Georganne Bender

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Georganne Bender is a speaker, retail strategist, author, and consultant. Georganne and her business partner, Rich Kizer, have helped thousands of businesses in the retail, creative, restaurant, healthcare, deathcare, hospitality, collegiate, toy, travel, tanning, beauty, tech, auto, sales and service industries grow their sales since 1990. Georganne is particularly known for her store makeover and visual merchandising skills. KIZER & BENDER are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts to Follow on Social Media. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People. Their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. As global retail thought leaders, KIZER & BENDER serve as BrainTrust panelists for RetailWire, and are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference held twice a year in Las Vegas. Georganne and Rich are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. As consumer anthropologists they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: Today's consumer. Each year KIZER & BENDER host consumer focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies. The result of their research is literally straight from the mouth of the consumer: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2022 marks their 32nd anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    Want to drive a loyal grocery customer crazy? Change the store layout!
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    Loyalty is interesting. I purchased seven cars from the same car dealership, but had absolutely no relationship with the dealer. I didn’t drive a Toyota, I drove a Licata - my salesman’s last name. When he left the dealership, I did too. My experience with our chosen grocery store is similar. Visits to this Albertsons-owned grocer happen multiple times a week. There is no loyalty program, and I don’t use curbside, so there aren’t many reasons to be loyal other than I like the quality and assortment, and I know the layout and cashiers. And it’s convenient. And that’s a wasted opportunity. With all this talk about data, I would think that when you have customers who have shopped with you for years, retailers would look for ways to harness that loyalty.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2022

    December retail sales were strong, no matter what the clickbait headlines said

    Before I even saw that he authored this piece I knew I was going to quote Steve Dennis’s Forbes article: “December 2021 was the best December in the history of retail.” IN THE HISTORY OF RETAIL. Come on, that’s big news! Too bad it wasn’t. Plenty of media outlets find joy in reporting abysmal things about retail. That’s not going to change because clickbait headlines bring in readers. I think it’s up to us - the strategists, speakers, consultants - people who actually work in the industry, to change the narrative because the mainstream media has already proven that it won’t.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Will NFTs, Kanye West and high-fashion collabs help Gap get its groove back?

    One of the things we always hear about Gap is that the stores are tired and the merchandise is the same old, same old. I was a Gap store manager in the '70s when the stores were cool; today I still see clothing on the sales floor that is similar to what we sold. It’s time to try something outrageously new. That’s Kanye. He brings a fresh and different perspective to what you traditionally expect to find at Gap, and he brings his fans and followers along, too. I hope the Balenciaga partnership works as well as designer partnerships work for Target. I like that the company is willing to try things that are considered “out there,” and I am not ready to write Gap off yet.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    I thought about this one for a while before responding. I know that the new C-level executives at J.C. Penney want to make the store shine again, want to make it relevant again, and want to be the ones who make it happen, and I wish them the best of luck. But I have to wonder about previous administrations and their attention to what does or does not happen on the sales floor. The JCP stores that I have visited in the last year are, frankly, a mess. Merchandise is on the floor, fixtures are empty, tables are strewn with product. This is what customers see; they don’t see what happens in the executive offices. I think that if anything major is going to happen with J.C. Penney it has to start on the sales floor. Every single day on RetailWire we talk about the customer experience and how important it is. You are not going to continue to attract customers to stores that look like they haven’t had any attention in years. So before they start looking at whatever tech is hot right now, they should start by spending quality time on the sales floor.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Reality hits omnichannel retail with a hard truth

    Consumers want a seamless transaction. As long as it is hassle-free they don’t care how each leg of the journey is handled or who handles it. They just want it to be easy. As long as we are talking seamless, they do care about transparency. Retailers who charge one price online and another in-store are not consumer favorites. Standing in a store but doing a BOPIS transaction on their phones to get a better deal is more common that you might think.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Wellness has become fashionable at Saks

    Vibrators at Saks Fifth Avenue? Here’s to the Ladies who Lunch! Seriously, though, why not? Wellness goes along with gracious living and it’s important. I’m sure the Saks customer will appreciate the new Wellness Shop.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of text-to-shop?

    I currently receive random texts from some of my favorite retailers, usually in the form of a coupon or the announcement of an overall sale, but I have not received one yet touting an individual product or product category. I have noticed an increase in retailers requiring customers who sign up to receive emails to also allow text messages in order to get the discount offered. Text-to-shop may be in its infancy now but it will eventually catch on.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Is retail ready for the phygital future?

    One only has to look at our Twitters, Neil, to see that!
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Is retail ready for the phygital future?

    Yes! People are still choosing brick and mortar over e-commerce but that’s all we talk about. There are some pretty sad looking stores out there. How about giving them the attention customers deserve?
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Will Americans turn to Walmart and Target to organize their lives?

    More stuff to organize your stuff! Who doesn’t swoon in a Container Store? So much possibility! I never got past the Home Edit recommending books be displayed in “rainbow order.” Where’s the Stephen King? IDK, check under indigo. Let’s hope the recommendations from Walmart and Target help people do more than just make their stuff look pretty. Some of us actually want to use the things we organize again. :)
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Will Alexa get customers cooking with Blue Apron?

    Doesn’t Blue Apron already send illustrated recipes? Now we need a video via Alexa to show us what to do? That’s a lot for pre-measured, minimal ingredient meals. Providing how-to videos will be a huge undertaking for Blue Apron.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Walmart says it’s ready to deliver groceries inside 30 million American homes

    I’m glad that Walmart is serious about gaining entry into homes. The retailer - or any other - will never, ever gain access to mine. No matter how vetted they are, giving random strangers access to your home is crazy.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    There’s a lot to be proud of, that’s for sure!
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    Chicago is vigilant: Masks indoors and no one aged 5+ can enter a restaurant, bar, gym and other public places without masks and proof of vaccination. Suburbs are beginning to follow suit. Retail stores do not require proof of vaccination. Yet. The only thing retailers can do is continue to reinvent customer services and ride the wave because we have no idea what will happen next.

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