Harding Brothers Retail has doubled the size of its Buying and Merchandising Department over the last year with the latest additions of Tim Horton as Liquor and Tobacco Buyer and Joanne Coleman as Fragrances &
Horton joins Hardings with the specific brief to introduce and develop space planning within the business, after working for B&Q, Somerfield and – most recently – New Look, the up and coming women's retail chain in the UK.
Coleman is also no stranger to travel retail, with three years with World Duty Free from 2005-2008 and spells with Superdrug, The Body Shop and, latterly, Niclas.
Harding Brothers says it remains confident of achieving sustained growth in 2010, despite ongoing difficult trading conditions and Horton and Coleman are joining what it describes as 'a powerful team' that also includes Fashion Buyer Hilda Gilham. She has joined Harding Brothers with a strong background in premium branded retail including Hoopers, Liberty of London, and Burlington Socks, along with Logo & Souvenir Buyer Helen Lees. Her buying career including spells with UK retailers Somerfield and New Look and extensive prior experience of sourcing in the Far East. All four are based at the company's UK headquarters in Bristol.
The team is completed by Keith Bacon, Merchandise Manager USA, who heads up all Harding Brothers' merchandise issues in the Americas, including its Trunk Show Program. Bacon joined Harding Brothers in 2009, bringing combined knowledge and experience of both global duty free/travel retail (Allders International and Dunhill) and the specifics of American purchasing patterns.
The company says that these appointments reflect Harding Brothers' continued growth in the cruiseship business and its commitment to providing operators with 'the ultimate in bespoke onboard retail services'.
Commenting on he appointments, Harding Brothers Director of Buying Trevor Moore said: ‘2009 was, against the backdrop of a difficult trading environment in all of our areas of operation, another year of robust growth for the company, including launching eight ships. We will be bringing another eight ships into the marketplace in 2010 with further growth already locked in for 2011. Increasing the quality and magnitude of our merchandise function is a central building block in our organisation's development.’
Meanwhile, in other moves, Dave Whitmey will be taking the organisational lead in implementing and managing the new Enterprise Resource Planning system which Moore describes as 'the single most important development in Harding Brothers' recent history as we strive towards delivering a world leading service to our customers and passengers alike.'