Lauren Bitar began her retail career as an assistant buyer in the executive training program at Macy’s. Her experience in merchandising and planning mixed with management consulting and store operations further fueled her retail passion. Having firmly caught the New York City bug, Lauren continued her career at Saks Fifth Avenue and Juicy Couture as a merchandise planner.
Lauren received her MBA from Wharton in 2012 and returned to her hometown of Miami to work for Eberjey. Where before they had only been wholesalers or sold on their website, Lauren created a physical store presence. “I did everything from work with the contractor to implementing POS systems, hiring and buying for the store,” recalls Lauren. After a successful endings at Eberjey, Lauren then relocated to San Francisco to plan for Sephora.com where she was over all makeup and nail brands. Before making the move to RetailNext, Lauren accepted an opportunity at Kurt Salmon, where she did two years of management consulting within the retail industry.
Lauren was approached by RetailNext when a position for a Retail Consultant came up, her exceptional talent and strong analytical skills having caught the company’s attention. Inspired by the types of technologies RetailNext was developing, Lauren proved eager to join the team. “I got really excited about RetailNext’s vision and joined,” says Lauren. “I really wish I had technology like this when I was in the industry.”
For Lauren, no two days are the same as she works early morning through late at night. Managing a group of retail experts across three continents often means she is both the early bird and the night owl, all in the same day, reviewing a variety of parallel projects with analysts, Retail Experts and management; meeting with clients; and, of course, a seemingly endless amount of work travel.
Lauren’s role is not without its challenges, especially when it comes to analyzing the retail data. “The data I work with is the messiest data: people data,” says Lauren. “Because of this no two advanced analytics projects are the same and the data is not often 100 percent clean.”
Lauren emphasizes that each client requires an organic approach to engagement with new questions requiring fresh thought. Lauren is hungry to learn and takes on responsibilities that are often not her own, adding, “I also manage the Insights team, so I’m often guiding them on projects that are not my own.” Lauren enjoys the challenge, and feels both these factors have helped shaped where she is today. Although Lauren can be forgetful at times, she is a numbers person by heart. “I forget just about all my belongings, but have Rain Man memory for numbers and due dates,” she explains.
Her time at RetailNext has taught her many things but what she enjoys most is a satisfied customer. “I like knowing that I’ve helped them understand their business in a way they did not before, and was able to show them what RetailNext can really provide.”
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