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: 07/01/2022

    Should more retailers aim for their customers’ funny bones?

    Mic drop, Lee Peterson! Humor isn’t easy and it’s subjective. When it’s done well it’s exhilarating, but get it wrong and it’s a nightmare that lives forever online. I am going to guess that’s why most companies don’t try it.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Marketers are still trying to figure out women’s sports 50 years after Title IX

    Women represent the majority of the population in the US so it makes no sense to ignore their sporting events. I would like to see more sponsors take the lead and change this. Female athletes work as hard as male athletes; they should be celebrated and paid equally. But we’re talking about sports in America so I am not holding my breath that this will change anytime soon.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    I have been in situations with aggressive shoplifters many times and I've gone into auto-mode, doing enough to be able to walk away. But when somebody pulls a gun all bets are off. That’s when I turned in my keys and got a corporate job. We live in aggressive times. It’s a scary situation because you don’t know what people are capable of doing. Certainly, store personnel should have the right to defend themselves but as Gary Sankary points out this too is dangerous. It’s the retailer's responsibility to have methods in place to protect the associates, customers and the store. Grocers love a grid layout with high gondolas that create blind spots; relying less on this and opening the site lines will help but I doubt many would be willing to give up that selling space. This is a dilemma for store security experts, and one that requires immediate attention.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    Retailers tell their customers to keep their returns

    Consumer: “You mean I can order this $99 dress and if it doesn’t fit I get to keep it?! Where do I sign up?”
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    ThredUP asks consumers to boycott Shein’s pop-up shop

    Whether ThredUP likes it or not, Shein has a right to do business the way it wants to do business, and shoppers have the right to choose the retailers they want to buy from. With all this going on I am surprised no one has brought up the notes Shein workers are leaving on labels and in packages asking customers for help. That’s the real dilemma for me.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    I’ll take it!
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    I’m with you, Dave. I go to the mall to shop, if I need absolute in-stock info I’ll order online.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    87 percent of how many shoppers? The ones who don’t realize that in-stock information is already on the retailer's website? I feel like we are just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. I would much rather see mall operators focus on improving the shopper experience; bring back the events and entertainment that were mall staples long before the pandemic. A trip to the mall should be more than just an easy opportunity to visit many stores in one place.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

    Is the metaverse opportunity getting any clearer?

    Call me when the avatars look more like the movie Surrogates and less like Lego people.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

    Will a new rewards program prove Bed Bath & Beyond’s critics wrong?

    Just as an FYI, I read that Target is also reducing air conditioning and lighting in some stores. It’s a cost-saving condition of the times.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

    Is the metaverse opportunity getting any clearer?

    Everyone has a different description of what the metaverse is and none of them match. Wired suggests replacing metaverse with “cyberspace” because the metaverse isn’t really a new type of technology, it’s a shift in how we interact with existing technology. That makes sense. Losing our minds over something that keeps consumers out of stores does not. Throwing ridiculous amounts of money at it while conditions on the sales floor, and lack of customer service, continue to spin out of control does not. I am sure the metaverse will take off at some point, but frankly we’re just not there yet.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2022

    Do mental illness and retail entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand?

    This is Andy Dunn’s story. Mental health issues are individual -- not something that can be painted with a broad brushstroke. Entrepreneurship is hard but does it make you more vulnerable to mental health issues? I don’t have a definitive answer but I’m with Paula, it seems like a stretch to me.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2022

    Can Lowe’s build something tangible in the metaverse?

    That image of a Lowe’s shopper you posted on Twitter yesterday is a metaverse classic.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2022

    Will Deal Days help Target clear its inventory?

    Every consumer is looking for ways to save money these days so Target’s Deal Days and Amazon’s Prime Day will likely be big hits this year. We all know you can get anything you want from Amazon, but Target’s merchandise has that extra zazazoo. And instant gratification because Deal Days happen in-store, too.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Are retailers and consumers misaligned on trust?

    I think executives should spend less time relying on studies and spend more time on the sales floor with shoppers and associates. If you want to know what your customers and employees really want observe them in action then ask them yourself.

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