Rich Kizer

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a speaker, retail strategist, author, and consultant. Rich and his business partner, Georganne Bender, have helped thousands of businesses in the retail, creative, restaurant, healthcare, deathcare, hospitality, collegiate, toy, travel, tanning, beauty, tech, auto, sales and service industries grow their sales since 1990. KIZER & BENDER are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts to Follow on Social Media. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People. Their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. As global retail thought leaders, KIZER & BENDER serve as BrainTrust panelists for RetailWire, and are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference held twice a year in Las Vegas. Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. As consumer anthropologists they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: Today's consumer. Each year KIZER & BENDER host consumer focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies. The result of their research is literally straight from the mouth of the consumer: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2023 marks their 33rd anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2023

    How much say should retailers have over an associate’s appearance?

    Well, I spilled my coffee when I read this. Do I see rationalization for the policy? Absolutely! And I think it would be admirable to offer financial help to correct associates' issues. First impressions are everything.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2023

    Is it time for retailers to radically rethink their business models?

    I fear that "radically" changing business models may at times radically affect the goal of the change. Certainly models must change. Consumers demand it as they see the other competitors offer them new and pleasing experiences. So change is truly expected by consumers. The key here is not to imitate, but recreate interaction points that are thoroughly assessed before implementation. That takes time and willingness to admit that further change must be made. Certainly, change ideas should be passed by customers prior to any actions. In other words, analyze customer perceptions before starting. But by all means, START.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2023

    Is ‘quiet hiring’ the next big thing in labor?

    This is nuts. OK, I read it again to understand. Really? Obviously the people who endorse this NEVER spent more than a week working retail.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2023

    Has it gotten harder to find a top notch retail CEO?

    One further thought: A CEO placement guide should read that the candidate can show substantial success and specific experience of the business. Playing fill the slot with a good name or the right connections is like fishing in a swimming pool.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2023

    Has it gotten harder to find a top notch retail CEO?

    Obviously, to be an exceptional retail executive, the CEO needs to be have an exceptional knowledge of the products sold. The learning curve can be tough with no room for trial and error or failure. It is really serious out there, and some experience is close to nothing.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2023

    Should Dollar General sweat its former CEO taking over at Dollar Tree?

    Retail in tumultuous times. I don't pretend to be an analyst, but I do watch their business. I think Rick Dreiling needs to be ready as he steps into a difficult tumultuous market. What is needed is a clear cut plan and people who are very serious about camping there for the long run. Rotational management can spell disaster quickly.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2023

    Will consumer anger drive down inflation?

    If the item is a necessity and too high priced for the consumer taste, customers will likely think of shopping another store, which will press retailers to become more competitive, and it moves back on the vendor. Discussion with vendors on better pricing is always a tall and difficult order. They feel they are being crushed in selling their products to stores. Remember this, in the end, consumers will prevail; they have long memories and stores they found with competitive prices could be their new habits of turning to past competitors as their new favorites.
  • Posted on: 01/23/2023

    Bite-sized content tests bring Dick’s impressive results

    Bravo and brilliant. Thanks for the lesson Shawn Wilkinson for all of us. This will apply to everyone.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2023

    Are retail communications out of sync with consumers?

    An interesting point: In my department store days, I had a conversation with about 35 consumers on our ads and the power they created to make or motivate motivate the group to purchase. Most said they immediately lost interest in the message because the frequency of delivering the same (or nearly the same message) was beyond boring. Results? Frequency and appearance had to change. Lights out! My takeaway was to lose the same-template layouts and gauge frequency. It worked for us. Our ads always looked like new news.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2023

    Will gambling on a Saks Fifth Avenue flagship casino pay off?

    I think this is the kind of thing that flares at first, and then evens out. The concern I would have is the customer profile expected over the longer run. No doubt, at first, the well heeled customers are going to come and see, and play. There are wonderful casinos in Vegas, but a few of them have lost customers as the customer demographics have changed. My thoughts: caution. It could be fun at first, and then...?
  • Posted on: 01/16/2023

    Is nepotism all that bad for retail?

    Is nepotism all that bad for retail? Not as long as the nepotee does the work.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2023

    Macy’s gains control of its inventory and markdowns

    Retail is about the art of presentation, customer delight and the ability to make a profit. Inventories were controlled by GMROI, remember? Simple. But with the technology being born in Macy's, it is like a new world of potential. This type of technology will be seen growing in retail around the world, as it should be.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2023

    Can enhanced self-checkout stop shrink?

    Every week I shop a grocery store at least twice and most weeks I make at least three visits to a giant grocery store. I look for changes in layout, staff presence and, yes, I watch very closely the self checkout area. Staff continually tells me there are some theft issues, only some, but because they staff at least five roaming people in the area at all times, everyone tells me it is more positive than negative in the check area. In other words, their attention is stopping theft. And it is just a matter of time until there is technology good enough to stop theft. Until then, retailers eat the expense of a few additional members. They just may pay for their salary this way until the solution is found.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2023

    Will others follow Shopify’s lead and cancel recurring meetings?

    Meetings are like a virus. After a time of constant business interruptions, attendees get lethargic and sometimes fearful of stating their thoughts. That leads them to skate through the time that meetings take, and sometimes create issues of business just to enhance their need to participate. If there is a definite meeting need roll on to the issues -- then get to work.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2023

    Do retailers need a different retention strategy for older workers?

    Yes. Most older workers seem to take the job more seriously. If they are having a problem finding an answer to a customer question, they tend to take action to find the answers. It's building a culture of service. Younger, less experienced staffers will pick up those values and implement them. IT WORKS.

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