 with an in-person event October 5-6, 2021 in Rosemont, Ill. As consumers and the housewares industry continue to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, supply chain issues, post-pandemic growth strategies, changing consumer purchase behavior and new retail models are some of the topics facing suppliers that will be explored during CHESS 2021.

CHESS is the International Housewares Association’s 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 critical issues affecting housewares, including supply chain and tariff relief actions, the new retail environment and the consumer journey, workplace changes because of the coronavirus, brand marketing, retail trends and more.

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The Inspired Home Show 2021 Cancelled

As state restrictions prohibiting large gatherings remain in effect for the foreseeable future, and government travel restrictions continue to significantly impede domestic and international travel, the International Housewares Association’s Board of Directors have made the difficult but necessary decision that The Inspired Home Show 2021, scheduled to take place Aug. 7-10, 2021 at McCormick Place in Chicago, cannot proceed as planned.

“Over the last year, we have been closely watching the status of large events from a health and public safety perspective, and have consistently sought feedback from our industry about how travel restrictions and mass gathering bans have impacted their normal operations,” says Derek Miller, IHA president. “With the health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees top of mind, we realized that it is infeasible for The Inspired Home Show to proceed in August of 2021.”

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Peter Giannetti Joins IHA

The International Housewares Association announced today that Peter Giannetti will join the organization as director, editorial, content and education. In this role, Giannetti will oversee the development and delivery of industry-wide content and resources intended to inform, educate and inspire.

Giannetti joins IHA after serving for 14 years as editor-in-chief and 14 years before that as editor of HomeWorld Business, a leading print and digital B2B publication for the home and housewares business. He has covered the home and housewares industry since joining HomeWorld Business in 1990. Giannetti also served as vice president /publishing and editorial operations for ICD Publications, parent of HomeWorld Business and its sister publication, Gourmet Insider. Gourmet Insider ceased operations at the end of 2020, and HomeWorld Business recently announced it is closing operations at the end of February.

“Our industry has relied on Peter for decades to provide objective reporting and relevant insights that help drive business success, and that is exactly what he will continue to do at IHA,” says Derek Miller, president of IHA. “His deep expertise in home + housewares and his unparalleled ability to deliver timely and relevant news and content will benefit the entire industry.”

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