The upcoming presidential election, a changing retail environment, aging consumers and global economic distress are presenting challenging times for the housewares industry. Experts in politics, retail, economics, marketing and supply chain logistics will offer insight into these issues as they explore “Navigating Transitional Times…Through Political, Economic and Cultural Shifts” during the 2016 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), Oct. 6-7 in Rosemont, Illinois.
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 critical issues affecting housewares, including politics, global economics, retail, omni-channel fulfillment, marketing to an aging population and protecting your supply chain.
The program includes two keynote sessions. Political pundit Charlie Cook will preview the elections in his keynote session, “Where is Our Country Headed?” on Oct. 6. For more than two decades, Cook has been Washington’s most trusted—and most accurate—voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of a congressional, gubernatorial or presidential election. He will share his insights on the 2016 political season and offer an insider’s perspective on how we got here, who will prevail in both national and state elections and how those results may impact the business world. Cook frequently appears on the ABC, CBS and NBC network morning and evening news programs as well as Meet the Press and Nightline, and since 1994 has been an election night analyst on CNN, CBS and NBC.
On Oct. 7, Dana Telsey, retail analyst, CEO and chief research officer at Telsey Advisory Group, returns to CHESS to examine “The Future of Retail: Implications for the Housewares Industry.” In this keynote session, Telsey and her partner, Joe Feldman, will build upon their 2015 CHESS presentation, offering a view into the future direction of both brick and mortar and online retail. Telsey is a regular guest analyst on CNN and CNBC and has also appeared on Wall Street Week, ABC News, The NBC Evening News and The Today Show.
CHESS opens on Oct. 6 with the annual blue-ribbon panel of housewares CEOs moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business and Gourmet Insider. Joining Giannetti on “Housewares Hot-Seat: Navigating Through Unprecedented Change” will be William Endres, president, Select Brands; Peter Felsenthal, CEO, Whitmor; Melissa Kieling, CEO, PackIt; and Dan Siegel, president, Lifetime Brands. Issues the panel will discuss include product development and marketing realignment, sourcing and distribution recalibration and operational reprioritization.
The afternoon will feature a global economic outlook by Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group. Baumohl will address topics including the effect China has on global manufacturing and potential reshoring issues, the impact of Free Trade on keeping the U.S. competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the impact of the upcoming presidential election on the economy and how it may change after a new president is in office.
The second day of CHESS opens with Telsey’s keynote followed by Scott M. Sanders exploring “Protecting Your Value in the Supply Chain: Techniques for Avoiding your Customers/Factories Going Direct.” In this presentation, Sanders, who is founding partner of the firm Sanders & Montalto, LLP, will address essential contract terms U.S. companies need in negotiations with foreign concerns, highlight the challenges with contractual agreements with companies from Asia, and explore the international law implications of contracting with companies from particular Asian countries.
Marketing to an aging consumer is the focus of Peter Hubbell’s presentation, “Getting Better With Age: How Business Can Win Big in the Age of Aging.” Hubbell, founder and CEO of Boomagers, an advertising agency dedicated to understanding aging consumers, will share his intensively researched perspectives on boomers, millennials and what kind of consumer millennials are and will become. After his presentation, Hubbell will sign complimentary copies of his book, “Getting Better With Age” for attendees.
Closing out CHESS will be a panel on “The Future of Omni-Channel Fulfillment.” Led by Rick Blasgen, president & CEO, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and Dan Coll, vice president of retail logistics, FedEx Genco, this session will present the latest update on the state of logistics in the U.S., including trends in costs and free delivery. A panel of supply chain experts will address issues including tips on finding talented new hires, Department of Transportation initiatives and the new hybrid fulfillment model of insourcing and outsourcing.
During the conference, networking breaks, luncheons and a cocktail reception and dinner 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.