Rachel Friedman ’13 Strategizes Market Trends at Kantar Retail

Many members of the Class of 2013 have started their post-Hamilton lives, beginning their careers or embarking on graduate or professional study. This summer we're profiling some recent graduates who are already making their mark.

When an average customer walks into a mall or grocery store, he or she probably doesn’t think about the planning and strategy that goes on behind the scenes to meet the needs of both companies and consumers. Rachel Friedman ’13, however, will be concentrating on just those aspects of retail as she begins a job as an analyst at Kantar Retail.

Kantar Retail provides insight and consulting to help companies develop business strategies and maximize profits. Friedman is awaiting placement in one of four divisions: client services, business analytics, consumer insights or research. In any division, she will be conducting data analysis to come up with strategies that improve the marketing and business decisions of her clients. Friedman, an economics major at Hamilton, is looking forward to working closely with a variety of clients and becoming familiar with different kinds of businesses. She observed, “I like that at Kantar I will be able to have a lot of face time with different clients across different industries.”

Friedman is also excited to be working with a company that is closely in touch with market trends. Kantar Retail balances specific research for its clients with broader research about the economy. Friedman commented, “They are constantly exploring and researching new trends in the economic market that could change the playing field for retailers, wholesale companies, and consumers.” She feels that now is an especially exciting time to be working with a consulting company that focuses on consumers, as change happens so quickly. She explained, “Many retailers have to adapt quickly to an ever-changing landscape due to the speed of technology and how quickly the consumer can access information.” At Kantar, Friedman will be right on top of those developments.

During her time at Kantar, Friedman will build on previous experiences in the retail and fashion industries. In the summer of 2011, she worked for Schwartz and Benjamin, a shoe licensing company that works with designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Juicy Couture and Kate Spade. Friedman worked in product development and was able to get a sense of their marketing strategies. She found it interesting to see how they planned to maximize sales, retain their existing customers and expand their customer base. She also appreciated being able to observe the process that took place between Schwartz and Benjamin and the retailers they worked with, commenting, “The most interesting part of that internship is that I was able to . . . see the conversations that developed between the wholesale company and the different retailers that came to pick out shoes for their particular collection.”

The following summer, Friedman built on her experience in retail through an internship with Saks Fifth Avenue in its Executive Excellence Internship program. She worked under a planner and helped to forecast sales on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Friedman also helped to identify risk and opportunity across different vendor portfolios. She expects that the skills she developed through these internships, particularly “analyzing large data sets and looking for different nuances,” will be extremely helpful in her work at Kantar Retail.

Friedman is a graduate of Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn.

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