PROFILE

Georganne Bender

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Georganne Bender is a speaker, retail strategist, author, and consultant. Georganne and her business partner, Rich Kizer, have helped thousands of businesses in the retail, creative, restaurant, healthcare, deathcare, hospitality, collegiate, toy, travel, tanning, beauty, tech, auto, sales and service industries grow their sales since 1990. Georganne is particularly known for her store makeover and visual merchandising skills. KIZER & BENDER are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts to Follow on Social Media. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People. Their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. As global retail thought leaders, KIZER & BENDER serve as BrainTrust panelists for RetailWire, and are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference held twice a year in Las Vegas. Georganne and Rich are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. As consumer anthropologists they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: Today's consumer. Each year KIZER & BENDER host consumer focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies. The result of their research is literally straight from the mouth of the consumer: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2022 marks their 32nd anniversary as a speaking team.
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  • Posted on: 09/30/2022

    Will most Americans spend Black Friday shopping on their phones?

    Consumers will shop brick and mortar stores this Black Friday. Sure, it’s a busy day but there is nothing like the rush you feel when you find a great deal on something you didn’t realize you needed. That’s true instant gratification. We’ll also shop Black Friday via our phones and TV and social media and online and anywhere else merchandise is offered. One thing consumers can count on this Black Friday is plenty of choice.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2022

    A bag ban is all part of the brand at Wegmans

    The ban on single use plastic bags is on brand for Wegmans. The retailer is always ahead of the curve in its customer offerings, and customers respond favorably. I have noticed that recently I am being offered paper bags in places that used to utilize plastic. And I have to admit that I am still slightly shocked when told I cannot have a bag when making a purchase, but it is something I am beginning to anticipate, even while traveling.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2022

    Is the customer really the most important thing in retail?

    Xfinity’s phone system is a good example. So are retailers who get you into the store only to tell you that what you want is available online, or piles of merchandise tossed on fixtures or the floor as if customers are expected to shop that mess, or our favorite, Paula, retail buyers who think women over 50 only want to wear leopard print and sequins. You can’t preach service until you have experienced it firsthand in your own stores.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2022

    Is the customer really the most important thing in retail?

    The answer to this question is yes, the customer really is the most important thing in retail. And everything else including buying, merchandise presentation, marketing, policies, etc. must be customer-focused, too. The reality is that the customer is no longer first in retail. You can say it in every way possible, but all you have to do is walk a sales floor to see how far stores have drifted from what customers really want and can’t easily find. You can’t just give lip service to customer service and think you’re good, you have to practice it every day.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2022

    Is ‘productivity paranoia’ from remote working solvable?

    Being stuck in old habits is right. Some managers simply can’t adjust to having to lead people they can’t see. It’s a new world where flexibility and trust are critical. Would I work for a company that uses technology to monitor my productivity while working from home? Not a chance.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2022

    Did Target just move Black Friday up to October 7?

    Unless every single retailer on the planet gets together and decides to move Black Friday, it’s not going to happen. We can talk about this all day long, and strategize until our heads explode, but the simple fact of the matter is that consumers love Black Friday, and Black Friday happens on the day after Thanksgiving. Any other big sales are just a bonus.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2022

    The Starbucks experience aims to be the same no matter where you get your coffee

    Hello, McDonald's? Starbucks should follow Mickey D’s best practices: no matter where you go the experience is the same. Not so at Starbucks. It’s frustrating for customers to be told their gift cards are not accepted or their favorite beverage is not available at certain locations. When your name is over the door or on the marquee the customer experience should be the same. It’s good to see Starbucks address this issue.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2022

    Gap is cutting 500 corporate jobs as it searches for a CEO and answers

    I bet some of those ugly prints are still on clearance racks! I agree about Target, however Gap Basics used to be better quality. The company needs a new design team.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2022

    Gap is cutting 500 corporate jobs as it searches for a CEO and answers

    I managed Gap stores when its founder Don Fisher was running the business and the stores were cool. This week, I visited a Gap and didn’t see a lot that was much different. The fixtures have been updated over the years, but a lot of the merchandise has not. The apparel selection was boring and the sales floor needed attention. Regarding Yeezy, the person who okayed that deal had to know up front that he’d be a sideshow and distract from the Gap brand. They also had to know from his track record that this partnership would backfire and it did. Majestically. Whomever takes the lead at Gap has a lot of work to do. Much of it will be reconnecting with the customers who have stayed loyal to the brand. They don’t deserve the rehashed designs the stores are stocked with. Gap is known for basics, and going back to the basics here is a good place to start.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2022

    Is livestream commerce about to break through?

    Good point about some retailers having already missed the boat. The independent retailers I know have regularly scheduled programs that have been live-streamed since March of 2020.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2022

    Is livestream commerce about to break through?

    Is Professor Robertson aware that Facebook Live saved many independent retailers' businesses during the pandemic? Or that there are indie retailers who continue to this day with daily livestreams that in many cases have become bigger than their brick and mortar stores? Selling via livestream is already a big deal in the U.S.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2022

    JCPenney’s beauty makeover is going chain-wide

    It doesn’t matter what the new beauty department at JCPenney sells, or how beautiful it is, when it is surrounded by the mess that’s on the sales floor at the JCP stores I have visited lately. Empty racks and merchandise piled on the floor does not a good shopping experience make. It takes the whole package to attract shoppers.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2022

    Will Patagonia’s ownership help save the planet and its retail business?

    This is the story, most people don’t move beyond the headline.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2022

    Amazon to give marketplace sellers greater email access to its platform’s users

    Any additional opportunities to connect with customers will be beneficial to Amazon sellers. Tailored Audiences will be most helpful. Bloomberg has a point about the potential for email boxes being inundated with spam. A seller's good customers might also be good customers to hundreds of other Amazon sellers. Still, I like that Amazon is opening how sellers are able to interact with their customers. It’s a positive step in the right direction.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2022

    Dollar General plans to expand its selection of $1 items

    $1 items at the dollar store. What a concept!

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