PROFILE

Rich Kizer

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team. Rich and his partner, Georganne Bender, are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2014. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media, and is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Any speaker can talk about consumers, but KIZER & BENDER actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine; and maybe even a few that you can't. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2018 marks their 28th anniversary as a speaking team.
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  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    Is the future of malls outside?

    In desperate times, companies must take some desperate measures as they listen to their most creative minds. Most of the time these measures are incredibly creative, and many times successful. Open-air outside store representations can likely make an impactful sales contribution. However I think that much effort in those open-air representations should center on creating consumer desire to go inside for the big show. I think the open-air stores in the warmer climate areas will have the advantage of impacting customers, and will make a profound longer term contribution for the anchor stores.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

    Retailers have learned great lessons on how to do business with customers through the time of this crisis: how to get merchandise in their hands through different channels and, very importantly, how to present their store with the look and feel of a new experience, not the old presentations their customers remember. Having these things in place will always elevate the store's "top of mind" consumer position. I certainly hope the professor's predictions are wrong, but I believe we all should act like it is closer to his predictions. I'd rather be ready than caught again.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2020

    Retailers hunt for spare change

    Ian, you are spot on!
  • Posted on: 07/29/2020

    Retailers hunt for spare change

    I see signs on counter tops asking the customers to please use their change. However I believe most don't want to fish for pennies and dimes while standing in the checkout lanes. I have found myself handing over a $5 bill to my barista while not wanting to fumble through my pocket for loose change. I must be one of the worst, because when I arrive home at the end of the day I consistently empty my pockets of all change on my dresser. It now weighs 300 pounds. One logical and acceptable move I have seen -- credit my frequency card the change the store owes me.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2020

    Are boycotts becoming bigger risks?

    I think that many people have found they have a voice and have learned to use it. And it is effective. It does create change in the business world. Actually word of mouth has been around a long time; and now it is finding an awareness of new strength.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2020

    Can Trader Joe’s shake off its racist branding tag?

    On second thought, I don't like the brevity of my first comment. I do think it is proper and right what Trader Joe's is doing in their response.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2020

    Can Trader Joe’s shake off its racist branding tag?

    At first sight, it sounded patronizing.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2020

    Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative?

    Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative? Because in business, a crisis creates hunger. And when you are "business hungry," you get very busy looking for solutions. And this in large part has shown all retailers that they must always be focused on innovative solutions to customer needs and wants. And that certainly doesn't mean following the crowd, but it does mean they must remain hungry and aggressive.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2020

    Did Amazon just put its Go technology in a shopping cart?

    To me this sounds like Amazon Go on steroids and, really, a learning exercise for Amazon. You are right Bob, the inconvenience of unloading a cart just to re-load purchases into your special container is not brilliant or customer-centric. I don't see this as exciting, I see it as research being conducted at some level of consumer inconvenience.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Will Boomers and Gen X keep shopping online post-pandemic?

    Older shoppers and many younger ones will shop in brick-and-mortar stores. It will be like a trip to exercise their freedom. But they will want retailers to show them new and exciting presentations like they had never before seen in their stores. That is the retailer's major challenge; supplying a Disney-like experience that takes the customer's breath away in the first five minutes. And it must keep changing weekly. That being said, yes, everyone will continue shopping online. The real pressure is on the brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Is consumer arrogance driving word-of-mouth recommendations?

    So I am sitting at the stop light in my Toyota when a guy pulls up next to me in a beautiful black brand new Corvette, revs his motor (that's how guys say "gotchya") as he looks at me and frowns like I'm a loser. So I thought I should visit the Chevy dealership now -- NOT. I know intimidation works in some categories on various age groups (certainly not all) and that will never change. Does that mean that television advertising strategies will be to intimidate me? I hope not, I'll switch channels so fast the ad agencies will get ulcers.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2020

    Dunkin’ retreats from gas stations

    From what I see on my travels, is that Casey's combo gas and store have the right formula. Customers love them ... on-site fresh-made donuts and their pizza. They do seem to have the formula and are well trenched in their markets. Dunkin' locations have always been thought of as free standing around other retail at convenient locations. It's the "go to" at 7 am on the way to work. That's their strength position in the markets.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2020

    What roles will store displays play in retail’s new normal?

    We continually have told retailers that when customers re-start their in-store journeys, the store must not look like the same store they left. Merchandise presentations must create excitement, desire and product "lift." Music is essential along with great service. The importance of projecting safety is on the top of the lists well. When Disneyland opens, the castle will thrill, the music will ease tensions, and everything will shout that you are in Disneyland. Now that's a store!
  • Posted on: 06/23/2020

    Dick’s goes off-price with two new clearance concepts

    It's a very good business strategy. Re-investing dollars gleaned by off=price locations opens up OTB, and creates a fresher inventory of new products and thus improved turn rates. Smart.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2020

    Will a PPE retailer make it in the mall?

    There is definitely room for this retailer. I hope they don't get pushed into long term lease agreements, as I am hoping that the incredible medical minds working on this virus will soon come up with an answer. But a very credible retailer selling these quality products? Good move.

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