Tristan Sissons joins Briers as Trading Director

Tristan Sissons will be joining Briers as Trading Director at the beginning of January 2014. In his wide-ranging role Sissons will oversee brand building, new product development, the adoption of new sales channels and the company’s expansion into new export markets.
Briers has established a reputation for innovative products, distinctive design and high quality manufacture. Collaborations with Hemmingwaydesign and The Gruffalo® have helped create products with huge consumer appeal, while dynamic retail methods have significantly increased sales for retailers choosing Briers as a replacement for other suppliers. As Briers embraces social media and the need for bespoke consumer experiences, Sissons will spearhead a brand strategy to lead Briers through its next stage of expansion.
Sissons was previously Senior Buyer at The Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale Garden Centres) who he joined in 2009. Here he achieved annual turnovers exceeding £54 million - over 20% of the company’s total. In 2011 he increased sales by over 13% and maintained similar year-on-year growth thereafter. This led to him assuming the responsibilities of Deputy Head of Trading alongside his buying role.
As well as making a significant contribution to The Garden Centre’s sales success Sissons put in place many new buying policies and procedures. These included optimising retail space, driving profitability through improved supplier terms and structuring the group’s product ranges.  In the absence of an own brand option, Sissons introduced products exclusive to The Garden Centre Group, ensuring a unique and comprehensive offering.
As part of his commitment to supporting retail colleagues at The Garden Centre Group Sissons implemented a comprehensive communications strategy. This involved centre visits, weekly conference calls, trade shows and regular email bulletins to centres and regional managers. The results included improved buy-in to product ranges, a sharper focus on key priorities and faster sharing of seasonal market intelligence.
Looking ahead to his new role, Sissons said, “I am very excited to be joining the Briers team. We have some ambitious targets over the next few years and I will be drawing on my experience to ensure we deliver exciting new products for our customers.”
Jackie Eades, Managing Director at Briers, said, “This is an exciting appointment for Briers. Tristan’s dynamic approach, enthusiasm, knowledge of retailing and track record in brand and product development are second to none. In the next few years, we’re planning to build on our existing foundations, open new sales channels and enter global markets. Tristan will lead the Briers brand into this exciting new era.”
Between 2002 and 2009 Sissons held buying roles for Woolworths PLC, being appointed Senior Buyer, Outdoor Products in 2004 with responsibility for garden furniture, core gardening, plants and sun care products. He also gained valuable retail experience at Great Mills, who he joined as a management trainee in 1999. While here he achieved NVQ level 3 in Retail Management and a Certificate in Team Leadership to complement his First Class BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Sissons went on to become Supplier Harmonisation Manager at Focus DIY following its purchase of Great Mills before moving on to Woolworths PLC.
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