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HOT 100 RETAIL TITANS: Tom Milner, Tustains


It’s all about the team for Tustains’ Tom Milner. His love of football fuels and informs his view that nothing is so irresistible as a motivated team working in harmony.

“The best thing about this past year is our people. A team is a fiddly work at the best of times, and can be even trickier while a business undergoes generational transition.” Tom explains.

“Tustains is good for people who like responsibility rather than titles. This can have its drawbacks, but the right group is symphonic, and we currently have the best team we’ve ever had, the best structure, the best clarity of roles and the best dynamic. This is why we have an authentically good and enthusiastic culture,” he adds.


Tom and his brother Joe took over the 120-year-old Tustains family business in 2011, and have maintained its status as the finest prestige jewellery and watch boutique in Leamington Spa. The company is not content to stand still, and Tom reveals that this year it is on the lookout for new premises.

Watch brands including Tudor, Omega, TAG Heuer and Longines are critical to maintaining growth, and Tom admits it is not always easy to keep every brand partner happy. “My brands are absolutely successful in keeping me permanently on my toes. This hurts your feet, but I’m not here for comfort,” he jokes.

His wife, Amber, isn’t always delighted at Tom’s obsession with watches, but he has learned to keep her onside. “She often asks me what I’m thinking about and I have to lie because I can’t say watch sales every time and it annoys her when I do,” he admits.

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Editor of WatchPro, the WatchPro Hot 100 and The Luxury Report.


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