The gourmet housewares channel has been changing rapidly during the last few years. While customer experience and consumer purchasing preferences have seen major changes, something that has affected the industry internally has been succession planning and the next generation.
Several insiders have expressed concerns during the last two years that the industry is still figuring out who is replacing aging store owners, while some have simply asked, “who is next in line for us?” However, there have been several younger people stepping in to own and manage gourmet housewares stores, while others who were once considered newbies in the industry are stepping up into mentorship roles.
GOURMET INSIDER® recently had the opportunity to visit Angela Skogen at her store, Cooks On Main, located in Williston, ND. The 2018 All-Star said that she sees the younger generation beginning to take the reins, however, many of them need to look to the past generations in order to be successful.
“For the people who are aging out of our industry, we can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done to really set the bar and set what our industry will really build upon during the next ten to 15 years,” Skogen said.
She explained that as younger people are beginning to come into the industry – whether they are changing careers mid-way through or just starting out – looking to the older generation for support is where they will be able to find the answers to some of the most challenging industry questions.
“Really honor the past [the industry]has been in and you really have to trust those valued partners who have experience,” she said. “But, don’t be afraid to push the envelope into the new century.”
Whether it’s digital marketing, social media, online sales or other opportunities coming down the pipeline in the future, Skogen said combining old school know-how with new school thought processes could be a win-win.
“You really have to embrace the change and be willing to make changes really quickly,” Skogen said.