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: 03/22/2017

    Will tech innovations change foodservice?

    As noted by others, this technology has speed, accuracy and cost-saving advantages. The potential downside is its socioeconomic impact, namely, the loss of jobs for lower-wage workers. While the latest buzz is around Universal Basic Income (UBI), the concept has its critics. This program, initiated as a test in Finland, offering universal income promises workers greater security, especially as technological advances reduce the need for human labor. It will also allow unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing their benefits.Certainly, discussions of this concept will move to the forefront as such technological advances become reality.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2017

    How will AmazonFresh Pickup stores affect the grocery business?

    I would not bet against Amazon. In some respects this latest Amazon experiment is another way to deal with the expensive "final mile" costs as well as provide the opportunity for the purchase of additional items in-store while collecting the online-ordered goods.For other grocery retailers there are two implications: 1.) Online is still marching along to the projected forecasts and sitting on the sideline is no longer a viable option. 2.) Brick-and-mortar retailers should be better than Amazon in romancing the in-store experience and operating stores. This is their territory and potential competitive advantage. They need to use it.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Will adding Spanish give Amazon an edge over rival sites?

    It should be a non-issue. Once again, Amazon is exercising its first-mover advantage. Plus, this represents a little love to a population under fire in DC. Expect others to be fast followers.
  • Posted on: 03/10/2017

    Has Chewy.com proven that online sales are going to the dogs?

    Pet owners, aka pet parents, are passionate about their pets and the exponential growth in online sales is testimony to this phenomenon. I believe there still is room for growth online, particularly in the categories of treats and pet accessories. Large package orders of dog food represent a logistical opportunity and threat to brick-and-mortar as well as online retailers. For the store-based retailers there is a real opportunity to capitalize on the love of pet owners for their pets. Inviting veterinarians, groomers, trainers, pet clubs, etc. to engage with your customers either in-store or in the adjacent parking lot could represent a point of difference vis-a-vis other brick-and-mortar retailers as well as online competitors. Don't forget to post the photos of your customers' pets.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Will using Uber for home deliveries work for Kroger?

    I applaud Kroger's testing of different options for the final mile. Whether it is Uber, Lyft or some other home delivery model is of less concern to me than determining which models maximize customer satisfaction and Kroger's profitability. I have always been a fan of click and collect since it increases the probability of getting customers to visit the store while picking up, adding many high-margin items not normally purchased online. Data shows that online when combined with in-store purchases is more effective (greater sales and satisfaction) than either option done separately.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2017

    Is raising membership fees getting riskier for Costco?

    No big deal. Look at the renewal rates and the traffic at your local Costco on a Saturday. The increase is less than 10 percent and provides a huge lift to lower prices and/or an enhanced bottom line.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2017

    Will consumers make a pilgrimage to Yeti?

    Bold move in creating a customer experience that transcends the digital space in which Yeti and others compete. It allows the company to showcase its advantages, particularly as they relate to the price alternatives like RTIC. I like the idea of a "one-off" destination showcase unless the company could replicate the showrooms of Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops. Probably not enough product offerings to match Cabela's or Bass, but it could be a "store-within-a-store" concept for either of these showroom giants.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2017

    Will Walmart’s price push pull customers away from Aldi?

    While I understand the price push, especially versus Aldi, Lidl and the dollar stores, in the long run Walmart needs to invest in technology and enhanced service if it expects to win the brick-and-mortar battle. I'm not sure if the recently announced apps are breakthrough concepts.Walmart is currently involved with vigorous competitors on all fronts; from traditional food retailers to extreme value retailers to online players. Each competitor represents unique challenges for Walmart and it needs to insure it doesn't drift into the big middle of food retailing, which was its battleground when it emerged as the world's largest retailer. I do like that the company is not complacent. However, its level of investment and experimentation will have to remain at a high level as it faces these various attacks on all sides of its fort.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2017

    Will dropping double coupons and senior discounts cost Kroger customers?

