ROSEMONT, Ill. (July 27, 2023)—Overstock executives will discuss the company’s relaunch of Bed Bath & Beyond during the keynote session at the International Housewares Association’s 2023 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS) Oct. 3 & 4 in Rosemont, Ill.
Overstock completed its strategic transformation to a 100% furniture and home furnishings e-retailer in 2022. With a strong business model but a name that didn’t reflect its focus on home, Overstock saw a unique opportunity in acquiring the Bed Bath & Beyond brand after the retailer filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. As a result of the acquisition, Overstock rebranded under the Bed Bath & Beyond name, a widely recognized and admired banner synonymous with home. In this special keynote, Overstock leadership will offer attendees an update on its home-centric transformation, the relaunch of Bed Bath & Beyond and what’s ahead for the leading furniture and home furnishings company.
CHESS is IHA’s 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. After so much pivoting to adapt to a string of challenges—a pandemic, supply chain disruption, a sales slowdown, inflation, retail bankruptcies and more—the home and housewares business has emerged as a business transformed. This year’s theme, “Transforming the Home + Housewares Business” will showcase strategic perspectives across several critical topics and issues that underscore the new ground rules for success in today’s changed marketplace. Sessions will present actionable insights to encourage the next wave of change for the home and housewares business, demonstrating how truly successful transformation never stops; it is a fluid process that rewards constant evaluation and adaptation.
CHESS 2023 kicks off with the annual Housewares Hot Seat featuring key industry leaders. This year’s panel will examine how companies are identifying and executing brand and product diversification opportunities to optimize market reach, value to customers and growth prospects. Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomePage News, will moderate.
Other Day 1 sessions include:
- IHA Government Affairs Update with Craig Brightup, CEO, The Brightup Group and Rafe Morrissey, president, Morrissey Strategic Partners.
- Solving the Regulatory Compliance Puzzle—This panel discussion will examine surging regulatory compliance topics impacting the housewares business, including PFAS chemicals, California Prop 65 and Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Moderator: Craig Brightup, The Brightup Group. Panelists: Fran Groesbeck, managing director, Cookware & Bakeware Alliance; Thomas Lee, partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
- Retail Repositioning to Identify Growth Opportunities—Executives from Circana, the market research and analytics company created by the merger of The NPD Group and IRI, will provide a complete view of the consumer by looking at the $4 trillion-plus in global consumer spending to help identify indicators of where consumers and retailers are heading and to pinpoint growth opportunities for home and housewares. Don Unser, president, Thought Leadership, Circana; Joe Derochowski, vice president and home industry advisor, Circana
- Taking Control of Consumer Reviews—This discussion with Laura Kegley, chief revenue officer, North America, Revuze, and David Rapps, president, Wholescale, will examine how to make consumer reviews a more influential component of housewares marketing strategies. Learn the importance of generating more reviews from purchases across all sales channels and how to harvest directional insights from what consumers are saying about you and your competitors.
Day 2 of CHESS opens with the session Critical Perspective of ESG: Benefits and Burdens of an Evolving Standard. ESG, an acronym for Environmental, Social and Governance, is a three-pillar framework for measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of a company’s operations. As a growing component of how companies are evaluated by certain sectors of lending institutions and investors, ESG has become a flashpoint for debate across industries. In the balance, the cost and time consumption of addressing ESG considerations versus the potential reward of successful execution. In his presentation, Tom Mirabile, founder of Springboard Futures and IHA’s consumer trend analyst, will lay out the viewpoints from all sides of the topic while illuminating consumer perspectives on key issues crucial to determining a supplier’s position and strategic initiatives on this growing concern.
Other Day 2 sessions include:
- Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Trade Agreement Update with Rafe Morrissey, Morrissey Strategic Partners.
- Mastering Disruption: Funding Strategies for a Post-Pandemic World—Because housewares is an industry that relies on stable sources of working capital to fund its operations and growth, it is important to understand the significant shifts that have occurred in the lending markets since 2020 that, in the wake of the Silicon Valley and Signature Bank collapses, are continuing to evolve today. A global pandemic, government subsidies, supply chain influences, regulatory failures and economic fluctuations have all played a role in influencing the availability of sources of business financing. A panel of secured finance experts will unpack these events, providing data and insights to help suppliers understand what this means to their business today and going forward. Moderator: Richard Gumbrecht, CEO, Secured Finance Network (SFNet). Panelists: Jenn Palmer, CEO, JPalmer Collective, and Brian Martin, regional manager, CIT Commercial Services.
- Grading the Housewares Retail Credit Climate— Gauging retailer credit risk is a mounting challenge in the post-pandemic housewares marketplace, which has seen some high-profile retail bankruptcies while some others confront ongoing financial uncertainty. Scott Friedman, chief credit officer of Pulse Ratings, will provide an overview of the retail business and its debt risk before taking a deep dive into credit factors affecting some key retailers.
- Artificial Intelligence/Chat GPT: The Opportunity Is Real & Now—Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots powered by generative pre-trained transformers (GPT) are transforming the way businesses communicate and interact with their customers. These technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to create personalized, engaging and efficient experiences for their adopters. However, they also pose significant risks and challenges, such as being overly reliant on AI, losing human touch or falling for hype and false claims. In this executive leadership Q&A moderated by Aaron Conant co-founder and chief digital strategist at BWG Connect, Jordan Brannon, president and COO of Coalition Technologies, will share his insights and expertise on how to leverage AI and chatbots for business success while avoiding the pitfalls and perils of these emerging tools.
CHESS is sponsored by Secured Finance Network, Krunchbox, AdAdvance and Monk Tree Partners. It will be held at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare. Again this year, CHESS will run concurrently with the International Business Council’s Global Forum, an annual meeting for a special interest group of IHA members dedicated to global marketing and sales. Attendees of both programs will be able to network during breaks and dinner, enhancing their interaction with colleagues.
To register for CHESS 2023 or for more information on the program, go to https://www.housewares.org/exec-networking/chess/
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to attend CHESS or the IBC Global Forum, please contact Debbie Teschke.
The International Housewares Association is the 85-year-old voice of the housewares industry. The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market (TheInspiredHomeShow.com), and offers its 1,300 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy; export assistance; industry and consumer trends through the IHA Market Watch Report; executive management peer groups; group buying discounts on business solutions services; direct-to-consumer engagement through TheInspiredHome.com; and an independent news and information platform through HomePageNews.com.