With nearly 40 years of leadership experience, which includes building the IKEA brand in five countries, Steen Kanter guides Kanter International as the Chief Business Consultant. Kanter International was founded in 1998 under Steen's vision to help clients build their businesses and create powerful and profitable leading brands, brick by brick.
Steen's expertise at transforming brands into category leaders was honed in the retail industry, while building IKEA's home furnishings business ind Denmark, Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States. During this time, he served as the President of IKEA U.S. East as well as a member of IKEA's North American Board of Directors. In addition, Steen is recognized for masterminding IKEA's store in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which was named Money Magazine's Store of the Year in 1990.
In 1996, Steen became the President and CEO of the Body Shop, U.S., a UK-based cosmetics manufacturer and retailer with more than 1,500 franchised and company-owned stores in 46 countries. Through his leadership and direction, the Body Shop successfully broke through the highly competitive North American marketplace to becomerecognized throughout the continent as a high-quality retailer of skin and body care products.
Having recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as an independent "business partner" to more than one hundred clients (both U.S. and abroad), Kanter International is a sought after resource by consumer focused companies looking to grow. Steen has built a reputation for successfully leveraging his hands-on experience, knowledge and common sense from past successes ( and failures), into consumer focused brand strategies that are decisive, deliberate and creative.
Steen is regarded as a retail industry expert, proficient in every aspect of retail strategy, branding and execution - from store planning and conception, to financial modeling, to merchandising for profitability, to consumer communications and everything ins between. Steen is often the key-note speaker at corporate gatherings and conventions in the United States andEurope as well as a frequent media guest and expert commentator.