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: 02/28/2020

    Will a new subscription program be Walmart’s winning answer to Amazon Prime?

    While the recent moves will help, Amazon still enjoys first-mover advantage over Walmart and others. Despite the apparent advantage of delivery from 1,600 Walmart store locations, Amazon Prime is still the preferred market leader by a long shot. Walmart still needs to crack the code of the real shopping differential advantage its bricks-and-mortar locations play in its omnichannel presence.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2020

    Amazon goes bigger with its cashier-less store concept

    This is the latest in Amazon’s history of experiments designed to make the customer’s shopping experience convenient and efficient. True, customers see the checkout process for most retailers as archaic. Taking items from the shelf, placing them into a shopping cart, then taking the items out of the cart, placing them on a conveyor and finally placing the bagged items into your cart (again). In the long run, cashier-less options will only work when the above tasks are minimized or limited.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    Should grocers just say ‘no’ to big CPG brands when it comes to shelf decisions?

    There are two key questions here: 1. Who owns the shelves? And 2. Who has a local shelf monopoly? The answers are the same, the retailer. Given the phenomenon of retailing, it is incumbent upon CPG retailers to market their products within these parameters. Plus, retailers have learned that private/own label (not just price & generics) provide a real point of differentiation going forward. Category captains are yesterday's paradigm. Today, we need customer captains within retailers, who will work in concert with CPG brands to maximize the customer experience. If the customer again becomes king/queen, both retailers and CPG brands should reap the benefits.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Consumers hate paying for shipping more than just about anything

    Just like for the cat that tasted fresh tuna, canned tuna is no longer an option. Fast and free delivery is the new normal. For struggling retailers there is a need to recognize that this is the new normal and that it is actually the ante to stay in the game.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2020

    Shoppers have a love/hate relationship with self-checkouts

    As noted, technology enhancements would make a difference. Customers think self-checkout is faster, although research tends to contradict this perception. In my research, customers cited greater control over the checkout experience by using self-checkout. However that has been somewhat negated by the hassles that still confront many self-checkout sessions. Fix the technology and this will fix the problem. Look at the success of EZPass as an example of hassle-free convenience, which unlike regular supermarket checkout, is faster than the toll cash lane. How can supermarkets learn from EZPass?
  • Posted on: 02/18/2020

    Does Peapod’s retreat from the Midwest spell trouble for e-grocery?

    This is a good example of strategic retreat. The godfather of home delivery recognized the variables to keep its operations profitable and growing. The Midwest operation was responsible for less than 9 percent of Peapod's sales and I suspect it was not profitable. Given the changing marketplace in the Midwest noted in the article, Peapod retreating to its comfort zone on the East Coast makes strategic and financial sense.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2020

    Will technology even the last-mile playing field with Amazon?

    While these latest technologies will assist in the “last mile” battle, I am not convinced they will level the playing field with Amazon. Amazon is more than a logistics company. It is a customer focused, convenience oriented organization which knows its customers better than anyone else. Plus, it is prepared to defend its leading position. The problem I see with these new technologies is that many companies see them as “bolt on” solutions to distribution issues. While they may enhance distribution they need to be viewed in the full context of providing a delightful online customer shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2020

    7-Eleven tries out an Amazon Go-like store

    This concept of a cashierless convenience store is certainly not a new one. The current 7-Eleven test is the latest foray into this space. Recall a few years ago, Kroger offered kiosks that provided customers with the chance to grab and go with many convenience items. In 2017, both China and Japan introduced cashierless stores. In China, the spread of cashier-free shops came in the context of an online retailing boom, while in Japan the industry was seeking ways to cope with a worsening labor shortage. The U.S. experience is all about convenience. It will be interesting to watch if this latest innovation satisfies the convenience quotient.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2020

    Will Macy’s cut its way to improved margins and future growth?

    While not being cavalier about costs, history has shown that across a variety of industries, including retailing, you cannot save your way to prosperity. As noted, Macy’s is an old-line retailer that has struggled to survive -- let alone grow -- in a dynamically changing marketplace. The question is, will the latest Macy’s strategic initiatives be enough to stop the bleeding? The examples of these new formats may be necessary but not sufficient to make a difference.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2020

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl?

    Overall a disappointing array of Super Bowl ads. My favorites were Jeep and Doritos. Both engaging, focusing specifically on their respective brands. However, the best ad for me was one not included in the various reviews, namely, the NFL 100 year commercial that led off the game. It was a terrific story, visually appealing and connected across generations. Too bad most other ads paled in comparison.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2020

    Kimberly-Clark solves some mysteries around click-and-collecting

    As a former brand manager for a feminine care product, I can attest that concerns about using BOPIS are real. I applaud KC for taking an active approach and working in concert with its retailers to address these and other customer issues. Omnichannel is about customers, not channels.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2020

    Will online food and beverage sales be even bigger than imagined?

    This data underscores what is happening overall online in grocery. It may turn out that even these new numbers may understate the growth of digital food and beverage sales. The key going forward will be convenience, particularly on the beverage side, where product bulk and weight become a factor both in terms of the manufacturer/retailer and the consumer who needs to haul these goods home. This will bring new paradigms to click and collect. Plus, the data that shows the $1,000 difference for combo shoppers versus store-only shoppers will bring additional challenges/opportunities. How do you make it more convenient and still get customers into the store?
  • Posted on: 01/22/2020

    Is a ‘hassle cost’ justified in resolving customer service issues?

    Even using the term “hassle cost” is demeaning to customers. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and need to be treated with respect, not hassled. In my book, Winning Customer Rules, I direct complaining customers to use the terrific company contacts link on Elliott.org. This site provides the names and email addresses of key executives in many industries who have the ultimate responsibility for treating customers with respect. Personally, I have complained via this medium with great success.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2020

    Does convenience trump price for today’s consumer?

    Convenience is the new ante. Consumer time is the only fixed resource @ 168 hours per week. Price has always been the retailer’s mantra and we have conditioned customers to expect, no demand, low prices. This is not the time to be cavalier about price but it is time to understand the real role of convenience. Lots of good suggestions to enhance convenience in the article and by panelists. My addition is to borrow/steal from the king of shopping convenience, namely Amazon.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2020

    Wegmans has a better website, but did it need one?

    You don't have to be sick to feel better. Wegmans' leadership in the brick-and-mortar space is now extending into the digital world. The key to leadership in this space is ease of use (user friendly, number of clicks), convenience (between store and online), transparency, personalization, and easy interaction (including retailer suggestions that fit me). Never bet against Wegmans!

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