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: 08/16/2017

    Will military tech give Amazon an edge delivering packaged meals?

    While one can question the appeal of these meals, Amazon is attempting to capture the changing nature of meal solutions in the U.S. According to the NPD Group 61 percent of all restaurant visits consisted of to-go orders in 2016. Further, Mintel survey results indicated that half of U.S. adults ordered food delivery in a three-month period with nearly 60 percent stating that they did so simply to avoid the inconvenience of having to venture out.While we may turn up our nose at the Amazon test option, keep in mind as more Americans pursue take out and delivery that there are significant challenges in terms of food engineering (ever eat take out french fries?) and food packaging which need to be addressed. Amazon, as usual, is at the forefront of experimentation and testing.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Will Aldi upset the grocery home delivery cart?

    While I am a proponent of offering a variety of convenience options for customers, I believe it needs to be accomplished within the supermarket's current umbrella. Aldi is a value retailer and has carved out a profitable niche in the U.S. market. I recognize that the Instacart deal is a test and too much should not be read into it beyond that. Personally, I am not a huge fan of using Instacart as Instacart becomes the owner of the customer, not the retailer. However, in this case, it does allow for a relatively risk- and capital-free test.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Is it time to reinvent category management?

    Always good to hear from Brian Harris. At the risk of over-simplifying the concept, category management's shortcomings emanated from most manufacturers and retailers neglecting the customer and the retailer's positioning in the process. Category management in whatever space (online or in-store) needs to get back to Brian's basic premise.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2017

    Does Dunkin’ need donuts?

    I only see an upside. America runs on Dunkin' has been the company's mantra for awhile. I seriously doubt the abbreviation will diminish the image. On the other hand this new umbrella (which is not really new) will permit the brand to expand offerings which fit its expertise and consumer demands.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    Will Lidl’s fresh approach to the U.S. grocery market prove successful?

    In any new venture (product, market, country, etc.) one needs to consider the success or failure of the offering in existing markets. Lidl and Aldi have decimated the key UK competitors and the UK market is probably closer to the US market in many ways. I would not bet against Lidl nor take them lightly. Aldi demonstrated its "silent killer" characteristics and has taken share from traditional supermarkets. If Lidl is indeed, "Aldi on steroids" with many of the positive characteristics noted in the article, not to mention more top 100 branded US products it will carry, then I predict a very positive launch in the US.Traditional retailers continue to be squeezed by the extreme value retailers as well as the online players. Space to maneuver and respond is shrinking. Never a more pressing time to identify and implement a differential advantage strategy, keeping in mind that price and convenience may no longer be available as positive points of difference.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2017

    Are there too many grocery stores?

    Joining the conversation at the back end leaves little to be constructively added. My only point is that there are not too many stores selling groceries as there are too many stores with little positive differentiation selling groceries in the U.S. The new entrants, both bricks & mortar and online, offer points of difference to the big middle players that have graced the food marketing landscape for almost one hundred years.Unless and until these operators morph into something American shoppers consider attractive enough to forego online or drive past one of the new players, some will find themselves in the position of Sears, where America used to shop.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2017

    Is ‘free’ a big enough incentive to get consumers to try click and collect?

    I have always been a fan of BOPIS. Why? Because of the one significant research finding, namely, that 40 percent of customers “sometimes” made additional purchases in-store. I believe this is the real advantage of BOPIS; the opportunity to get customers in-store where they can purchase higher-margin, perishable products like flowers, artisan breads, cheeses, etc. Remember, they are entering the store with empty carts (a heuristic to measure spending) and the opportunity to place some fresh, impulse and high-margin items in their shopping cart is not to be missed.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2017

    Can in-store experiences save retail?

    I tend to agree with the Wharton findings. The noted consideration is a sustainable differential advantage. Grocery stores have an opportunity to positively differentiate themselves from the online competitors by being the best in the following areas: fresh, local and customer intimacy.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How should retailers reinvent the center store?

