Brian Thomson

Brian Thomson

Work History

Work History
Mar 2004 - Jul 2008

General Manager

Windsor Detroit Tunnel Duty Free Inc.

North America's premier privately-owned travel retail facility featuring luxury goods and traditional Duty Free products located at Canada’s busiest border crossing.

·Oversaw a team of 6 Managers and Buyers and was accountable for all aspects of the operation including human resources, warehousing, IT, accounting, marketing, merchandising and visual presentation, loss prevention, product assortment, buying, and sales

·Reduced labour and operating expenses by over 25% in past three years

·Improved pre-tax profitability in a severely depressed sales market

·Developed complete store operating and control procedures

·Completed store expansion/renovation on schedule, under budget

·  Hired, trained, mentored and promoted internal candidates to all management positions

Apr 2002 - Mar 2004

National Sales Operations Director

Regal Greetings and Gifts Corp.

A hybrid retail / direct sales company generating over $125M in sales through 43 retail locations Canada-wide and 2 national catalogue-sales call centers, supporting over 100,000 sales representatives across Canada.

·Full sales and P&L accountability for the chain’s retail operations through 3 District Managers and 2 Call Center Managers and 5 direct reporting managers in the company’s Head Office

·Reduced overall store payroll by 25% while achieving 10% increase in total store sales year over year

·Developed and implemented in-store fixturing and merchandising programs to improve and standardize store appearance across the chain

·Reduced overall store rent/lease expenses by 10% through re-negotiating all existing contracts and moving locations where possible

·Completed 6 store openings/relocations, on schedule, under budget

·Implemented weekly marketing communications package to ensure all stores presented consistent promotion package throughout Canada

·Upgraded/replaced store signing and display fixtures at zero net cost through repair and supply purchase reductions and vendor negotiations

Mar 1999 - Mar 2002

General Manager - USA and Canada

Nuance Group Inc.

Nuance Group, a division of SwissAir, was the world’s largest travel retail operator. The Americas Division was comprised of 65 luxury retail outlets located primarily in major airports in Canada and the United States; revenues of $250M. Nuance employed over 3,000 people in North America.

·Supervised a diverse team of 7 Area / Branch Managers, 5 Regional Marketing Managers and 3 Distribution Center Managers across the continent

·Managed retail sales and customer service, human resources, training, marketing and business development, inventory management, distribution and logistics chain, asset protection / loss prevention, and visual presentation

·Exceeded all budget targets and delivered sales and profits 20% over previous years' performance

·Prepared, presented and obtained approval of 8 responses to Airport Authority Request For Proposals

·Managed revamp of Toronto airport retail space, 5 new stores, 4 relocations, on schedule, under budget

·Developed and maintained positive partnership relations with landlords, airport authorities, and joint venture partners in Canada and the United States

·Successfully negotiated 3 company-favourable collective agreements without business interruptions

Feb 1997 - Mar 1999

Director - Store Operations

Biway Stores - Division of Dylex Ltd.

Biway led Dylex in revenue and profitability, generating over $500M in sales from 285 locations throughout eastern Canada. An aggressive expansion and renovation program in 1998/99 resulted in significant sales increases and the creation of premier small-format neighborhood discount retail facilities.

·Liaison between the retail stores and Head Office; managed the Store Procedures, Store Support Services Call Center, Price Management, Space Productivity, Customer Relations, and Loss Prevention Departments, mentoring 10 Regional Managers and 3 direct report Managers

·Increased shoplifter apprehensions by 500%, and internal apprehensions by 800% in one year

·Standardized store structure and salary levels based on volume to reduce overall store payroll by 10%

·Participated in project management of new store prototype and renovation programs to open 12 new stores and renovate 20 existing stores to new concept in one year, on schedule and under budget