PROFILE

Richard J. George, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Marketing, Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph's University

Dr. Richard J. George is Professor Emeritus of Food Marketing at the Haub School of Business, St. Joseph’s University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Temple University. He has authored or co-authored eleven books including Winning Customer Rules and Winning Marketing Strategy: The Rules.  He has also been recognized with several awards for teaching and research excellence, including the prestigious Lindback and Tengelmann Awards.   As an entrepreneur he has learned the need to “walk the walk” and not simply “talk the talk.” He was one of nineteen professors nationwide named as their favorite undergrad business professor and profiled by Business Week in a feature titled “Class Acts.”  In 2014 he was voted by students as the “Top Prof” in the Haub School of Business.  He has lived and taught in England at the University of London and in Ireland at the University College Cork.

As an expert on food marketing strategy, brand strategy, business ethics, marketing strategy, customer delight, marketing trends, and servant leadership, he has been quoted by major news organizations and industry publications worldwide. He has spoken on these topics in the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Pacific Rim.  Articles on these topics have appeared in the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Journal of Food Products Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Adweek, Grocery Headquarters, Marketing News, the International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Journal of Business Ethics.

Dr. George has spent his entire professional career in the development of people.  Over the course of his career, with his speeches in the U.S. and internationally, he has reached tens of thousands of students and food marketing industry leaders.  He is the previous holder of the Gerald E. Peck Fellowship, working on a project for the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA).  The objective of the IFDA research project was to enhance collaboration between foodservice manufacturers and distributors.  Previously, he held the fellowship sponsored by FMI during which he produced three published research reports focusing on the future of food wholesaling.

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  • Posted on: 01/20/2021

    Is My Pillow being ‘cancelled’ or is its CEO trashing the business all on his own?

    Brands are always on trial. In this case, My Pillow has been found guilty!
  • Posted on: 01/13/2021

    Walmart to deliver groceries to temp-controlled smart boxes at customers’ homes

    A concept that is way overdue. We have seen the effects of smart appliances. Now we will see technology that reduces the compromise that buyers have had to make to receive home delivery. Good move that I suspect will be copied by competitors.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Did Amazon Pantry outlive its usefulness?

    Simply stated the Amazon Pantry model required too much customer work to fill a box. Plus other online options made it easier to order and receive products. Customer disinterest and attrition killed Amazon Pantry. Recall Amazon is the king of trying new initiatives, separating the wheat from the chaff. Amazon Pantry is today’s chaff.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Retailers give customers refunds and tell them to keep items

    The key here is having the analytics to ascertain the value of a return versus keeping the product. Such information can balance the cost of the return and the customer’s value. While larger retailers can invest in such systems, these tools may be beyond the investment necessary by smaller retailers. Even without a pandemic, retailers need to address the issue of customers who are dissatisfied with a purchase. Assuming the dissatisfaction is legitimate, retailers need to recognize their responsibilities to make returns easy for customers. Customers already devoted time and money to purchase a product. They should not be burdened with additional effort to get what they already paid for.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Retailers call on Trump to end the national chaos he created

    Wasn't planning on commenting on the obvious that this discussion has highlighted. I have read, respected and agree with the majority of braintrust colleagues, who have expressed their shock and dismay over yesterday's chaos, including their criticism of business leaders when it comes to their dealings with Trump. Permit me to share the words of my late mother. "There is always good that comes from bad." My hope is that the American citizens who drank Trump's cool-aid, now realize that the situation was not as he described. Instead it is the warped response of an individual who never could deal with being a loser.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Albertsons ditching in-house drivers to deliver online orders

    Comps are up but so are delivery expenses. This has been and will continue to be a financial challenge for all food retailers, regardless of how the “final mile” is negotiated. The negative PR impact aside, food retailers need to either reduce delivery costs or shift the burden to customers in the form of higher food prices.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2021

    Will Giant Food’s shelf labels with diversity call-outs drive sales?