    This article really captures the ongoing challenges to the center of the store (COS). COS is not so much a shopping opportunity as it is a replenishment task. How many COS SKUs do you really need to physically inspect before placing one into your cart?The data still demonstrate the importance of COS, namely, center store today represents 75 percent of total store sales, 50 percent of profits. Yet customers only spend 18 percent of their time interacting with products there. The time to rethink the COS is long overdue.If the article's recommendations are implemented, the resulting impact would be a smaller COS footprint. My view is that many of the COS products will be purchased online from the brick-and-mortar retailer and delivered to the store for direct placement into a consumer’s vehicle. This will then free up consumers to shop enhanced and exciting perishable departments, then proceed to a designated area and have their online purchases placed into their vehicles.With a smaller COS, the current perimeter of the store could be expanded and romanticized, similar to European street markets, with stalls/displays of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables along with gourmet cheeses, artisan breads, fresh flowers -- as well as today's lunch or tonight's dinner. Online cannot replicate this.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Did Amazon just send Sears a life line with their Kenmore deal?

    Absolutely. Recall that Sears is where America used to shop. Sears gets a large lifeline while Amazon gets the benefit of offering a line of appliances, namely Kenmore, that still resonates with many Americans.This is still only a tourniquet for a company that is hemorrhaging. Sears still needs to develop a viable strategy if it wishes to survive.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    Is the one-stop grocery shop coming to an end?

    Aldi, Lidl, Amazon, et al. will continue to change food shopping as we know it. In this case, the impact on one-stop shopping is one of the negative effects of these relatively recent players in the market. On the other hand, there are retailers like those mentioned in the article, namely, Wegmans and Publix, who have performed much better than the national trends noted. Why? Each offers a full range of center-store items and outstanding perishable departments complemented by world-class customer service."Smaller is better" in food shopping will continue as the U.S. ages and as innovative niche players enter the market. The decline in one-stop shopping will continue to challenge traditional food retailers, requiring them to innovate their offering or shopping experience or suffer the consequences.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2017

    Is online fulfillment from stores too complex for e-grocery?

    As noted in the article, this potentially real differentiating factor for brick-and-mortar retailers over pure-play online grocery retailers does represent an Achilles' heel. I am a strong proponent of BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup in Store) primarily because research shows that the total market basket of BOPIS is larger than in-store only or online-only grocery shopping. Customers enter the store with empty baskets (collecting their groceries at the end of the visit). Empty baskets translate into the perception of more money to spend, particularly in those non-center store categories (think perimeter) that command high margins.However, if the grocery retailer cannot execute the concept properly, it should probably not offer the service until it is flawless. This is not an area where the retailer can "roll and fix." They need to get it right from the start.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2017

    Will Walmart win back-to-school with click and collect services?

    Walmart continues to play catch up in the online space with Amazon and others. This latest response to this ongoing battle may allow Walmart to leap frog Amazon on the BTS market. I'm not convinced it will have the same affect on the Millennials shopping for BTC supplies.I do like the pickup and additional staffing. One other thought to make BTS more fun might be to have an in-store demonstration on a fun project like, "how to make the latest kid rage -- slime!" It certainly would boost the sales of Elmer's school glue! Let's make the store visit more fun. This is something Amazon could not easily replicate.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware?

    Ace has figured it out that customers coming through its doors are only seeking two things: good feelings and solutions to problems. The retailer-owned cooperative helps in the process by welcoming neighbors into the Ace stores. It is nice to walk in and be recognized (good feelings) and even better when you tell them you have a "thingamajig" that needs to be addressed (solutions to problems). Instead of being told to go down to aisle 18, turn left and look around, as is normally the case in the big DIY stores, the Ace staff member walks you to an area of the store (most considerably smaller than the big box DIY stores) and helps you solve your problem.I'm not certain if this terrific positioning in the market will improve its overall share given the number of big ticket and large bulk items sold by the big guys. However, Ace certainly has demonstrated that there are "riches in niches."
  • Posted on: 07/11/2017

    Will Prime Day give Amazon an insurmountable advantage online?

    Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla that currently dominates the retail landscape. Its influence on retailing is similar to that enjoyed by Walmart in the late '90s and early '00s during its Supercenter heyday.Two obvious benefits from Prime Day are massive amounts of PR and the increase in the number of Prime members. A third benefit is the pressure this places on the competitive array. Amazon Prime days put the competitors on the defensive, forcing them to disclose their actions, if any, to counteract the actions of Amazon.I would not bet against Amazon.

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