PROFILE

George Anderson

Editor-in-Chief, RetailWire
George Anderson has extensive executive-level experience in editorial, marketing and sales in the advertising, retail/wholesale and print, video and digital media industries. Mr. Anderson has served as the editorial voice of RetailWire since the site's founding in 2002 and has been interviewed by a wide variety of media outlets including the Charlotte Observer, Providence Journal, MarketWatch, NPR, Wall Street Journal Radio and others. Previously, Mr. Anderson served as president and creative director of the IdeaBeat Creative division of IdeaBeat.com. His duties included creating Online Profit Guides and Company Spotlights recognized as "Best of the Net" by About.com for a blue-chip list of consumer goods manufacturers and technology companies. Before joining IdeaBeat, Mr. Anderson created a successful sales and marketing communications and custom publishing company called Not Your Average Agency. Mr. Anderson's experience includes eight years with Progressive Grocer Associates/Maclean Hunter Media, where he held a variety of marketing services and sales management roles. His assignments included work in the company's four divisions including Progressive Grocer, Frozen Food Age, Retail Technology, and Retail Insights (Supermarket Insights and Convenience Store Insights video division.) For editorial inquiries, please contact George at: RetailWire 116 South Union Avenue Cranford, NJ 07016 908-325-2499
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  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

    Amazon Fresh grocery store opens touting low prices and cashier-free checkout

    That is the question. ;o)
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

    Amazon Fresh grocery store opens touting low prices and cashier-free checkout

    I don't think Amazon sees Fresh competing directly with Whole Foods. I think management sees it as format to take on Kroger and other mainstream grocery stores. A quick Google search showed Ralphs, Pavilions, Gelson's, Trader Joe's, Smart & Final, Walmart and other chain and independent stores in the area around the new Amazon store.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

    Will runners subscribe to a 100 percent recyclable shoe rental plan?

    Most avid runners can find a good pair of shoes between $125 and $180. Since it is not unusual for them to go through more than one pair a year, the price for the rental is still within what they would probably be paying for new sneakers outright. Then, in On's case, the wearer gets to do something socially positive by recycling the shoes in a process that the brand has striven to make easy. Both of the above points to a winner for On. The remaining element is product quality. Of the few people I know who own On shoes, all speak positively about the fit, weight, stability and cushioning. On's co-founder is saying that Cyclon may be the best sneaker it has produced. Sounds like another positive to me.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2020

    Retailer saves itself at the buzzer with TikTok

    Walmart has a keen interest in TikTok (today's news says it is still looking to invest in the platform) and that leads me to believe that there's something there. Having products that align with the audience and making use of the video app's storytelling potential (making funny videos playing with candy, for example) are the keys to success.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2020

    Should restaurants charge a pandemic fee?

    Petco offers a 10 percent discount when you do curbside pickup at their stores, at least here locally. I think I've been inside the store one-time since March.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2020

    Simon sees a big and profitable upside in acquiring retail tenants

    One element that I think isn't always considered in discussions about Simon's moves to acquire retail chains is the role of Authentic Brands Group (https://www.authenticbrandsgroup.com) in these deals. Here's what David Simon said about their partnership: "Authentic Brands Group, is a fantastic intellectual property group, does business throughout the world and has a ton of brands. So, normally – and they provide a lot of value on sourcing, marketing, international operations, et cetera. So, normally, when we're doing that, we work with them. They're very, very good about understanding where there is value in the brand because they know how they can monetize that intellectual property. Obviously, we have a point of view because we know what the consumer likes. So, you put the two of us together in a room and that's how we do it. So, we rarely play. I mean, there have been unfortunately a lot of bankruptcies this year. It's not like we're playing in a lot of them."
  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    Trader Joe’s says ‘never mind’ on private label name changes

    My comment was a reply to your statement that the petition was from people who do not shop at Trader Joe’s as referenced in the first sentence. I didn't take issue with your post, in general.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    Trader Joe’s says ‘never mind’ on private label name changes

