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.

  • Posted on: 12/14/2017

    Target to make same-day delivery push with Shipt acquisition

    This deal puts Target firmly into the viable “final mile” business. The only question is the extent to which Shipt will continue to operate independently. The Amazon/Whole Foods deal will change the landscape for Instacart. I see the same dynamics happening with Target/Shipt. I think the management at Instacart may see this as a real opportunity to take share from Shipt.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2017

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

    While Home Depot’s 110 second ad has some emotional connection, I vote for the Lowe’s 30 second spot. It is direct and solves a real holiday decoration problem. Plus, it offers savings on Disney holiday decorations.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2017

    Will meal kits be a hit on Walmart’s virtual shelves?

    As noted, the meal kit phenomenon has had its share of bumps along the way. The opportunity to offer convenience and variety with the ability to claim "meal making" ownership is an attractive alternative to today's consumers. Somehow, putting a frozen entree into a microwave and stating to the family, "look what I nuked for you" does not meet the meal preparation and credit standard.The third-party relationship option is a great way to learn the business and its pitfalls/opportunities without making the necessary capital investment. It is a strategy similar to its investment. Depending on the success of a third party arrangement and the accompanying economics (profitability) of meal kits will allow Walmart to make that decision after testing the various alternatives.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    Will last-minute pickup payoff for Walmart?

    Convenient (hassle-free) in-store pickup will become the new normal. Like the cat who tasted fresh tuna, it is not going back to canned tuna. This could be one of the tactical options to assist Walmart in its battle with Amazon and other online retailers. However, like all such experiments the key will be Walmart's ability to create a hassle-free experience.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Will click & collect finally compel retailers to remodel stores?

    I tend to agree with the technology and store remodel issues discussed by the other respondents. A missing point beyond the logistics of BOPIS is what the store is going to look like. For one, the center of the grocery store will continue to shrink. Many purchases here are in the form of replenishment versus shopping. The challenge is to remodel this part of the store with more exciting and inviting shopping opportunities. One vision I have is of a food store with its current perimeter expanded and romanticized, similar to the European street markets, with stalls/displays of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables; along with gourmet cheeses, artisan breads, fresh flowers, as well as today's lunch or tonight's dinner.Click & collect not only serves as a convenient option for customers, but it also increases the probability of greater food spending. If done properly, it increases the possibility of bringing customer into the store, shopping for and buying more, high margin items to complement their online replenishment.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Asda vs. Lidl

    Neither one moves me. Some entertaining video but little to relate to the brand or a reason to shop. When the commercials are finished, the viewer needs to draw the connections between the brands (Asda and Lidl). Very cute, very unfocused. No winner for me.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Walmart

    A couple of well done commercials. Walmart does a great job with its 30 second ad. However, the Amazon ad captures the season a bit better and demonstrates Amazon's terrific logistics system.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Debenhams vs. House of Fraser

    These are a couple of very entertaining videos, whose 90- and 60-second formats make for great online viewing. While it is true that commercials may not enhance the brand like other commercials, they are uplifting at a time when we all need a little romance and reminder of what's important (family). It's somewhat ironic that the British, sometimes perceived as staid, produce such innovative advertising. I think these commercials would work in the U.S. given the media used to showcase them.Debenhams’ #YouShall spot was my choice. It gave me chills! Thank you Debenhams for resurrecting my London memories.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Big Lots vs. Kohl’s

    A couple of good commercials. Not certain either connected with core customers, however, both had a pretty clear message. My vote goes to Big Lots based on its upbeat, inclusive video.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    Do retailers need a new approach to store brand marketing?

