What Is a Supermarket Consultant?

Supermarket consultants help grocery stores align their strategies to better serve customers.
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Marketing research or management consultants are the professionals who usually do consulting for supermarkets, and some may specialize in supermarket consulting. Marketing research consultants conduct surveys to get ideas on how to better serve customers, while management consultants help supermarket chains operate more efficiently. If you can picture yourself analyzing the results of customer surveys or evaluating how effectively grocery store workers perform their jobs, you might enjoy working as a supermarket consultant. Your responsibilities will depend on your clients' needs. Salaries for supermarket consultants usually average in the high five-figure range.

Bachelor's Degree Required

You can start your career as a supermarket consultant by earning a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or management. You'll also need one to five years of experience in marketing, marketing research or management consulting, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which categorizes management consultants as management analysts. Other essential requirements for supermarket consultants are analytical, organizational, communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, customer-service and computer skills.

Help Supermarkets Improve Performance

Most supermarket consultants either work for consulting companies or are self-employed. They work day hours because their clients typically include supermarket chain marketing managers, directors or high-level executives, who primarily work Monday to Friday during the day. Projects will vary depending on the areas in which supermarkets need improvement. You might help a supermarket rate and evaluate individual departments through market research surveys and then recommend strategies to improve underperforming departments -- the produce and deli department, for example. A lack of selections may be one area of improvement. On the management consulting end, you might conclude that the store employs too many workers during slow periods. A client may also need better in-store signage to direct customers or an update on the store's computer and cash register systems. In any case, you'll make your observations, write reports, and present your findings and recommendations to clients in person.

High Five-Figure Salary

The average annual salary for a supermarket consultant was $90,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. In 2012, The BLS reported average salaries of $88,070 for management analysts -- or consultants. If you were employed as a supermarket consultant, you'd earn the highest salary in New York at $109,000 annually. In Washington, D.C., Illinois or California, you'd earn an average of $107,000, $99,000 and $97,000, respectively.

Excellent Job Growth

The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for supermarket consultants. It estimates a 22 percent increase in employment for management analysts from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the 14 percent national average for all occupations. Jobs for these analysts, or consultants, are expected to increase as companies seek ways to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs. The BLS predicts a 41 percent increase in jobs for market research analysts during this decade, as corporations, including supermarket chains, seek ways to improve customer satisfaction by improving product selections. Market research analysts perform similar functions to marketing consultants, such as analyzing and improving products, pricing and promotional strategies.

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