Housewares suppliers new to the international arena or veteran sales executives wanting to grow their global business will benefit from IHA’s 2017 Global Forum, to be held Sept. 17-19 in Miami. Overviews by key housewares buyers and distributors covering India, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico and the United Kingdom along with sessions on critical international business issues and networking opportunities fill the agenda of the two-day annual meeting.
The Global Forum is sponsored by the International Business Council (IBC), a special interest group of International Housewares Association members dedicated to increasing their international business. It is open to IBC and non-IBC members, and sessions are geared toward both novice and experienced sales professionals.
For attendees new to the IBC or new to exporting, “IBC 101: International Essentials” on Sept. 17 will provide an overview of the international marketplace, including brief discussions on market selection, export mechanics, distribution models, international pricing and INCO terms. The one-hour session will be held before the opening night networking reception and dinner.
The main program opens on Sept. 18 with an Executive Education session, “International Negotiation Strategies” by Denis Leclerc, PhD, professor of cross cultural communications and global negotiations at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Leclerc will offer pragmatic strategies and tactics of negotiation, emphasizing that while the underlying aim of negotiation is to achieve favorable outcomes, the result should also be mutually satisfying to all parties involved. He will also address nuances of international negotiations, highlighting the need to break through social, cultural and language barriers to achieve favorable results.
Representatives from key retailers and distributors in India, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico and the United Kingdom will discuss their markets and explain their goals and strategies for working with housewares suppliers. The market overview/retail update sessions cover:
- United Kingdom—John Lewis Partnership. With 48 stores throughout the U.K. and an e-commerce business, John Lewis Partnership, along with sister retailer Waitrose supermarkets, garners annual sales over £11 bn. Anna Berry, head of Gifts, Cook and Dine, will discuss what makes this retailer a success and how they select product suppliers to add to its mix.
- Latin America—MercadoLibre and EPA. MercadoLibre, Latin America’s largest e-commerce retailer, was founded in 1999 in Argentina and rapidly expanded to Brazil, Mexico and other South American countries. Carlos Cernadas and Maximo Bach will explain how suppliers can benefit from listing products on their platform. Home center chain EPA has been operating for 25 years with stores in Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. Juan Francisco España, EPA CEO, will discuss the opportunities and challenges of working within these Latin American markets and what the retailer expects from suppliers looking to export to this network of hardware stores.
- India—Shoppers Stop. Vikram Chitnis, customer care associate & business head of the Home Division, will share his insights on the home and housewares market in India and best practices for supplying to Shoppers Stop.The retailer operates more than 75 lifestyle department stores, catering to the mid to premium-level consumer.
- Japan—Yuwa Group. Keiichi Kobayashi, CEO and president of Yuwa Group, along with James Karani of Yuwa’s International Agent Department, will offer insights into the complex Japanese housewares market. Using its 20 distribution centers throughout Japan, Yuwa supplies more than 100,000 items to its 200 Japanese customers with over 23,000 stores.
- Korea—Venta. A distributor of home appliances including Venta Air Washers and Vornado, Venta began selling home baking products in 1996, developing a baking culture within Korea. Kim Dae-Hyun of Venta will explain how the distributor focuses on branding by using creative making technique across all media channels.
- Mexico—Tendencias y Conceptos. With nearly 60 years of experience importing and distributing home and housewares products throughout Mexico, Tendencias y Conceptos has become an expert in the industry, developing a very strong network of retail clients, concentrating their distribution on key retailers including Liverpool, El Palacio de Hierro, Soriana, HEB Mexico and Walmart. Meir Mareyna will explain how this family-owned company has differentiated themselves from other distributors and their keys to success for three generations in the Mexican market.
The Global Forum registration fee includes the educational program, breakfasts, lunches, reception and dinners. For further information or to sign up for the Global Forum visit the website or contact Lori Szudarek at +1 847-692-0116.