The consumer’s path to purchase has grown from simply shopping at brick and mortar stores to surfing online retailers, buying direct from manufacturer websites or visiting a store to see a product then finding the best deal online. Industry experts and senior housewares executives will explore what navigating this omni-channel retailing means to housewares suppliers during the 2014 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), Oct. 7-8 in Rosemont, Ill.
CHESS is the 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 design and innovation, digital commerce, social media, capital acquisition, retail trends and more. The early discounted registration fee of $500 has been extended to Sept. 15.
The program opens Oct. 7 with a keynote session featuring a blue-ribbon panel of housewares CEOs exploring the “Housewares Hot-Seat: Securing Your Place Along the Purchase Path.” Moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business, the panel will include Richard Boynton, president, Jura Inc; AJ Khubani, president/CEO, TeleBrands Corp.; Brian Melzer, president, Epoca International Inc.; and Jay Zilinskas, managing director, Meyer Corporation. Among the topics to be addressed are how to win more favorable in-store and digital commerce positions; deploying impactful, cost-effective media campaigns and optimizing alternative channels of distribution.
Other first-day sessions include:
- “The Path to Purchase—The Big Picture,” by Tony Chapman, founder/CEO of the ad agency Capital C, TV personality and marketing thought-leader. A wave of disruptive change is rendering conventional marketing strategy obsolete: retail is saturated, media is fragmented, clicks are overrunning the bricks and working dollars have to work harder. Chapman sees an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs who have the courage to disrupt this disruption.
- “Design/Innovation: Leveraging the Maker Movement” featuring three presentations by design experts: “The Designer’s Perspective” by Walter Herbst, product designer and professor at Northwestern University; “Bringing New Product to Market” by Paul Rowan, co-founder of Umbra; and “The Maker Entrepreneur” by Joanne Domeniconi, co-founder and chief discovery officer at The Grommet.
- “The Secret Sauce of Modern Retail: It’s Physical With Digital” by Helaine Suval, president, Suval Consultants; former EVP/GMM, Macys.com and a member of the Lenox Board of Directors. According to Suval, 90 percent of all retail sales are still transacted in stores and 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick and mortar presence. That’s a staggering statistic given the number of online retailers and Amazon’s influence, but it shows that shoppers actually find physical stores appealing—very appealing.
Day 2 opens with a keynote presentation by Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and best-selling author. In his talk, “Inspired Leadership Through Challenging Times,” Greitens, an expert on how to lead organizations through hardship and challenging times, will explain how through all of his experiences he has seen that the most successful leaders do more than endure challenges, they embrace them. All attendees will receive an autographed copy of his bestseller, “The Heart and the Fist.”
“Social Media: Influencing the Consumer Path to Purchase” will feature presentations by three social media experts. Katy Lynch of SocialKaty/Manifest Digital, will explore “Engaging the Consumer Through Social Media Marketing”; Steven Kydd of the YouTube network, Tastemade, will explain “Reaching the Consumer Through YouTube”; and Kathleen Henson, CEO of Henson Consulting, will address “Developing a Consumer Marketing Strategy—What IHA is Doing to Support the Housewares Industry.”
A panel of financial experts will explore the critical elements of a business growth plan in “So You Don’t Want to Sell Your Business: How Do You Get the Capital to Grow It?” Moderated by Linda Graebner, executive chairman of Chef’n Corporation, this panel will feature Katie Fitzgerald, CircleUp Network, Inc.; Ted Koenig, Monroe Capital LLC; Bruce Lubin, The Private Bank; and Jon Lucas, CIT Commercial Services.
Closing out CHESS 2014 will be Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, who will explore how to balance new approaches to conventional channels without losing the edge on digital initiatives in his presentation, “The New Retail Landscape: Reaching the Omni-Channel Shopper.”
Networking breaks, luncheons and a cocktail reception and dinner also provide time for attendees to network and meet informally with speakers, industry service providers and their colleagues—the most valuable part of the program according to past participants.