New appointment to lead garden centre marketing

03/04/2024
Phil Thomas (Dobbies)

PHIL Thomas has joined the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies, as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Phil joins from Costa Coffee, where he has been CMO for the last 3 years.

Phil brings to Dobbies over 30 years of wide-ranging marketing experience in both retail and consumer goods. Before serving as CMO of Costa he similarly was CMO at Greene King, and prior to that held numerous marketing roles in Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble, both in the UK and internationally.

As Chief Marketing Officer, Phil will be responsible for all of Dobbies’ customer and marketing activity. He will leverage the company’s renewed brand purpose and values to create engaging communication and customer experiences, and bring an increased focus on customer insight and data analytics.

Phil will lead the teams responsible for all marketing activity and brand innovation; for developing the instore and digital customer experience, as well as ongoing seasonal campaigns and events. He will also lead all communications including internal and external stakeholder engagement, corporate communications, ESG and consumer media relations.

In addition, Phil will have responsibility for super-charging the award-winning Dobbies Club, which has over 1.3 million members, increasing its appeal to both existing and new members.

David Robinson, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We are building an incredibly strong senior leadership team and recruiting Phil is another positive step in achieving our ambitions. Phil is a very experienced marketing operator who will drive our goal of communicating our focus on garden living through all of our marketing. Phil’s extensive knowledge of UK retail and product marketing will be invaluable to delivering on our strategy.”

Phil Thomas, CMO of Dobbies, added: “Dobbies is a wonderful brand with an amazing 159-year heritage of helping people enjoy their gardens, and an equally great future ahead.

“I’m excited to be joining, and look forward to working with David, the leadership team and all Dobbies’ colleagues to help grow the business by building the brand and further enhancing our customer experience – and so delight more and more customers every day.”

Phil’s appointment comes as Customer Director, Louise Niven steps down from her role to go on maternity leave.

David added: “I’d like to thank Louise for her ten years at Dobbies, including six years at the helm of the marketing team, building our brand; delivering award-winning campaigns, positive PR and community engagement; and outstanding growth of our loyalty scheme to more than 1.3 million members. Everyone at Dobbies wishes her all the very best for the future.”

Dobbies was founded in 1865 by James Dobbie and is headquartered near Edinburgh. It has 77 stores across the UK, employs 3,800 people and has welcomed over 30 million customers in the year-to-date.

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