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Bain appoints Kurt Grichel to lead its Americas retail practice

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Bain & Co. has appointed Kurt Grichel, a long-time insider, to lead its retail practice in the Americas.

Grichel is taking up the post after 18 years at the prestigious management consultancy. He was previously a vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

“I am honored with this appointment and looking forward to working with the team to continue our mission of delivering lasting results, solving complex challenges, and setting new standards in the retail sector,” Grichel remarked. “As a team, we will continue to bring our deep expertise across all subsectors of retail and the full breadth of Bain’s capabilities to our clients.”

The retail sector comprises many different segments. There are grocery stores, so-called mass retailers that specialize in selling large quantities of merchandise at a discount and specialty stores with a niche product focus. Those different types of companies are fundamentally similar, but their business models diverge in many key areas that can be tricky to navigate.

Grichel brings experience with multiple segments of the retail sector to his new role. He has worked on projects involving grocery chains, specialty retailers and several of the other types of brick-and-mortar companies that Bain advises through corporate consulting engagements.

As the head of the firm’s retail practice in the Americas, Grichel will be responsible for client acquisition efforts. He’ll also work on business development initiatives, as well as oversee the day-to-day operations of the practice.

Bain said that Grichel will continue working with existing clients in his new role. All that work will add up to a busy schedule, but it may prove worthwhile: as the head of Bain’s Americas business, Grichel has a good chance of becoming the head of the global retail practice after his next promotion.

Clients based out of the Americas, and in particular the U.S., often make the biggest revenue contribution to consultancies’ top line. As a result, the head of a business unit’s Americas unit is well positioned to become the head of that unit down the road.

Bain’s Americas retail business has experienced solid growth in recent years. The firm says the unit “nearly doubled” over the past seven years, but didn’t specify if this growth happened in the revenue department or headcount.