Power Players: Will Symonds

Will SymondsWill Symonds
How was business for you for the first half of the year?

“Business for DKB Household continues to be very robust in the USA and we are strongly ahead of plan and last year.”

What’s your prediction for the rest of the year?

“We expect more of the same growth for the remainder of the year. DKB has some very exciting new programs and distribution gains through the second half of the year.”

What is the biggest challenge facing the housewares industry?

“From a vendor perspective, many of our traditional retail partners are struggling with their own business models due to competition from the web or from discounters. Those vendors who are not well aligned with the right retail partners will find it difficult to grow strongly.”

How has online changed how you look at your business strategy?

“Online has enabled us to find more ways to talk with the many consumers who value what our brands have to offer. It has also given us more opportunities to partner with our key retailers in developing multi-channel strategies for key product and category initiatives.”

How is your company embracing technology?

“DKB has an in-house digital marketing team which aims to offer all our retailers a full suite of digital content for their own websites including video, multi-context images and search-engine optimized copy. Zyliss and Cole & Mason brands both have direct to consumer websites and we use social media extensively to connect with our consumer base. However, bricks and mortar is still the most important retail format for the categories DKB is active in, so we continue to put a lot of emphasis on good packaging, store staff training and pos merchandising toolkits.”

What categories are the strongest for you?

“Zyliss is seen as a leader in kitchen tools and gadgets. Our products are designed to delight and the value proposition is resonating strongly with consumers and retailers currently, leading to double-digit sales growth in the past year. Cole & Mason now has by far the highest brand awareness amongst USA consumers in the seasoning category and continues to deliver robust growth for our retailers.”

What is the one thing your industry should be doing more of?

“Finding ways to help consumers be healthy and fulfilled whilst balancing increasingly busy lives.”

What is the one thing your industry should stop doing right now?

“The housewares industry is fantastic and I feel very lucky to be a part of it. All of us should to continue to look forward and realize that the economy will never be the same as it was 10 years ago and that we need to balance trying to repeat what has worked for us in the past with constantly finding innovative new ways of being relevant to customers and consumers in the future.”

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?

“I love spending time with my wife and two young kids. I travel extensively all over the world with them, and I compete in triathlons whenever I can.”

Duke RatliffDuke Ratliff | Editor-in-Chief

Duke Ratliff, the editor-in-chief of HFN, has reported on the home furnishings industry since 1993. He oversees HFN’s print edition and online coverage of the retail industry, as well as trends in furniture and lighting, mattresses, tabletop, housewares, floor covering and textiles. He enjoys traveling to numerous domestic—and occasionally, international—trade shows. He feels that the perfect combination of a great product and a creative, attention-getting marketing plan is a thing of beauty. He lives in Westchester County, N.Y., with his wife, two children, two dogs, five chickens, two finches, three lizards and a five-foot-long corn snake.


Current Issue

  • HFN May digital issue


    May 2017

    COVER STORY: HFN Turns 90

    We commemorate HFN's 90th anniversary by paying tribute to the iconic retailer and supplier brands--and the people--that have helped the industry flourish, then and now.


    • Up & Coming Leaders - The home industry is in capable and visionary hands as this year’s 40 Under 40 list attests. Today’s young leaders span all disciplines and varied levels of operation.
    • Omnichannel Retailing - In the Mobile App World, Time is Money