Andy Burns has been appointed managing director of Stewart, the British manufacturer and distributor of gardening products, catering supplies, homewares and bespoke technical solutions.
The appointment comes as the business reports 25 per cent growth in the year to January 2015.
Burns joined Stewart as group sales and marketing director in January 2014. He was responsible for the growth and strategic development of the company’s sales and marketing activity across all sales channels.
Before joining Stewart, Burns, a brand and category management specialist, oversaw online, retail and trade channels at Whirlpool Corporation. Previously, he was marketing director at Stanley Europe with strategic marketing responsibility for their UK business, its largest marketplace in EMEA.
Now in its third year at its state-of-the art Banbury manufacturing facility, Stewart has consolidated its position as the market leader in grow your own and contemporary lifestyle garden products. The business now plans to provide further improvements to its customer care and logistics operations. To achieve these objectives, it has simplified its business channels and invested in building inventory to unprecedented preseason levels.
Stewart’s key business channels are garden centres, major retail and trade, the latter encompassing housewares, catering and technical solutions. Throughout 2015, the company will be strengthening and driving further growth in these channels by way of new product development and the increased use of category management techniques to aid sell out.
Stewart is also building on its sales and marketing assets. The company is developing its online assets and investing in new PoS and merchandising solutions to provide trade partners with refreshed displays that engage consumers with the Stewart brand.
Looking forward to an important year ahead for Stewart, Burns said: “We enjoyed excellent growth last year and the team are now well established in Banbury. With our well-defined focus and investment plans for 2015, we’ll achieve our growth plan for this year. I look forward to building on the strong relationships that we have in place with our major shareholders, and I am proud to have the opportunity to lead such a strong British manufacturing business. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary as a UK manufacturer, I would like to thank everyone in the team for their ongoing support, as we strive together to meet our future ambitious growth plans”.