    For factual discussion sakes, it's been reported that the young woman who started the petition, Briones Bedell, 17, of Oakley, CA, has said her family have been regular customers at Trader Joe's. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, she said, "I think that the central issue at the heart of all this is that when any community isn’t allowed control over their representation, harmful stereotypes and caricatures are allowed to be perpetuated. I think we can derive and apply some of the lessons learned within the protecting intangible cultural contents sphere to other instances of cultural insensitivity, as in the case of Trader Joe’s branding of ethnic foods with these names like Trader Ming’s, Trader Jose, Thai Joe’s, etc." You may not agree with her, I personally remain unconvinced based on my past experience working, albeit briefly, for Trader Joe's, but her words are certainly worthy of consideration for all retailers and brands, again IMO.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    The question isn't whether he should know every single detail of how his business works as CEO. It's whether he should have known in a public forum that these specific questions were coming (the answer being yes) and should he have had simple, concise responses when asked (the answer here also should have been yes).
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Don't you think he should have known he was going to be asked that question or something similar to it in advance and been ready to answer it? Mr. Bezos' apparent unpreparedness for obvious questions seems very un-Amazon-like to me. The company and its communication reps are as good as it gets in my experience. "We'll get back to you" responses are a far cry from that.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Best Buy connects strong sales to frontline worker performance

    The following statement from Charlie O'Shea, Moody's retail analyst, was emailed my way. “Best Buy’s preliminary Q2 sales results, with stores only open for a relatively brief period, reflect the importance of its products and the effectiveness of its multi-channel model, especially the two percent positive comp, which occurred in addition to explosive 250 percent+ online growth. The decision to increase employee pay, despite potential for increased costs, is a positive as it will preserve Best Buy’s consultative sales force, which we believe is a critical competitive advantage against Best Buy’s core competitors.”
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Starbucks becomes latest retailer to make masks mandatory

    It's been widely reported in Southern California, in particular, large numbers of people are refusing to wear masks even when mandates (governmental or private business) are in place. The greatest spikes are coming from that area and in inland farming areas where farm workers pick crops and live in close proximity. Multiple studies have shown that masks do not eliminate infection from COVID-19, but they significantly reduce it. My recommendation is until someone comes up with a better solution that can be tested and proved, everyone should demonstrate what our history has always shown. We're stronger when we work together. Please, wear a mask.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2020

    Anti-mask shoppers find themselves publicly shamed

    Hugo's Tacos has closed its two restaurants in Los Angeles. Here's the company's statement on Instagram (edited for brevity): To Our Customers Our Taco Stands are exhausted by the constant conflicts over guests refusing to wear masks. Staff have been harassed, called names, and had objects and liquids thrown at them. A mask isn’t symbolic of anything other than our desire to keep our staff healthy. Both of our locations are going to take a break and recharge. We’ve loved serving you the last 15 years and hope the LA community comes together on this issue so we can feel safe and reopen soon. Thank you to the majority of our guests who are always respectful and kind.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2020

    Will expanded fresh and frozen food selection drive Target’s pickup business?

    While I will admit I'd be hard-pressed to give Target a grade higher than a C- for its grocery execution to date, it's also important to note that without grocery, its stores would have been closed to walk-in businesses for months since it would have failed to qualify as an essential retailer in many places. Selfishly as a customer, I'm rooting for Target to get its grocery game together and dealing with its out-of-stock issues, in general. It does, however, have a long way to go IMHO.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    The face mask rule is now simply a suggestion at some H-E-B stores

    I know that San Antonio and Bexar County (78 have died to date there) were among the most aggressive in shutting down when the outbreak began. H-E-B, to its credit, has been a leader in its response to protect the communities it serves and its workers. That said, the Texas state legislature, the state's governor and lieutenant governor are clearly committed to reopening the economy and seeing what happens. It's early still, but recent statewide numbers are concerning. Axios reported yesterday that testing increased in Texas 36 percent over the past week. That's good news. The bad news is that confirmed people with the virus went up 51 percent. The state is also seeing increases in the percentages of people being tested who are coming back positive for COVID-19. Directionally, those stats are headed the wrong way. Let's hope that Texans who choose to shop without face masks at H-E-B stores and elsewhere can somehow be encouraged to change their ways and choose to protect others by wearing coverings even if they are not concerned about catching COVID-19 themselves.

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