What’s the retailer thinking?

Retail chain store buyers need to be able to predict the future. They’re tasked with knowing what consumers will want based on understanding historical performance, the evolving market and changing consumer demand. At the same time, they are constrained by space, priorities (individual and company), marketing budget, focus, store labor, receipts—and still, they must achieve a sales and margin plan.

Let us help you understand what keeps them up at night, how your brand can add value to buyers and what to do to build a mutually beneficial partnership.

Kristin Demel

Kristin Demel

Retail Strategy Director
Before joining Callahan to lead retail strategy, Kristin was senior buying director at PetSmart and director, planning and distribution at Payless ShoeSource. Her expertise comes from 13+ years of retail merchandising experience across buying, planning and allocation.

Brands can provide more value in the retail buying process

Many brands focus effort and product pitches during the time period when buyers make product selections and finalize business tactics, but that approach neglects the data-gathering portion of the decision-making process.

We help brands get involved earlier in the cycle by providing customer, market and category insights. This is an additional value for buyers, and it allows brands to influence strategy. Recommendations that are supported by analytics and data insights drive value for brands and retailers.

Retail Buying Decision-Making Process


Create “go-to market” strategies

Solidify retail and consumer strategy to maximize consumer opportunities

Questions the buyer will have:

  • Who is your target consumer?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What’s going on in the market?
  • Who are your competitors?

Insights/services we provide:

  • Business data analysis
  • Consumer trends
  • Market trends
  • Competitive assessment

Enhance Category/Line Review presentations

We arm our clients with retailer-facing insights that impact the buying process

Questions the buyer will have:

  • What’s changing in the market?
  • How is the consumer making purchase decisions, what’s evolving?
  • What’s the consumer need that this product uniquely meets?
  • Why should I buy your product?

Insights/services we provide:

  • Category assessment
  • Consumer behavior
  • Incremental evaluation
  • Assortment/SKU optimization

Elevate Business Reviews Using Data

We provide honest, transparent business analysis with “ready to act” data-rich insights

Questions the buyer will have:

  • What happened, how can we do better?
  • What opportunities weren’t maximized?
  • What motivates a purchase and drives demand?
  • What’s the optimized pricing strategy?

Insights/services we provide:

  • Performance/missed business analysis
  • Inventory assessment
  • Elasticity evaluation
  • Weather data analysis
  • Marketing analysis

Praise from Industry Partners


Steve Miller, Director Assortment Planning, Lowe’s Corp.:

“I cannot say enough great things about Kristin. In working with various top retailers in my career, Kristin stands out as one of the smartest, strategic, innovative thinkers and business drivers I have had the pleasure of working with. Her ability to listen, assess and compile facts along with balancing the “art” in the decision-making process allows her to really make strong positive impacts to any situational opportunity.

“Kristin takes pride in her work and achieves high level results quickly. I have had the pleasure of seeing her extraordinary results firsthand and would be more than happy to continue working with Kristin and refer others to her as well.”



Darren Silverman, Vice President, Petmate:

“Kristin Demel and I have worked closely on key initiatives related to development and advancement of high priority categories in our portfolios. Kristin is open minded to a broad set of consumer and shopper insights and is able to leverage her experience to set a strategic direction with the right opportunities in mind.

“In my experience, Kristin was a collaborative partner in advancing our mutual business interests in a strategic and thoughtful way, leading to steady long-term results. Her experience and applied knowledge in the retail space would add value to any team, looking to expand their market presence or optimize an ongoing mature operation.”

Contact us to learn how
Callahan can help