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.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?

    If I was a brick-and-mortar store, I would be jumping at this. And when we have the opportunity of customer contact, you better believe we will make it a service paradise! I want them back again.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Chipotle asks sick employees to call the nurse

    I love the employee program, it's certainly a nice perk that is safety driven. There will be a lot of pressure on the nurse to approve a leave instead of sending the associate back -- and risking the chance of having another outbreak. Employees will not abuse it ... right? But then again, in the name of safety, they are doing everything they can do to get the tarnish off.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Can Barnes & Noble afford to take it easy over the holidays?

    Actually, I don't think that Barnes & Noble has much of a chance to create a home run this year as they lay this season down to get ready to play in the new year. I am sure it was a timing issue and turning this huge seasonal business plan around at the last minute would be dangerous. However, everyone at Barnes&Noble better be ready to hit the road running in the new year!
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

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

    In my book, the Kohl's ad loses. Actually it bored me. The Macy's spot involves the viewer to a much greater extent. Perhaps it's a little drawn out but, in the end, it punches you right in your emotional gut! And that's the sweet spot every advertiser desires.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Mobile jumps out as retailers get a mixed start to the holiday season

    Interesting. I spoke with a retailer about mobile sales versus in-store sales. He pointed out that as he monitored mobile sale item purchases, customers who came into the store and purchased the same item were also open to purchasing one or two other add-on complementing items when they were shown them.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Why is Allbirds asking Amazon to do a better job ripping it off?

    "Please steal our approach" ... Allbirds is trying to reposition Amazon with these knock-off shoes by showing its leadership in sharing important environmental-friendly materials. This also is telling the world about their values. Good move. I don't expect Amazon to do anything except move forward.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2019

    Big things are happening as Small Business Saturday turns 10

    I think the "shop small" message has gained much traction with consumers. Consumers have pride in "their own" local markets. During the past few years, small retailers have developed the promotional savvy to make the event more than just a sign in the window. Today retailers are updating their promotional playbooks and really competing with everyone by creating compelling promotions for their stores. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Is secondhand gifting a holiday disruptor?

    Most items purchased "second hand" are items the purchaser is making for themselves, and that is fine. Receiving a second hand sweater or shirt is probably not appropriate gifting to the vast majority. However, gifting something of apparent value, like an antique or jewelry is an acceptable second-hand gift.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Is Target killing department stores and specialty clothing chains?

    The generation that started referring to Goodwill stores as Goodwill Macy's is that same incredibly powerful population segment that is falling in love with Target. And Target deserves it. A great company that knows where THEY need to go and what they need to do from their own playbook. Bravo to them, and they won't stop thrilling us and delighting customers.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Should Starbucks stick with its open bathroom policy?

    Look, Starbucks is all about running a business in a way that makes good business sense. It is nearly impossible to accuse them of not "thinking through" everything they do, and then taking action. Of course the "open" policy should stay in place. That is precisely what their customers should and do expect. We must remember that market forces will impact every business, and at times this creates misleading studies. Never have I seen a business that is constantly on calm water. It is the best businesses that learn and implement through the waves.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Will a hack ruin Macy’s Christmas?

    How horrible. Strike one and now strike two? There comes a point where consumer confidence is shaken to a deeper and more dangerous level. This is the last thing Macy's needed, and frankly their answer/actions must be believable, which is going to be hard. This is one bad place for Macy's to be at this time.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    Harrods has got to see this through the eyes of a child. How do you explain that "we don't qualify to see Santa here?" Here's my advice to Harrods: You certainly are a very successful and smart retailer. Now catch the spirit of the season and either open more Christmas Grottos, or have Santa stations located for everyone. It will be a great PR move and the right thing to do.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Are Americans ready for a DTC shopping holiday?

    I think we all knew that DTC was coming around the corner. Another option in a collision of consumer options. But another holiday shopping day for this? I really don't think so. We're entering a "claustrophobia of abundance" in options, special days and platforms, which make decisions difficult.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Chick-fil-A Foundation changes charitable giving and controversy follows

    Neil, there is nothing more to say than your comment. In America, that is the way it should work. Thanks Neil, for a great comment.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Should customers just be paid for their data?

    Some time ago in a focus group that Georgeanne and I conducted, we asked nearly the same question. The answer that surprised us most was one young lady who said “I want to date all of those sources, I don’t want to marry them“. This could get creepy.

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