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: 09/29/2022

    A bag ban is all part of the brand at Wegmans

    It makes terrific sense for the Wegmans brand. Wegmans follows the directive to "think like a brand but act like a retailer." This latest move reinforces the customer- and environmentally-friendly image of Wegmans. Plus, it is Wegmans' decision. It would be terrific if more retailers followed their customers and their principles on issues like this, instead of waiting for and even fighting government mandates. The issue is to do what is right!
  • Posted on: 09/23/2022

    Did Target just move Black Friday up to October 7?

    Black Friday has been dead for awhile. Holiday shopping will occur whenever and wherever demand and supply intersect. Consumers, trying to cope with inflation, are looking for deals sooner rather than later. Retailers with full warehouses are trying to move inventory well before December. Walmart’s “no concerns” returns initiative will blunt Target’s efforts here.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2022

    Did Walmart just guarantee it will be the easiest place to shop for Christmas?

    Definitely a home run. Historically, making returns to Walmart has been a hassle. Note, the long lines in the returns area as you enter a Walmart. Obviously, there is a cost to do this the way Walmart proposes. However, there can be significant competitive advantages versus Target and other bricks and mortar retailers. In addition, this strategy challenges the “king” of returns’ convenience, namely Amazon.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2022

    Will electronic carts help Kroger fulfill curbside pickup orders more quickly?

    While the electronic cart has some noted advantages, the last mile is still replete with logistics and profitability challenges. If BOPIS is to be the preferred shopping method, we need to design the selection and delivery process accordingly. In the long run, mini fulfillment and Ocado-type 1000 robot fulfillment centers, which Kroger is pioneering, may move the interfering selection process from the store to the fulfillment center.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2022

    Shoplifters force Wegmans to pull the plug on its self-scanning app

    Self-scanning apps are not dead. However they are in need of significant refinements to avoid the thefts that Wegmans and other retailers have suffered. Wegmans will figure it out, including some of the refinements noted by other BrainTrust contributors.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2022

    Is now the right or wrong time for retailers to invest big in their businesses?

    One of Sam Walton’s rules for a successful business, was “swim upstream.” In other words, as others are heading in one direction, in this case cutting investment, go the other way. In my book on marketing strategy I offered a similar rule, namely, “do the unexpected.” Remember the words of Frederick the Great. In 1747, he gave these instructions to his generals, “Everything which the enemy least expects will succeed the best.” The highest-risk strategy is often the best strategy, because no one expects it. Investing now is doing the unexpected!
  • Posted on: 09/09/2022

    Target ditched its mandatory retirement age to keep Brian Cornell in charge

    As a Professor Emeritus, a fancy term for retirement, I never was in favor of mandatory retirement ages. My philosophy was to stop teaching before my students stopped listening. A retirement decision is not age determined. Instead, the individual needs to ask a few questions: Am I still having fun and making a difference? Do colleagues honestly believe I am making a positive contribution in my leadership role? The answers to these questions, not a number, will let you know when it’s time to pass the baton. In the Target situation, I assume that a bench of qualified candidates has been developed for key positions. This applies to the CEO position as well.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2022

    Meijer thinks smaller (but not small) with its new grocery concept

    With the aging of America, smaller footprint options allow shoppers to navigate a grocery store that is essentially the size of a traditional supermarket versus a supercenter. None of the formats are either/or. It's a function of the target market, competitive offerings and the economics of each planned offering.
  • Posted on: 09/03/2022

    Will Americans get started earlier or later this year on their Christmas shopping?

    Earlier: Inflation and out-of-stock consumer concerns. Profitability concerns by retailers, looking to lock in actual sales now rather than wait for the Christmas season potential sales.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2022

    Should grocers make a big deal out of freezing prices?

    This reminds me of the biblical quote about hiding a light under a bushel basket. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: "Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house.” Roll-back and frozen prices should be set on a lamp stand for all to see, not put under a bushel basket.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2022

    Is the time right for table-side credit card tech to go mainstream in America?

    Having lived and taught in Europe, I have used the table-side system without issue for years. In addition to the card control and security issues, the convenience is noteworthy. The time to implement throughout the USA is way overdue.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2022

    What should the free shipping threshold be?

    Like the cat that tasted the fresh tuna there is no going back to canned tuna. The same with free shipping. However the economics require a balance between shipping costs and profitability. The key is how to set and communicate this balance to customers. Plus, the opportunity for free shipping with add on purchases potentially makes the shopping experience a fun and creative process.
  • Posted on: 08/18/2022

    Is Target ready for what comes next?

    Rightsizing now was the right move. If you have bad news, get it over with. Don’t let bad news dribble out. But be sure to convey all the emotion that is attached to bad news. Leaders must be able to stand the shock of war, and marketing leaders must be able to stand the shock of bad news. A leader to makes things happen. A leader can make winners of losers and can achieve progress in the face of retreat. Leadership is an activity, not a position. In my opinion, Brian Cornell's leadership will continue to make Target a winner.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2022

    Walmart under-promised and over-delivered in the second quarter

    Walmart has done a terrific job of offering own-label food items at anti-inflationary prices. While its other initiatives have been heralded, the food initiative is the game changer here. The challenge will be to bring the rest of the store mix along.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2022

    Have restaurant meals become a better deal than food from grocery stores?

    Make no mistake, cooking at home is usually cheaper than eating out, and largely still is. Restaurants’ labor, rent, food costs and other expenses drive up the bill. However fast food chains, which drive value offerings, will give consumers an alternative to preparing meals at home. The challenge is for grocers, food brands and meal-kit companies to present an offering to consumers that convinces them that eating at home can be more affordable. Easier said than done!

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