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: 10/20/2020

    Albertsons offers a new refrigerated take on store pickup

    The next step in the BOPIS evolution, made more pertinent in these pandemic times by its contactless nature. A potential upside may be the increased opportunity to enter the store, not concerned with the temperature of products in the locker, and add high-margin items to an empty shopping cart.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    Book stores need to give their customers a reason to shop there, not simply providing reasons not to shop at Amazon. Barnes & Noble changed the book store paradigm from dusty, dreary shelves full of books with signage like “if you want to read a book, you must buy it first” to fun places to visit that include coffee bars. We know people still like to shop, although less so, in physical stores. Local book stores need to give potential customers reasons to shop in their stores. Obviously the pandemic provides more challenges to doing this safely. However, how about a socially distanced book club meeting or a discussion over coffee of the top ten bestseller list? Bashing Amazon should not be an excuse for not thinking creatively.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Has Rite Aid found the right prescription for growth?

    Rite Aid has always been the tertiary player in this business behind the two big players, namely CVS and Walgreens. The enhancement of the pharmacist's role could be a difference maker. Plus the focus on its target customer (a woman between the ages of 25 and 49) with accompanying marketing and merchandising that appeals to this significant core group could also be a key differentiator.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Is a new store concept the start of something big(ger) for Aldi?

    It appears that Aldi is testing different store sizes, product mix, etc. to fit the new environments it is targeting. The availability of more fresh should be a key differentiator for Aldi, an extreme value retailer with the offerings that match larger traditional retailers. The Albrecht brothers are astute marketers, whose success to date confirms that.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2020

    Will FAO Schwarz make Target a bigger player in toys?

    Quarantining will have a significant impact on toy sales this holiday season. The key question for Target is, will it have the necessary breadth and depth of toy offerings to compete successfully with Walmart and Amazon?
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    What’s behind the Amazon/SpartanNash deal?

    For less than $100 million, Amazon continues its investment and testing of food wholesaling and retailing. SpartanNash, with its 155 stores, provides Amazon with insights into a more traditional food retailer -- such a perspective is not provided by Whole Foods or the latest Amazon banners. However the real reason for the deal may be the many distribution opportunities and insights from SpartanNash’s wholesale operation - all acquired for significantly less than what Amazon typically pays for test market learnings.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2020

    Will downsizing (food packs) bring a merry Christmas to Sam’s Club?

    Smaller food pack sizes makes sense beyond the holidays and beyond the pandemic. BJ's has shown this will work. Plus the growth in the senior and empty-nester populations makes smaller food pack sizes a natural. The club stores have always positioned themselves as the value destination. Prices are indeed good, but demand a larger cash outlay at the time of purchase as well as the need for product storage. Smaller pack sizes beyond prepared foods makes sense. In fact, it is an opportunity to offer an aisle of smaller package sizes, comparable to what many traditional food retailers have done in offering an aisle of larger (club store) size packages. Club stores will still be valued for the "treasure hunt." Now the hunt can include smaller pack sizes.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2020

    Will same-day deliveries be a difference maker for Bed Bath & Beyond?

    Nothing innovative or even new here. Same day delivery for BBBY products does not meet the urgency of grocery delivery. Offering diapers or an all purpose pan are items that other online retailers already provide the same day. This latest move could in fact backfire, if BOPIS customers stopped visiting the stores, reducing BBBY's opportunity to romance and merchandize the store and its products.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Did CDC’s announcement boost retail’s online sales prospects for Christmas?

    Online shopping is becoming a part of most consumers' DNA. No doubt this season for in person shopping will be dramatically affected as noted by several respondents. However, the changed behavior will not be short lived. Online shopping is the new normal.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2020

    Will curbside pickup be Costco’s Achilles heel?

    Costco’s model, like most club stores, is based on the “treasure hunt” and its terrific in-store sampling program. Unless the Costco BOPIS model encourages an in-store visit at the time of pickup, there would be little in the way of incremental sales. In fact, the opposite is more likely, as customers like me will no longer fill their carts with many unplanned purchases. Costco should cautiously approach curbside pickup, lest its attempt to address its Achilles heel lead to more debilitating outcomes.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Can Trader Joe’s continue thriving without delivery and curbside pickup?

    Trader Joe's is applying one of Sam Walton's directives: swim upstream. When everyone is going in one direction look for opportunities upstream. Trader Joe's has made its mark based on the in-store experience which combines a treasure hunt and good value with an exceptionally friendly and helpful crew. Trader Joe's represents one of a handful food retailers which are still fun to shop. Stay the course.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2020

    Online to make up 21.5 percent of grocery’s sales in five years

    Data like this highlight the table stakes investment in omnichannel. I am reminded that omnichannel is about customers, not channels. The goal of omnichannel marketing is creating a seamless, convenient, customer focus to shopping. The gold standard target market are those customers who purchase online and pick up in-store. Research indicates that these combo shoppers spend more than online only and in-store only. The heuristic I think that drives this behavior is the empty shopping cart when they enter the store. Customers use the fullness of the shopping cart as an official calculator of spending. If they purchased their necessary groceries online which are ready to be placed in the car, the shopping calculator resets. This gives the shopper permission to visit the high margin front of store perimeter and augment the shopping trip with fresh flowers or a recently baked bread or even tonight's dinner.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2020

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

    I believe Amazon has checked off all of the boxes for a winning concept. Providing customers with shopping and checkout choices, low prices, some featured national brands, card usage discounts, and delicious prepared meals represents a formula for success that competitors again will have to figure out how to emulate. Obviously Amazon learned from its Whole Foods and Amazon Go experiences, to the extent that this blended model appears to be their current go-to-market strategy. However we all know that Amazon is constantly trying new innovations as well as "rolling and fixing" those it launches.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    C-stores focused on being even more convenient during the pandemic

    The changes c-stores need to consider are a function of their strategies and target markets. For example, for those chains like Wawa, which have morphed into convenient foodservice, adding groceries would not be consistent with their foodservice focus. The key for the foodservice c-stores is more convenience in terms of access, e.g. drive thru and drive up pickup, delivery options, etc. Similarly, enhancement of the dinner day part with tasty, nutritious and easy to prepare (heat and eat) entrees would drive additional business.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2020

    Could Authentic Brands be the lynchpin in J.C. Penney’s turnaround?

    J.C. Penney needs a strategy first. Who will be its target market, what unique positioning can it own within its target market, who is it competing with, etc.? These are fundamental issues that need to be dealt with before any branding decisions are made. No doubt J.C. Penney is struggling and Authentic Brands could be a life saver, but only after the larger strategic issues are addressed.

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