Power Player: Rob Kay
July 31, 2015,
What is the biggest challenge facing your industry this year?
The biggest challenge is the pace of change from both a marketing and retailing perspective. It has accelerated and is occurring faster than the industry has experienced in decades. Companies need to adapt to these changes in how products are marketed and in what channels they are sold.
What’s your prediction for the rest of the year?
We are optimistic about the prospects for the rest of year. We have had many meaningful dialogues with our customers regarding working jointly on bringing the appropriate product assortment to provide for growth in our categories and we are enthusiastic as these assortments are offered to the consumer.
How has online changed how you view your business strategy?
Online has had a meaningful impact on our business strategy. It impacts both how we market our products to the consumer and how we sell our products into the e-commerce channel.
The biggest consumer trend right now is an enhanced focus on healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. As a company whose products focus on providing tools and measurement devices that allow the consumer to easily prepare meals with fresh food, provide portion control and track body metrics, we facilitate healthy eating and healthy lifestyles and we continue to focus on these trends.
How is your company embracing technology?
We embrace technology within the workplace and within our products. Within the workplace, we operate our company out of several locations and technology allows us to collaborate effectively in this framework. On the product side, we continuously look at whether it is appropriate to introduce technology into our products. In the past year, we have introduced three suites of “wired” products that have built in wireless capability and utilize an app to store and share data. These products include The Taylor Smart Scale, the Taylor Smart Temp kitchen thermometer and a Taylor/Springfield wireless outdoor weather station.
What is the one thing your industry should do more of?
Our industry should be focused on developing original innovative products. I think there are too many players in the industry that focus on developing lower cost versions of other people’s ideas.
What categories are the strongest for your company?
Across the kitchen category, we play in most products. As a result of the depth of our product offering and brands, we are experiencing strong demand and growth in this area.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
I spend all my free time with my family as I am away from them often as we continue to build Taylor into a powerful and leading-edge housewares company.
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Many expected 2016 would be a banner year, but the political and economic climate softened consumer confidence. It was also a year consumers spent more lavishly on home remodeling rather than decorating.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
- TJX Unveils First U.S. Homesense Store - In a time when retailers are reducing store counts, TJX continues to get physical.
- Ikea’s Fluid Spaces - The retailer’s new intros reflect multifunctional rooms.
- N.Y. Home Fashions Market Preview - Textile textures get soft and cozy, colors warmer.