Wendy Liebmann is smitten with stores. The founder of WSL Strategic Retail speaks about the redemptive qualities of shopping the way some people talk about a Caribbean vacation or spa getaway. WSL, a consulting firm, helps clients create results-oriented retail strategies to drive business, advising them on everything from distribution strategies to corporate culture. Liebmann challenges retailers to find new approaches to selling products and services. While WSL has a special interest in retail and beauty, it counts food and beverage, pets, financial services and health care firms among its clients. As WSL’s chief executive and chief shopping officer, Liebmann travels around the world — she visited Bonn, Zurich and Lima, Peru, in 2011 — giving speeches about embracing change and preaching her message of customer-centricity. Not simply concerned with the here and now, Liebmann makes bold predictions about the industry’s future, looking out 10 to 15 years. Her strong belief in the preeminence of the consumer led Liebmann to develop “How America Shops,” a biannual survey that decodes the customer’s collective behavior and mind-set.
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