Trends by Industry: Retail

Each year, Business Talent Group releases the High-End Independent Talent Report, looking across industries and business functions to analyze how business leaders deploy top independent talent to fill critical skill, expertise, and leadership gaps. Here are the key retail trends for 2021.

Retailers—from mass merchants and grocery to specialty and apparel—pivoted virtually overnight in 2020. Retail executives tapped independent talent as they scaled up eCommerce activities, adjusted supply chains, modified logistics and distribution strategies, met new consumer preferences, reduced operational costs, and more. Interim leadership, product strategy, and innovation expertise will be critical as retailers continue transformation initiatives in 2021.


57% Strategy
29% Interim Executive
14% Operations




Interim Leadership

Product Strategy and Launch

Service Operations

Digital Strategy

Marketing and Sales

Business Intelligence and Analytics



Project Management

Advanced Analytics

Digital Marketing

Promotions and Advertising

Tech and Systems Implementation

B2B Marketing

Innovation Strategy


  • Serve as an interim head of eCommerce to develop an optimized grocery fulfillment network
  • Develop the strategy for diagnostic call centers including hiring, training, and selecting technology systems
  • Serve as an interim Chief Data Officer to identify gaps in the data structure, develop governance processes, and serve as a data translator
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