PROFILE

Georganne Bender

Partner, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Georganne Bender is a consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team.

Georganne and her partner, Rich Kizer, 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. They recently served as official correspondents for the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org Digital Retail 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.

To learn more, visit: http://www.kizerandbender.com
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  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Why don’t retailers concentrate more on selling the Christmas spirit?

    I am part of the 42 percent who enjoy the “festive ambience.” Visits to Santa, holiday windows, lunch at Chicago’s famous Walnut Room, ice skating, whatever you got, bring it on. We encourage our retail clients to dive tastefully into the holiday spirit and pull out all the visual merchandising stops -- celebrate the magic of Christmas. This does not, however, mean plastering the sales floor with cheap garland and HOLIDAY SALE signs the week before Halloween. Give me the holiday decor and ambiance of an old fashioned department store. As for who does it best, I have to give it to Nordstrom. Not because of its choice of decor, but because the retailer refuses to set Christmas until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time. I love that.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    Would you believe older men with lower incomes are the new drivers of online sales growth?

    Thanks Patricia! This Baby Boomer is tired of being invisible.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    Would you believe older men with lower incomes are the new drivers of online sales growth?

    I think this reminds us to never underestimate consumers, and to stop focusing only on the generations that are new and shiny. Look at this from the perspective of an “older male consumer from a lower income bracket” -- to him shopping isn’t always fun. At least that’s what we hear in focus groups. It’s easier to shop online where he is the most important customer and is not ignored by sales people, which is likely to happen on a sales floor. He can shop without distraction and not have to make excuses for whatever he buys. This also shows that there is room online for retailers other than Amazon to do business and that consumers look for variety even in an online experience. And as Nikki said, in simplicity of the buying process.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    Are Aldi’s customers who you think they are?

    People who love Aldi LOVE Aldi. It’s always a favorite in our consumer focus groups. You know how people become loyal to one grocery store (and lose their minds when the store does a reset)? That’d be me. I am not an Aldi shopper but my husband is, and so are our Millennial children. My well-heeled friend, who has unlimited grocery choices where we live and could shop anywhere, prefers Aldi. So no, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Macy’s expands in-store pop-up concept with Facebook’s help

    Thanks Brandon! I am, too.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Macy’s expands in-store pop-up concept with Facebook’s help

    For all the talk about technology on the sales floor, here’s a retailer that’s actually bringing it. And in time for Holiday 2018. The Market @ Macy’s tie-in with Facebook makes perfect sense; we see an e-commerce company on our timeline that’s intriguing and now we can physically shop it in-store. With this move Macy’s has broken the fourth wall of retailing.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Is mobile the most disruptive force in retail since online selling began?

    The Macy’s store closest to my home traditionally has one to two associates working on the second floor. This floor houses domestics, housewares, luggage, children’s, plus size, petites, dresses, fine china, lingerie, hosiery, stationery, Last Act, and probably a few other departments I have missed. Those associates can generally be found behind a cashwrap. If you need help with a bra fitting or choosing a china pattern, good luck. Mr. Gennette knows his stores better than I do, and certainly e-commerce is coming on strong and needs to be properly staffed. That being said, Christmas is retail’s make-or-break time of year. Customers who choose to visit a store, who need help from a trained associate and cannot get it, will likely go somewhere else to shop. You can’t afford to mess up in the Golden Quarter.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2018

    Analyst: Whole Foods’ lower price claims are mostly ‘noise’

    Wait. My Prime membership will save me an additional $1.54 on a purchase of $400 plus? Let me get right on that. That old adage, “There’s no reality in retail, only perception” seems to be working for Whole Foods. Still, I haven’t seen enough of a shift at Whole Foods to change my shopping habits.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Has Boxed.com solved the melting chocolate challenge?

    My dad was a life long candy man with the James O. Welch Candy Company. He always talked about a day when chocolates could be shipped year round. I wish he could be here to see this!
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Gap CEO says retailers not turning in-store data into action

    I’m with you, Paula! Those follow-up emails from Amazon are creepy.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Gap CEO says retailers not turning in-store data into action

    Retail does talk a lot about the value and potential of in-store customer data, but what it doesn’t do is use it. At least not with me. Independent retailers do not have access to the sort of data that’s available to the big guys, yet they use their anecdotal data to personalize customer offerings. I see relevant indie offers all the time. I am a frequent customer in many chain stores that track data, but I have yet to receive a personalized email offer from any of them, The Gap included. Throwing a “Hey Bender!” at the beginning of the email is about as personalized as it gets.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    "New luxury is about more than labels." Love that!
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    While I understand Burberry’s desire for exclusivity and protecting its brand, I am also shaking my head at how the company disposes of unsold goods. And that it receives a tax credit for doing so. Companies today are having to make real changes, the world is watching and it’s not afraid to call you out.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2018

    ‘Cosby Show’ star’s experience shows work is different at Trader Joe’s

    I saw this more of a “Look at the big TV star who now works at Trader Joe’s” than I did as a shot at retail workers. Schadenfreude makes some people feel better about themselves.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2018

    Will a bot soon be taking your order at the drive-thru?

    If you want a laugh, Google “Fast Food Drive Thru by Stevens and Grdnic”!

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