    A savvy food retailer’s goal is to create a positive, differential advantage, one that gives customers the permission to drive past other retailers in search of the retailer offering the differential advantage. The Giant Food’s diversity call-outs represents such an opportunity. In addition, the story telling and romancing the brands provide for additional purchase incentives. This program should not be measured in terms of its cannon potential for impacting the whole market. Instead it is an example of a laser beam -- focused on the needs of selective target markets.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2020

    Is it time for retailers to reconsider Instacart?

    Instacart has been a good option for retailers trying to figure out home delivery. However, as noted, there are shortcomings. While the fees are an obvious issue, I think a bigger concern is, who owns the customer? I have used Instacart with mixed results for Publix grocery shopping. Retailers need to seek alternative home delivery options or bite the bullet and develop their own delivery system. No doubt there are capital commitments and executional issues, but online is here to stay and these delivery issues are here to stay.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2020

    And the winner of the 2020 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is …

    While I enjoyed the DocMorris spot, it was almost 3 minutes long. A much shorter, but equally impactful spot was Woodie's. Also Kudos to Whiteware and Tesco for their similar messages that it's okay to celebrate during these challenging times.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2020

    Winter cold kills last remaining option for many restaurants

    At the outset, permit me to echo the sentiment expressed by others, that the only viable short term solution is providing financial assistance to the owners and employees of restaurants. One interesting approach was highlighted in Food & Wine: "Pantry Goods Take Center Stage at Restaurants This Winter." In this article, highlighted by Kevin Coupe, “traditional and new restaurants are creating a new model less focused on indoor dining, but also offering a more robust take-out menu and a more curated grocery selection that is keyed to their ethos and value proposition.” There’s even a name for this concept: restaurmarkets, a unique approach to stay relevant and perhaps stay in business.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2020

    Publix decides the time is right for an experiential, two-story concept

    Fortunately, the pandemic’s influence on shopper behaviors should diminish as we move through 2021. Influenced by the phrase "innovate or die," Publix and others recognize now is the time to refresh and upgrade their offerings. Perhaps the king of innovation is Amazon, with seven different retail stores across different retail categories. In the grocery space it offers the following: Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Go cashierless convenience store, Amazon Fresh Pickup, Whole Foods and Amazon-branded grocery stores. The retail innovation of Publix, Amazon and others during the so-called retail apocalypse, with U.S. stores closing by the thousands, underscores their commitment to the future. It also cements their leadership positions with shopping paradigm shifts. When a paradigm shifts, everyone goes back to zero and will be forced to copy the innovations of these visionaries.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2020

    Commercials show the magic behind good deeds and Christmas surprises

    While both commercials are moving, the Co-op ad gets my vote. It is an engaging spot as is the DocMorris mini-film. However, the tie breaker for me was the closing call to action of the Co-op ad, " We can all do our bit for our community."
  • Posted on: 12/15/2020

    Lidl and Tesco keep their Christmas spots ‘merry and bright’ for 2020

    A couple of good ads. The British know how to do it right. The Tesco ad really resonated with me, in that it addressed the trials of 2020, but is giving customers permission to treat themselves this holiday season.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Are stores going to turn into ghost towns?

    This is a good follow up article to yesterday’s discussion on shoppers returning to stores. In essence, retailers need to address two shopper issues: what will keep them away and what will make them visit stores in the new year. As discussed previously, shoppers will not visit stores in which they don’t feel safe. Retailers need to constantly assess from a shopper’s perspective, whether their stores are viewed as safe. So the lack of safety will keep them away. What will be the positive reasons to venture into the stores? Simply - make it fun, interesting, convenient and a value. Give them a reason to drive by other retailers to visit your store.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2020

    What will it take to get shoppers back into stores in 2021?

    It is conceivable that when the pandemic restrictions ease, there may be a backlash against remote experiences and a drive for physical reconnection. The pandemic fatigue has been most felt in the desire to interact with other persons and explore the shopping environment. Many of the suggestions in the article are worthwhile. Two simple suggestions: make the shopping experience fun again and make it safe. For example, recognize that the pandemic induced emphasis on health and hygiene has led to an increase in single-use plastic and reversed some of the preexisting focus on sustainability.

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