Clare Bailey (formerly Clare Rayner), Founder, The Retail Champion
Referred to as a 'Walking Encyclopaedia of Retail', Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge on retail, high streets, and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content - whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, for a written feature or as a retail consultant.
Having started her career on the fast-track store management programme with McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture.
With a corporate background in senior retail, consulting, and technology roles, combined with her experience of creating and running her own business, Clare is equally capable of providing retail consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact.
Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her being a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on ITV's Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Channel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues, and is particularly adept at explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. Clare regularly hosts special features to support the mainstream broadcast companies including TV and Radio.
In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - for example she was engaged to supply an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths - assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points, and articulating that in an concise and understandable manner.
When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare's 'day job' sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through The Retail Champion consultancy. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to 'dig deep', getting 'under the bonnet', to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to 'lightbulb moments'. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect, she considers herself a 'business engineer'. Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked.