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: 12/09/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    As I have stated before in this space, loyalty programs per se make no sense. Let's call them continuity of purchase programs. How do you become successful with continuity of purchase programs? Simple, be loyal to your promises to your customers. The article notes several factors that customers believe are important before they seriously engage in a long term relationship with a seller. These represent the ante. If you want loyalty in life, get a dog. If you want customers for life, meet their needs better than your competitor does and you've got a shot.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2019

    Will Kroger’s dark kitchens cook up something good?

    There are several potential wins from food retailers employing dark kitchens: First, a dark kitchen can be operated as a restaurant kitchen as opposed to a meal preparation facility in the store (normally adjacent to the deli). Second, the issues of food quality, chef preparation, fresh ingredients, innovative menus, etc. can be more focused in a standalone dark kitchen. Third, as noted, the speed to market (namely delivery) is supposedly enhanced via this method of meal preparation and delivery. Some potential issues: Food has to be excellent and hot or ready to heat. Menus and preparation need to reflect meals that will be prepared in advance and then delivered (this is not the same as the meal in your favorite restaurant). Likewise, packaging needs to be on-brand with a perceived chef-prepared meal, namely, no Styrofoam here.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Kohl’s vs. Macy’s

    Macy's by a long shot. Kohl's has some fun and includes the Property Brothers. However it's not clear what their role is in this commercial. On the other hand, Macy's tells a story that has been too long in coming. Why not a female Santa?
  • Posted on: 11/26/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Old Navy vs. T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

    The TJX spot resonated with me. The festive holiday walk puts the viewer in the holiday spirit. The commercial clearly communicates the sponsor and ends with the phrase, “spend less, gift better at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.” Plus, a little levity at the very end seals the deal. Core or new customers can get the message and the spirit with this commercial.
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Private label foods need work

    The biggest shortcoming is a failure to commit to a real potentially positive differentiator. Every food retailer carries the leading national brands. The question becomes, what will make a customer drive past one food retailer to visit another? Clearly a well-defined private label offering, appropriately priced and properly merchandised is one big reason to do so. When it comes to private label, food retailers need to think like a brand and act like a retailer. Private label can be a key component of the retailer’s branding strategy.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Etsy

    They are both terrific ads. My preference is for the Amazon ad. Besides the 90 second ad, they have shorter versions running at different times and on different networks. The concept of “Everybody” certainly captures the holiday gift giving season. Its catchy music and various scenarios and people appear to appeal to current as well as potential new customers. Plus, for the purpose of full disclosure, I downloaded the Blues Brothers version of the song and play it constantly on my iPhone and IPad! Terrific song!
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Kroger brings the farm closer to the table

    This represents a terrific opportunity for supermarkets, if they can get the logistics, technology and operations issues resolved. While the article correctly discusses the healthy eating and sustainability advantages, I see another real point of positive differentiation, namely the associated theater that in-store farms present. Face it. For the most part supermarket shopping is boring. In-store farms can bring needed excitement to the mix. Plus, think about other marketing opportunities: school trips to visit the farm, local chefs featuring the in-store farms fruits and vegetables, etc. The only limit will be one’s imagination. Produce suppliers will need to up their game!
  • Posted on: 11/18/2019

    What will happen now that Five Below has gone above $5?

    I do not think it will have any long term damage. Price is always on trial and the retailer always has the Walmart “roll back pricing” option. Five Below is apparently taking a page from the dollar stores who have moved well past $1 for many of its offerings. Like the dollar stores, this recent move should not adversely affect Five Below’s extreme value positioning.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Walmart has a too much grocery problem

    Walmart has invested & innovated such that these grocery sales results are to be expected. Recall, the logic behind Supercenters, namely having grocery aisles placed horizontally versus traditional supermarkets with vertical aisles. Every time you turn a grocery aisle, the plan was to lead you into higher margin non-grocery aisles. However, these transition middle store aisles have failed to capture the grocery shopper’s attention. Walmart needs to rethink what the transition assortments should be and once selected, merchandise them well. Walmart has the shopper visits, now is the time to upsell.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    Amazon confirms it will open a grocery store not named Whole Foods

    Amazon has learned from both its Whole Foods and Amazon Go operations. Now it sees mainstream grocery as the next logical step in its efforts to become the leading grocery retailer. Walmart and Target will certainly take notice. However more traditional supermarkets who thus far tended to dismiss Amazon, citing Whole Foods as a specialty retailer and Amazon Go as a convenience store, need to up their ante in light of this latest Amazon move.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Why is Trader Joe’s hiding stuffed animals in its stores?

    A terrific way to get the children involved in the grocery shopping experience. Plus, it adds a dimension of fun to an otherwise boring shopping outing. The key is to engage today’s children who will become tomorrow’s Trader Joe’s shoppers. Great example of a low cost, high return (present and future) tactic.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2019

    Is Amazon starting to fall out of favor with American consumers?

    I wouldn't be too quick to bury Amazon. While Walmart and Target have done a very good job of replicating Amazon's efforts, Amazon continues to innovate. I do believe that "clicks and mortar" provides a benefit to Walmart and Target; despite Amazon's Whole Foods option, which to date has been problematic for Amazon. This holiday season will provide a better snapshot of Amazon's relationship with its customers.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2019

    Survey says consumers want online orders shipped fast and free

    Yes and yes. Like the cat who tasted fresh tuna there is no going back to canned tuna.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Will free deliveries for Prime members make Amazon the driving force in online grocery?

    Amazon’s mantra has always been to seek “first mover advantage.” Free deliveries for Prime members is the latest such effort. However, as noted by other panelists, profitability will be a challenge. Plus, this strategy does not address the BOPIS issues associated with Whole Foods. Independent and regional chains need to gird for the impact of this change as it is responded to by Walmart and Target.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2019

    When customers think Casey’s, will they think community?

    Casey’s should be applauded for its community focused endeavors. Its efforts mirror those of Wawa, a leading regional C-store with over 800 locations. Wawa welcomes its customers to the Neighborhood. It states, “...we don’t have customers. We have neighbors. And being a good neighbor is part of who we are.” In addition to the Wawa Foundation, the company is involved in neighborhood issues like Autism, Down Syndrome, Juvenile Diabetes, Breast Cancer and many more deserving charities. However, for these events Wawa does not simply donate needed refreshments, it sends teams of associates, who volunteer their time for the good of their neighbors. Wawa is akin to the neighborhood stores that towns once enjoyed. People refer to their neighborhood store as "My Wawa," a term that best describes a unique relationship. C-stores all have this potential to be the neighborhood hub if you perceive your customers as neighbors, not simply customers.

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