Consumer / Retail

The consumer and retail sectors are experiencing an unprecedented shift in customer behaviour, spending habits and expectations. The battle for customer loyalty and the rise of digital solutions to answer consumers’ call for convenience, simplicity and efficiency is requiring an increased focus on data and analytics. The forces transforming the retail environment and driving channel convergence are requiring constant innovation in technology, systems, value chains and organizational structures. This change translates into a need for new skills and competencies across all functions, from development to distribution to marketing.

Companies competing on a global scale are facing additional complexity: in mature markets, addressing the expectations of increasingly fickle consumers is proving challenging in a context of macroeconomic slowdown; at the same time, in emerging markets there are opportunities driven by rising discretionary spending and aspirational purchasing habits in domestic consumption. In this context, retailers and brands alike are increasingly polarized into value and premium players, with many organizations choosing to reinvent and reposition themselves to better engage with consumers. These trends are creating a landscape in which exceptional leadership skills and vision are key to crafting and executing winning business strategies.

Our consultants work closely with a broad range of client organizations and their management teams to address their complex leadership requirements and challenges. We can guarantee consistently high-quality work thanks to our in-depth industry and structural knowledge across a variety of sectors including consumer product and services, retail, fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands.

Our clients include international corporations, small and medium-sized companies, firms listed on the stock exchange and family-run businesses as well as private equity portfolio companies.

The Heads! Consumer/Retail Practice has extensive expertise in the following market segments:

  • Apparel
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Watches & Jewellery
  • Apparel
  • Leather goods
  • Perfumes & Cosmetics
Consumer goods
  • DIY
  • Household appliances
  • Games / stationary
  • Sports equipment
  • Consumer electronics
  • Multichannel / e-commerce
  • Specialist stores
  • Hardware and DIY stores
  • Purchasing cooperatives
  • Food retail (incl. discounters)
FMCG companies
  • Food / beverages
  • Cosmetics / OTC

We have an extensive pool of candidates, enabling us to find the right candidate for vacant positions within 90 days. With over 150 search requests per year, 50% of which are international, Heads! is one of the leading executive search companies in Europe in this area of business. We specialize in filling vacant positions for first and second-level executives.

Reference projects:
  • CEO, CFO – Global apparel retailer
  • CEO – Specialized lifestyle brand
  • CEO – Lifestyle retailer owned by a private equity fund
  • CEO, CFO, COO, CPO and Country Manager France – International public fashion retailer
  • CEO – Luxury watch brand
  • CEO, various board members – Public FMCG company
  • CFO – European wholesaler
  • CFO – Family-owned leading European retailer
  • EVP Marketing – Leading Fashion Brand
  • SVP Global Retail – Leading Sports Brand
  • SVP E-Commerce – NYSE listed fashion brand
  • Retail Director – Luxury fashion brand