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30 Under 30: Thomas Saliba

Established merchandiser, Topshop.

Thomas Saliba

Thomas Saliba

Thomas Saliba doesn’t crack under pressure. He showed this right at the start of his career when he beat seven other shortlisted candidates to a role as a merchandising admin assistant on womenswear non-clothing at Asos in August 2008. He spent the next three years working his way across the business via own-buy, brands and beauty, reaching senior assistant merchandiser before leaving to join River Island in October 2011.

Headhunted for the junior merchandiser role, he was glad to move into bricks-and-mortar retailing, starting out on women’s jewellery, before moving to men’s footwear and then men’s shirts.

Saliba, who is half-Greek and half-Lebanese and grew up in Manchester, credits making this jump and the challenges it brought as his biggest achievement. He had gone from managing one merchandising admin assistant online to line managing a team of five and being responsible for a department in a chain with 300 stores, which also wholesales and has a website with more than 400 product options. “There were some long days and sleepless nights,” he says.

His achievements don’t just stop at work either. In his free time he is an international rugby union player, earning eight caps for Lebanon.

He credits Asos business change manager Verity Jones as a mentor, as it was her who hired him in the first place. And the best piece of advice she gave? “The buyer and merchandiser relationship is key to a successful department.” Wise words indeed.

He started at Topshop as an established merchandiser just weeks before this supplement went to press before Christmas, so he now has it all to play for within the jewel in Arcadia’s crown.

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