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: 07/01/2022

    Is H-E-B’s e-grocery playbook a primer for taking on Amazon?

    The H-E-B playbook is simple: find out what customers want, give it to them and get it right the first time. No doubt its customer delight mantle acts as a “halo” for its online operations. The key is customer intimacy, employing technology to support a customer delight strategy.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Will consumers become even more frugal post-pandemic?

    Frugality will be the new normal, at least until inflation cools and COVID-19 becomes less of a factor. I am reminded that some folks need to save on purchases, however everyone loves to save. Extreme value retailers and own/private label will be kings during this time period.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are outsized private label gains in grocery a foregone conclusion?

    Years ago, the good retailers realized that private or own label, provided an opportunity for real differentiation. What retailer doesn’t carry Coca Cola, Campbell’s or Kellogg’s products? Now, the current inflationary environment has placed an additional spotlight on these offerings whose quality matches or surpasses the branded products in many categories. Meaningful share gains are inevitable.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

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

    There is no doubt that Bed Bath & Beyond is currently facing real issues that may even threaten its long term survival. These continuity of purchase programs (don’t call them loyalty programs) may generate short term sales. The challenge will be to generate profitable sales in light of the discounted merchandise and the current inflationary environment.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2022

    Will Deal Days help Target clear its inventory?

    There is no doubt that Target has to move inventory with 43 percent higher inventory than a year ago. Deal Days is one vehicle to do so. However the challenge for all of the noted major retailers (brick and mortar as well as online) is to do so profitably. Anyone can give product away. It takes brains to sell it.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Uber Eats ships big city meals nationwide

    While this expansion into other food deliveries may make more brand sense than Uber Eats' recent foray into non-food deliveries, it has real strategic and tactical implications. The challenge is, how does this service reinforce the Uber Eats brand and how does it successfully deliver such products over a long distance? The meat and seafood companies, like Omaha and Kansas City Steaks and Wild Alaskan and Fulton Fish Market, focus primarily on the delivery of frozen product that travels well and transitions nicely onto the grill upon delivery. I'm not certain that the Uber Eats city meals shipped nationwide will have such acceptance.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2022

    Are consumers going to take a vacation from buying things?

    During the pandemic consumers stayed home and bought products. Now the world has opened up and consumers want to get out of the house -- go to dinner or the gym, take a vacation, walk on the beach, etc. I see the vacation buying continuing, only slowed by inflation’s impact on the choice and time allotted for the vacation. For example, going to the beach or lake for the weekend versus an extended trip to Europe. In the meantime, retailers need to focus on offering value added services, e.g., prepared meals to go, cooking classes, veterinarian availability in the parking lot, etc. Think in terms of services that can help consumers, instead of simply selling food and CPG products.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2022

    Has online grocery shopping hit its sales ceiling?

    As long as shoppers perceive online as providing convenience (which it does) and value (now suspect with inflation and additional last-mile fees), there is no reason to believe that online is going to fade away. The pandemic accelerated the demand for online grocery products. Recall that online grocery shopping used to be drastically below other non-food categories and still is. The pandemic gave customers permission to try online and many have continued to purchase online, albeit with shifts in some food categories. Supermarkets need to continue to offer convenience and value online while making the brick-and-mortar options more attractive as customers return to stores.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Should retailers charge for curbside pickup?

    The difficulty here is removing a perk that customers have come to depend on. As for Sam's Club, with normally higher basket rings than a traditional supermarket (at least before the current inflation savaged supermarkets), this might incur significant pushback. The alternative is to increase the minimum order value for free curbside pickup. In addition to mollifying the customer the larger basket may contribute to an improved P&L.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2022

    Will automated fulfillment centers deliver big results for Walmart?

    This will make a competitive difference as well a difference for customers. While Walmart’s network of stores provides real logistical advantages, in store picking and order fulfillment detracts from the shopper store experience. If the automated fulfillment centers can address this issue, as well as enhance online shopping margins, this could be a big win for Walmart.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2022

    Circle K’s new self-checkouts are kicking barcode scanners to the curb

    This technology should be a breakthrough for convenience stores. Given the limited number of product purchases and the customer's demand for a speedy checkout, this is the natural next step after scanners and associate assistance. The next generation for c-stores is no checkout. In the meantime other major players will be installing this technology.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2022

    New members re-up at Costco in record numbers

    Costco fully understands that it is not about the customers being loyal to the company, but the company being loyal to its customers. How? Simply by delivering on its promises. Costco does this well by constantly and consistently providing value to its customers. The value equation can be observed in the traditional definition of value; quality divided by price. However it does even better when you define value as benefits received divided by burdens endured. As noted by other BrainTrust contributors, Costco provides a myriad of benefits and the process of taking advantage of these benefits is seamless and without significant burdens. As for holding off on membership price increases, this is icing on the cake!
  • Posted on: 05/27/2022

    When the going gets tough, consumers shop dollar stores

    I do not agree that these value retailers will need to absorb most of the higher costs. Dollar Tree’s price increases early in the inflation run up demonstrate that these markets have strong consumer demand and resiliency against price increases. Manufacturers and traditional retailers have already raised prices and in doing so have given consumers permission to return to dollar stores.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2022

    Nordstrom is staffed, stocked and ready to serve as store traffic increases

    The one part of this positive story that needs to be emphasized is Nordstrom’s performance with BOPIS. Their numbers (three and one-half times more spending) highlight the role of BOPIS. Customers enter the stores with empty carts and begin anew the shopping journey. The key for all retailers is to properly merchandise to BOPIS customers.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2022

    Will Adidas help Foot Locker get over Nike?

    When life gives you lemons make terrific lemonade or, on the other hand, if life takes away some of your lemons, make some other juices, like orange, pineapple, etc. No doubt the reduced presence of Nike hurts but Foot Locker’s broadening of brands make good sense. While Foot Locker is focusing on Nike replacements, it still needs to up its online game.

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