Georganne Bender

Consumer Anthropologist, 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. 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: 11/15/2019

    Is the environment Amazon’s Achilles heel or opportunity?

    A friend on Facebook just proudly posted a pile of Amazon boxes that almost reached the ceiling. She’s happy her Christmas shopping is finished; all I could see were those empty shipping boxes. I think about those boxes each time I am about to hit “add to cart” on Amazon. Sure, I love the convenience of overnight delivery but I can just as easily buy what I need ASAP from a nearby retailer. This is a growing problem that Amazon needs to solve, and it needs to keep consumers apprised of what it is doing - and what we can do - to care for the environment. I’m with the 60 percent of survey respondents who said they are willing to wait longer for delivery if it saves 200 trees. I bet more people would do that too if they knew it was an option.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ a merchandising opportunity?

    It’s stupid and it’s insulting. I don’t think things like this -- regardless of who they target -- are necessary. It’s a nasty trend that needs to go away.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Shoptalk makes a statement with a conference featuring only women speakers

    This isn’t the answer to the problem and I’m not really sure how to react to this. On one hand, I really love that there is a retail conference with all female speakers. On the other hand as a female speaker, I want to be recognized for my abilities, and my what my work contributes to the industry, not just for my gender.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    What’s in store for retail in 2020?

    Great points, Neil!
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    Amazon confirms it will open a grocery store not named Whole Foods

    Of course Amazon is opening grocery stores. The selection at Whole Foods is too limited for some consumers (like me) and the grocery market is too lucrative for Amazon to pass up. Hey, if you’re going to compete with Walmart, compete with Walmart. It’s said to be a low cost grocery format so I am not surprised that Amazon won’t be using Amazon Go checkout technology. As a store planner, I am looking forward to seeing what Amazon comes up with for store design.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Why is Trader Joe’s hiding stuffed animals in its stores?

    It’s the experience, stupid. Seriously, Rich and I have a slogan for keeping kids happy while shopping, and keeping mom and dad coming back: “Love me, love my kids.” We recommend everything from Mommy and Me classes to kid focused in-store events like Parking Lot Olympics, Kid’s Store Tours, Make an Ornament - we literally have run and collected hundreds. Our Kid’s Cookie Credit Card gets a child a pre-wrapped cookie or box of animal crackers when they flash their card. Where do you think a kid wants to shop? Trader Joe’s hiding stuffed animals is brilliant in its simplicity; it makes it easier for mom and dad to shop, and that’s the point.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Did social media spook Party City’s Halloween sales?

    There is definitely a DIY trend in Halloween costumes and it’s a trend retailers need to jump on. Halloween departments, and even pop-up shops, haven’t changed all that much - packaged plastic masks and scratchy costumes are becoming a thing of the past. Last year my grandson was a “spider-skeleton” and his three-year old mind knew exactly what he wanted it to look like. This required my daughter to search in a number of places to get what she needed to make his costume. Retailers do a good job with makeup, and a pretty good job with wigs and accessories, but they could do better; adding DIY components, clothing, materials, and even project idea sheets that show how to create various looks. If you want to grow Halloween business you have to go in the same direction as your customers.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2019

    Can J.C. Penney reinvent itself with its offbeat lab store?

    Kudos to J.C. Penney for trying something that is completely unexpected. Doing the same things it has always done, just differently, isn’t enough. Regardless of your age, Penney’s image is that it’s where your mom shops. But will this new concept work? It’s only in one location so it won’t make much of a splash - people in Chicago don’t care about retail in Dallas. What’s in it for me? Will this lab store turn the chain around? I’m an optimist but I wouldn’t take this bet.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2019

    Is Amazon starting to fall out of favor with American consumers?

    There is no thrill of the hunt, of finding something unexpected at Amazon like there is in a brick-and-mortar store. We shop Amazon because it’s convenient. It has become such a part of our everyday lives that it’s comparable to our cable TV. We expect it to work, and we only get upset when it doesn’t. Shopping on Amazon has become a commodity. For the first time Amazon has viable competition. Personally, I choose BOPIS at Walmart or Target vs. ordering on Amazon when I can. I am sensitive to the packing materials that accumulate in my garage, and feel just a little guilty about the waste.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    When there is a difference in power, the word consensual has multiple meanings.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Will Old Navy succeed with a one-price regardless of size concept?

    And stop treating women who wear a size 12 or 14 as plus-sized because they aren’t. And what’s with making being plus-sized is a crime? The size you wear shouldn’t be a big deal. I’m a double-digit. Who cares?
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    A relationship can never be 100 percent consensual if there is a power/authority difference. I suspect that McDonald’s put this out there - that the relationship was consensual - to protect the CEO’s reputation. But who’s to say the person he was involved with won’t come back with a lawsuit? This is why McDonald’s policy can’t have any gray areas.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Century 21 pops up near Macy’s Herald Square for the holidays

    Pop-up shops are both sales and marketing vehicles; timing is everything. It makes sense to open pop-ups during the holidays because consumers are in full-on shopping mode. We’re all talking about the shorter shopping season, retailers have to get their piece of the holiday pie while they can.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    McDonald’s has a clear company policy about dating co-workers and Mr. Easterbrook broke it. He clearly knew what he was doing and had to accept the consequences.

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