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. 2023 marks their 33rd anniversary as a speaking team.
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  • Posted on: 02/06/2023

    Is it time for retailers to pay their managers OT?

    Closing the store again because you’re short-staffed? Missing holidays because you are expected at work? Being the one who goes to the store at 3 a.m. because the alarm goes off? Been there. At some point in your career title is important, but after being constantly called upon to work overtime that title isn’t as attractive as being compensated for long hours. And besides, everyone deserves a cool title. With appropriate pay. Whether it’s overtime or a salary that matches what’s actually required to do the job, it’s about time that managers are compensated for their hard work.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2023

    Are grocers becoming conflicted over love and football?

    YES!
  • Posted on: 02/03/2023

    Are grocers becoming conflicted over love and football?

    Different strokes for different folks. Unless the Packers are in the Super Bowl I am only in it for the commercials, which I record. But Valentine’s Day is a big deal with my kids and now grandkids. If grocers what to make everyone happy, promote both days. It’s a win-win-win.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2023

    Impossible Foods says there’s nothing faddish about plant-based meat

    Nice click bait headline, Bloomberg. It’s a little too soon to determine whether or not plant-based meat will save the world. But it is perfectly fine to defend your product, and in the case of Impossible Foods, necessary.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2023

    Is technology the answer to better customer experiences in grocery stores?

    Speaking as a consumer, what I want from a grocery store experience is simple: Good selection, fair prices, a clean and easy-to-shop sales floor, help when I need it, and plenty of cashiers so customers wait time on line is minimized. Technology isn’t that important to me in a grocery store, and I don’t think I am alone when I say this. Now, tech that frees up associates to interact with shoppers? Bring it on.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2023

    Do retailers need to start paying serious attention to Generation Alpha?

    There is a danger in not paying attention to kids, but most companies don’t and end up playing catch up. This is why I have always said companies need a VP of Pop Culture. There’s too much to miss that can affect business. Alphas will change everything. We also heard this about Gen Z and Millennials, and probably about Gen X and Boomers before that. But this time we really need to pay attention. When kids en masse say they’d rather be a social media influencer than President of the United States, we’re in trouble. Then again, they ARE kids.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2023

    How much say should retailers have over an associate’s appearance?

    I’m having a hard time with this one. I am all for dress codes because associates represent the brand, however, I draw the line at the physical. What gives any company the right to tell people their teeth are bad? And what happens if that associate does not have the funds or access to fix their teeth within 90 days? You want my teeth to be perfect? Cool. Pay for it.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2023

    Has it gotten harder to find a top notch retail CEO?

    We live in a world where everyone assumes retail is easy. Your “some experience is next to nothing” comment is spot on.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2023

    Walmart using a well-proven formula to attract B2B customers

    Plenty of small businesses already rely on Walmart for supply needs, Walmart Business just sweetens the pot. In the '80s and '90s Walmart was feared by small retailers, and for good reason: Mr. Sam was a tough competitor. Over the years, the help Walmart has given communities and SMBs has turned that fear around. Walmart is now considered a reliable resource.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2023

    Can opera keep loiterers away from store parking lots?

    When I ran a store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I used to frequently find “a gift” on our back stoop. One day I happened to open the door and almost caught the guy in the act. I asked him why he chose my store and he said because we had the cleanest stoop in the city. So we made a deal: I’d buy him breakfast every day if he would stop and he agreed. His name was Jim and ultimately I hired him to do random tasks. When I left I made sure that other store personnel continued to take care of Jim, and they were happy to do it. You schooled us, Jasmine, by pointing out that there are more humane ways to deal with the homeless. A little acknowledgement of our universal humanity can go a long way.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2023

    Can opera keep loiterers away from store parking lots?

    This sounds like the plot of a horror movie. Quick, call M. Night Shyamalan! Seriously though, if it works without hurting anyone, as it obviously does, it appears to be a good solution to the problem.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2023

    Will Lowe’s become birthday party central for kids?

    My grandson would love this! He’s seven.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2023

    Will Lowe’s become birthday party central for kids?

    Craft stores aren’t the only retailers cashing in on the maker craze, Lowe’s and Home Depot have had project classes for kids for years. Lowe’s Build a Birthday is a natural extension of those classes. These parties will grow future customers. I am all for giving kids safe, hands-on experience with tools. It’s a life skill many of us never learned. Plus, party construction hats. I love it!
  • Posted on: 01/18/2023

    Does Neiman Marcus have too many eggs in too few baskets?

    Know what else is shocking? When you attend a NM fashion show and inquire at the store about several items only to be told they don’t come in your size. Come on, I wear a 12. Imagine the possibilities if they expanded their customer horizons?
  • Posted on: 01/18/2023

    Are retail communications out of sync with consumers?

    Social media as a communication is completely up to the consumer, who chooses whether or not to click on a post/ad or ignore it. Email is more complicated. You have to wonder if retailers look at stats or just blindly throw email marketing at the wall? I have a separate email account to monitor retailer offerings -- believe me when I tell you it’s out of hand. Most send email multiple times a week, many send email daily, and some, especially during the holidays, send email multiple times a day. I don’t care how much you love a store, that’s too much. The attempts at personalization vary and are generally more of a miss than a hit. “Hey there, BENDER!” Still, I believe email marketing is important. The messages themselves are beautiful, it’s the delivery that needs help. Surely there is someone looking at stats, and hopefully someone in marketing who is willing to listen to what the data says about open rates and click- thrus. When a good thing graces your email box too many times it just becomes noise.

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