    The role of store brands has changed dramatically. While these brands have always had a value perception, the better food retailers have recognized that these brands provide them with a real opportunity to create a differential advantage versus other brick-and-mortar retailers as well as the online retailers.Retailers need to think like a brand and act like a retailer. Thinking like a brand means more than focusing on the brands on its shelves. Instead, it needs to be considered as all of those things/products/attributes that give customers permission to drive past another retailer or abandon the website in search of your store. Plus, store brands can be a strong defense against the assault on center store.Private label store brands provide such an opportunity to provide uniqueness. Some suggestions to enhance store brands are as follows:
    • Be truly innovative, scanning the environment for opportunities that can be adapted and adopted in your marketplace.
    • Present existing products in a new format (new flavors, sizes, packages, etc.).
    • Create special limited-time offerings (reinforcing the treasure hunt image) and innovative promotions ("Buy theirs (branded) get ours (private label) free").
    • Have your customers vote for their best store brand.
    In my opinion, a conventional retailer who is doing a terrific job in this area is Ahold.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2017

    Walmart’s online prices drive customers to its supercenters

    I'm not convinced that this will effectively shrink the significant online market share gap between Walmart and Amazon. First, Amazon is not about to surrender its low price perception. Second, Walmart's dual pricing may confuse and even turn away some customers. Third, the Walmart pickup in-store experience needs to be seamless, which is not yet the case. In this battle of retail heavyweights, my wager is on Amazon.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Omnichannel is just a term to describe everyday shopping

    Omnichannel is not about channels! It is about your customers and how they interact and access your products and services. It is about a variety of robust order fulfillment strategies. It is about better mobile experiences.It’s not about online versus brick-and-mortar. It’s about a combination of the two that allows customers to chose when, where and how they shop. It’s about making all interactions seamless, efficient and effective.It is the new shopping paradigm.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Has Google solved the problem of long lines at grocery checkouts?

    In my research on supermarket shoppers, after the “ante,” price, cleanliness and assortment, speedy checkout was the number one desired attribute and one of the least delivered variables. Shoppers didn’t ask for more checkouts or more self-service checkouts, they only asked the stores to get them out quickly. This long-standing problem works against one of the two biggest customer service variables. We know that the longer you keep customers in the store the more they buy. We also know that the faster we get them through any checkout process the faster they will return.It is not surprising that potential solutions are coming from the non-retail sector. Amazon, Google et. al are not saddled by existing paradigms. Even the airlines, who are at the bottom of any customer service rating, have figured out the check-in process. From online check-in through frequent flyer special lines, they have dignified the customer’s time and reduced potential angst. How about a relatively low-tech adaptation of the frequent flyer line? We have shopper data and can identify customers by previous or current purchases. With this info we could offer a designated frequent shopper line(s) or even a reserved checkout time based on their history of time spent shopping.If brick-and-mortar food retailers do not soon solve this problem, it will only hasten the move to Amazon, Boxed and Jet.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2017

    Amazon scales back Fresh deliveries

    I think this is a classic case of three of my rules of strategy:
    • Focus;
  • Concentrate your resources;
  • Advance and secure.
Amazon has had some economic and logistics challenges with AmazonFresh. I think this move is partly related to its efforts to get alignment with Whole Foods (focusing). Similarly, instead of diluting its resources across several initiatives, it is concentrating on Whole Foods. Finally, it has stepped out with AmazonFresh (advancing) and now it is rolling back somewhat (securing) -- still in major cities.I don’t see this as an abandonment of the concept -- only a pause.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2017

    Consumers plan to get started early on Christmas shopping

    I believe this is a mixed message for brick-and-mortar retailers. The bad news is that online will continue to take share. Should anyone doubt the continued onslaught of Internet shopping, take a look at today's email from eBay: Your holiday shopping begins on eBay! The good news is that total holiday spending is projected to show a reasonable increase over last year. The most successful retailers are those with an omnichannel presence -- remembering that it is about customers, not channels. For these retailers, they can participate in the continued growth of the online segment and reposition their stores to cater to shoppers looking for an authentic holiday shopping experience. As for those operating is a single (physical only) channel, there will be even more pressure to create an attractive and valuable offering during this season.
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