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John Barbee

Partner, Atlanta

Helps retail and consumer-goods companies create sources of growth and competitive advantage by improving omnichannel and digital operations, optimizing supply-chain processes, and leveraging new fulfillment technologies


John is a partner in McKinsey's Operations Practice. Based in Atlanta, he advises clients on manufacturing and supply-chain optimization with a focus on omnichannel and fulfillment strategies. His consumer-industry experience includes apparel, fashion and luxury, and hard-good category retailers such as grocers and home-improvement companies.

Examples of John’s recent work include the following:

  • advising a large North American apparel client in navigating the availability of merchandise and impact on its operations through creating global supply-chain disruption scenarios
  • developing a third-party fulfillment strategy for a South American retailer to support accelerated growth for its marketplace platform
  • leading a cost-to-serve initiative for a US grocer to enhance the productivity and profitability of its online channels, including use of automation, market fulfillment, and technologies (e.g., advanced labor planning)
  • assessing the omnichannel operations strategy for a leading specialty home-improvement retailer to improve customer satisfaction and expand margins
  • designing an end-to-end visibility strategy for a large fashion retailer to improve global inventory management and supply-chain reliability
  • supporting strategy development for a global parcel and logistics company to identify new sources of growth and competitive advantage, and to enhance share gain in the e-commerce market

Published Work

Automation has reached its tipping point for omnichannel warehouses,” McKinsey & Company, December 2021

Creating a competitive edge in omnichannel grocery fulfillment,” McKinsey & Company, December 2021

Retail supply-chain strategies for the holidays and beyond,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Retail’s need for speed: Unlocking value in omnichannel delivery,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

Past experience

Managing director, Kurt Salmon, retail strategy


Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University

Georgia Institute of Technology
BS, industrial and systems engineering