    Kroger, like most retailers, needs to determine its key target markets and the accompanying pricing strategy, but it is very difficult to talk out of both sides of your mouth. However, social media does provide more opportunities for the customization of offers. The underlying question is, is Kroger EDLP or Hi-Lo? The risk with Hi-Lo has always been that promotional funds tend to reward customer behavior which is at odds with the chain's overall image and profitability.Perhaps in today's competitive environment the decision is not an either/or strategy but a combination of both. Consider the king of EDLP, Walmart, which still offers a fair amount of its famous rollbacks.I would not bet against Kroger. The company's performance over the last 50 plus quarters has been unmatched in both food retail and the overall business environment. Plus, it appears that Kroger's pricing experiments seem to be taking into consideration the rising competitive marketplace in which Publix is quickly becoming a major competitor, especially in those areas where the Kroger-owned Harris Teeter operates. Finally, Kroger, like all food retailers, is looking for a pricing strategy that addresses the impact of Amazon and other online retailers.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2017

    Can Walmart grow its online business profitably?

    If Walmart can ever figure out click and collect or BOPIS, it could represent a differential advantage vis-à-vis Amazon. However, to do this properly and to leverage its brick-and-mortar presence, the pickup as well as the return-to-store options have to be seamless. This has been something Walmart has struggled with to date.It is ironic that the world's largest retailer boasts that it is "the second largest U.S. online retailer by revenue, one of the top three online retailers by traffic." Walmart is learning the lessons of online first-mover advantage that it taught to everyone else the past years.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    Lidl is ahead of schedule for U.S. store openings

    The Germans always do their homework so I am confident that Lidl is prepared to take on the American grocery market. The biggest hurdles will be logistics issues related to store roll-outs and integrating into the U.S.'s culture. Having said this, I have visited Lidl operations in Germany, the UK and Ireland. The company does a terrific job of integrating into each market it serves. Lidl will bring new challenges to established grocers in the markets it plans to enter. Think of Aldi on steroids. It intends to address current customer food shopping compromises. In addition, it plans to offer more branded CPG products. In preparation for the Lidl entry, I recommend traditional retailers address the food shopping compromises in their stores and preempt Lidl's efforts in these areas.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2017

    Is Amazon the most innovative company in retailing?

    I agree with most of the comments depicting Amazon as the most innovative company in U.S. retailing today. At any point in time, the company is engaged in multiple experiments designed to reinforce its customer-centric focus. It is now experimenting with some bricks-and-mortar stores, which many people may question. However, I think the words of the late Malcolm Forbes are applicable here. He said, "the greatest obstacle to success in business is complacency." No one will accuse Amazon of being complacent. Therefore, while some of its experiments will fail (the reason why we test alternatives), on balance the company will continue to advance itself and reap the benefits. I would not bet against Amazon.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2017

    Did President Trump go too far with his Nordstrom tweet?

    Unfortunately, the President can not get out of his own tweeting way. This continuous stream of demeaning tweets is neither presidential nor reflective of key issues that confront this country. I recommend someone take away his phone or at least restrict his late night tweeting. He needs to act like the President of the U.S., not the president of Trump Enterprises or the host of Celebrity Apprentice.
  • Posted on: 02/06/2017

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl broadcast?

    Favorites:
    • Kia and Mr. Clean -- both entertaining, memorable and on-message.
    Least Favorites:
    • Michelob Ultra -- the only thing going for it was the Cheers music;
    • Budweiser's Spud MacKenzie -- a long way from its award-winning Super Bowl ads.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2017

    Why do so few shoppers think of BOPIS as a ‘smooth’ process?

    I tend to agree with many of the previous comments. Obviously, this is one of the reasons that brick-and-mortar retailers are slow to adopt omnichannel. However, the options to return merchandise immediately, deal with an error immediately and/or go into the store on the same trip are significant advantages vis-à-vis pure online retailers. Therefore, efforts to get the logistics right can provide real supplemental tangible benefits to BOPIS.

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