Thomas Stewart is an independent retail consultant based in Los Angeles who specializes in new business development, product development, and global factory sourcing for specialty retailers. Clients range from single store businesses to museum shops and national chains with multiple sales channels.
Thomas has visited and worked hands-on in factories in more than 20 countries. Through his travels he has gathered a significant manufacturer base and knows where to find the highest quality goods and materials. His production management and product development experience allows him to support clients along the full life-cycle of a product or program; from the first stages of strategic planning and brain-storming all the way through sample making and production. His sourcing services include every detail from price negotiations, packaging, logistics, product training & customer service.
Categories that Thomas Stewart has purchased or supervised as a Merchandise Manager:
Including Outdoor Furniture, Contract or Trade, RTA, Bedroom, Upholstery, Home Office, Kitchen, Children's
Including Table-top, Gifts, Floral, Accessories, Season or Holiday Trim, Textiles, Glassware, Dinnerware, Flatware, Linens, Lighting, Candles, Fancy Foods, Home Fragrance, Bed & Bath
Drop-Ship, Live Plants, Bulbs, Seeds, Wreaths, Tools, Equipment, Garden Ornament, Containers & Pottery, Statuary, Birding products
Books, Art Reproductions, Children's products, Stationery, Toys, Fine Jewelry, Fashion Accessories, Watches, Exhibition Merchandise, Licensed Goods, Branded Goods, Clothing
For details on consulting projects please go to Clients
Environment & Social Responsibility
Thomas has a vast knowledge of the important issues and requirements involved in third party certification for environmental and social considerations. Many companies have their own auditing processes and Thomas is capable of performing these audits as well as providing factories with solutions to improve their practices. He has worked directly with the Rain Forest Alliance Smart Wood programs as well as the Forest Stewardship Council in order to certify individual manufacturers as well as the source of their raw materials. He has had direct involvement with certifications in Honduras, Chile, Brazil, and Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, various US locations, Mexico, and Canada.
With a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College he was recruited into the Executive Training Program at Jordan Marsh, a division of then Allied/Federated Department stores in Boston. From there he held buying positions in New York City for Bonwit Teller and Conran's Habitat - the collaboration of Terrance Conran and Habitat UK
As a Merchandise Manager at Smith & Hawken he oversaw merchandising for all consumer and Trade catalog, e-commerce, and retail stores. He had direct product development & buying responsibility for the furniture and home areas, securing a strong manufacturing base to prepare for their rapid expansion. He also filled a void by creating a successful collection of proprietary interior home furnishings when the California based garden life-style chain expanded into cold weather climate markets like New York & Denver. Many of the core items continue to be top sellers years later.