Official UK lead: Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion
Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK, championing for the success and sustainability of smaller, independent retailers and suppliers to retail. A child born into a family of retailers and entrepreneurs, she is passionate about retail and business: it is in her blood.
Clare started out as a fast-track graduate store management trainee for McDonalds and went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being head-hunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture.
Clare is engaged by clients as a business consultant, inspirational speaker and retail mentor. In 2011 she was invited to launch Independent Retailer Month in the UK, a global 'Shop Local' campaign which runs throughout July that has gained incredible momentum and reach under her leadership. Following the success of this campaign she created 'Celebrate an Independent Christmas', which launches in 2012 and will feature nationwide 'Christmas Shopping Crawls' in high streets and retail communities UK wide. Clare is founder and host of 'The Retail Conference', a well-established and highly respected annual retail industry event.
Clare is a frequent media contributor, regularly featured on BBC TV News, various radio broadcasts, within trade press and digital media, commenting on a wide range of retail and consumer topics. As one of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) 'Real Life Entrepreneur Champions', Clare has been recognised by the UK's leading small business community as an inspirational role model for any start-up or small businesses.
Her first book, entitled 'The Retail Champion: 10-steps to Retail Success', was published by Kogan Page in July 2012. Her second book, entitled 'How to sell to retailers: The secrets of getting your products to market', also published by Kogan Page will be available from 3rd February 2013.
To find out more about Clare and about The Retail Champion see www.retailchampion.co.uk