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Change Your View

I’m often asked to address challenges and opportunities facing the housewares business.

During a recent presentation to independent kitchenware retailers in Atlanta, I wore my other hat as editor-in-chief of GOURMET INSIDER® sister publication HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®, which covers the full spectrum of housewares retailing.

Under the theme of “Housewares In The Headlines,” I highlighted and interpreted some of the previous year’s biggest news stories as reported by HomeWorld Business.

The aim was to widen the scope of how independent store owners, often forced to see things in a tunnel of their immediate needs, view industry developments that might not initially seem to have a direct influence on their operations.

Did they contemplate, for example, that while their first inclination might be to delight in the struggles of Bed Bath & Beyond and other big-box competitors, store owners might want to consider that a stronger all-around retail base reinforces the industry on which they depend?

Did they consider what could be gleaned from the changes implemented by Target stores to recharge its omnichannel experience and warrant selection as the 2019 HomeWorld Business Retailer of the Year?

Did they look closely at the details of HomeWorld’s Top 100 Housewares Retailers list to see which retailers are rising in the ranking, which retailers are falling and, more importantly, why?

Did they study last year’s trends in the mass housewares retail market to get a better read of how chain and online retailers are grabbing share of mind and dollars from prospective gourmet kitchenware store shoppers?

Running a small business, there is so much to do right in front of you and not enough time to step away and look around.

Wider awareness and deeper analysis of how the broader retail landscape is evolving — and how other businesses big and small are adapting — has never been more urgent.

A narrower, day-to-day view of business priorities is understandable in a marketplace where the battle against Amazon has consumed so much of storeowners’ attention.

But there is much more to see — some of it good, some of it bad, all of it potentially helpful in giving independent retailers the breadth of information and insight needed to manage and adapt their businesses.

A veteran storeowner approached me after my presentation in Atlanta to thank me for offering perspective on industry developments that he hadn’t much considered…but will now.

The next business-growing or business-saving inspiration might come from where you expect it most, perhaps during a show or a supplier meeting or a customer exchange.

It also might come from where you haven’t been looking. A local clothing shop. Financial news on national retailers. The aisle of your fiercest competitor. A lifestyle blogger. An overheard comment in line at the bank.

Or the headlines of an industry magazine.

Widening your scope can change your view.



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