Key retailers and distributors from across the world are set to share export strategies, insights and opportunities during the International Housewares Association’s 2023 IBC Global Forum, October 3-4 in Rosemont, IL.
The two-day meeting at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel will provide education and strategic insights on topics including market entry, product development and marketing strategies.
The meeting will spotlight housewares buyers and distributors covering Canada, China, Eastern Africa, India, Ireland, Latin America, Spain & Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
The Global Forum is sponsored by the International Business Council (IBC), a special interest group of International Housewares Association members dedicated to increasing international business. The meeting is open to IBC and non-IBC members, and sessions are geared toward novice and experienced sales professionals. This year’s meeting is being held concurrently with the Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), IHA’s annual senior-level conference for industry leaders.
The speaker lineup includes two major retailers in the Americas: Canadian Tire and Sodimac. Canadian Tire’s Carolyn McPhearson, vice president, merchandising, Living Division, will discuss the retailer’s strategies for purchasing home and housewares products based on consumer preference and the best practices for selling to this key Canadian retailer with more than 500 outlets in Canada.
Sodimac is a home improvement retailer with a presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Sodimac has six different store formats: Sodimac Homecenter, Sodimac Constructor, Imperial, Homy, Dicico and Maestro. Sodimac’s Patricia Barreiro, GMM, home decor, and Melissa Garza Cantu, GMM, housewares, Mexico, will discuss the nuances of the Latin American market, Sodimac’s purchasing strategies and what makes an ideal Sodimac supplier.
Other Global Forum sessions include:
- Key Retailer Overview: United Hardware — United Hardware is the leading buying and marketing group for builders’ merchants, DIY and home & garden retail stores. Headquartered in Dublin, the group operates from a 140,000-sq-ft purpose-built warehouse, which helps achieve its objective to deliver enhanced purchasing power, marketing, logistics and business advisory support to its independent retailers. Paul Candon, CEO, will discuss how suppliers can work with his group.
- North American Housewares Market Trends: Identifying Opportunities for Growth in Canada & Mexico — Circana executives Renee Badiola, director, Mexico home, and Pam Wood, executive director, Circana Canada, will provide a focused view of the opportunities for growth in Canada and Mexico, drawing on data from the $4 trillion-plus in global consumer spending. Circana is the market research and analytics company created by the merger of The NPD Group and IRI. This session will help identify indicators of where home and housewares consumers and retailers are focusing and the growth trajectory in these two key North American markets.
- Key Market Overview: India — Born out of a manufacturing business, thinKitchen serves as the sole distributor in India for renowned home and housewares brands. Anand Baldawa, CEO, will present how, through a multi-channel approach, his company has availed access to premium international kitchenware and homewares products throughout the market.
- Key Market Overview: Spain & Portugal — Based in Barcelona, Indòmit, sources global brands and distributes products within the home and housewares markets in Spain and Portugal. Marta Papasseit, CFO, and Jordi Balius, CCO, will offer an overview of their markets, including demographics and sales volume while examining market trends and retailer dynamics in such channels as department stores, key home and housewares chains, HORECA, online, mass merchants and independent retailers.
- Key Market Overview: East Africa —Vitu Zote is a thriving omnichannel retailer and distributor known for its exceptional products and customer-centric approach. Founded in 2014, Vituzote.com is a specialty housewares website that pioneered the e-commerce landscape and housewares market in the region. Beginning with a focus on bakeware, the business rapidly expanded its product range and now trades in a wide array of home and garden categories and has established a physical presence in several prestigious top-tier shopping malls across Kenya. Aaron Thou, managing director, will present best practices for the markets in Eastern Africa, highlighting opportunities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
- Key Market Overview: China — LivingKitchen, a division of EUROIDEA Group, specializes in curating distinctive collections of premier, western brands, imported to China in kitchenware, tableware and small appliances. Lin Guo, vice president, Beijing, LivingKitchen Group, will discuss the company’s physical stores and website and how suppliers can work with this distributor/retailer.
IHA’s global offices and representatives, comprising more than 25 key markets, will also offer insights into their key markets. Each IHA global office and representative will highlight the top five opportunities awaiting members in their respective markets. Primary markets include Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Middle East and the UK.
To register or for more information on the Global Forum program and speakers, visit https://www.housewares.org/exec-networking/ibc-global-forum/.