A retail consultant is a type of consultant that specializes in the world of retail, which means the majority of their client base is retailers. Any other consultant, retail consultants work by first getting to know their client company by observing how the company is structured and how it functions on aa daily basis. They may review important financial documents to gain an understanding of the company's financial health so that they are able to provide the most helpful suggestions for improvement. Some companies may hire retail consultant to help launch a new part of their company, like an e-commerce division or they may be in need of a retail consultant to raise their direct selling operations. Some retail consultants may work in further specialized industries, like grocery store and restaurant consulting.
These professionals often work for larger consulting companies and may split their time between working at their office and on site at the client's office. Some clients may hire retail consultants on a short term contractual basis if they need help with a certain issue or problem.
To become a retail consultant, you will generally need at least a bachelor's degree, but many retail consultants also have a master's degree. Some universities may have programs specifically in management consulting, though there are a number of educational pathways that could prepare you for a career as a retail consultant. Some possible backgrounds could include business, finance, marketing, economics or management. It is also possible to pursue a post-graduate certificate in the field and obtain the Certified Management Consultant designation.
Because a large part of a retail consultant's career involves working with clients and other people, having strong interpersonal skills is highly important. These professionals also need to have the ability to solve problems, think analytically, and be able to multi-task. Retail consultants sometimes may work on projects on a contractual basis, so they need to be able to manage their time well and work efficiently.