PROFILE

George Anderson

Editor-in-Chief, RetailWire
George Anderson has extensive executive-level experience in editorial, marketing and sales in the advertising, retail/wholesale and print, video and digital media industries. Mr. Anderson has served as the editorial voice of RetailWire since the site's founding in 2002 and has been interviewed by a wide variety of media outlets including the Charlotte Observer, Providence Journal, MarketWatch, NPR, Wall Street Journal Radio and others. Previously, Mr. Anderson served as president and creative director of the IdeaBeat Creative division of IdeaBeat.com. His duties included creating Online Profit Guides and Company Spotlights recognized as "Best of the Net" by About.com for a blue-chip list of consumer goods manufacturers and technology companies. Before joining IdeaBeat, Mr. Anderson created a successful sales and marketing communications and custom publishing company called Not Your Average Agency. Mr. Anderson's experience includes eight years with Progressive Grocer Associates/Maclean Hunter Media, where he held a variety of marketing services and sales management roles. His assignments included work in the company's four divisions including Progressive Grocer, Frozen Food Age, Retail Technology, and Retail Insights (Supermarket Insights and Convenience Store Insights video division.) For editorial inquiries, please contact George at: RetailWire 116 South Union Avenue Cranford, NJ 07016 908-325-2499
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  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    Is Texas messing with retailers?

    Thanks Richard.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    Is Texas messing with retailers?

    While I don't live in Texas, I can certainly agree with you that the people I have been fortunate enough to meet from the state over many years are highly rational thinkers and likely to continue wearing masks. The issue isn't the 87 percent who think mask wearing is a sensible thing to do. It's the 13 percent, often making decisions based on non-medical reasons like simply trying "to own the libs" or a fictional Constitutional right to spread disease, that complicate the issue for retailers simply trying to operate their businesses safely and profitably. As we've seen time and time again going back a year now, some become belligerent and even violent when asked to think of the greater good rather than their own self interest. As to your other points, I'm not sure why you believe Texas has been singled out other than the recentness of the coverage. The best example I have found is the numerous stories about the role that politics have played in Florida around the pandemic and specifically regarding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' role in that. I think there are a number of factors that make recent decisions by Gov. Abbott and other governors stand out that all have timing as factor. Each chose to take steps that could (medical experts would say likely to) expose more people to illness when there is finally a coherent federal response in place that is making real progress on vaccine manufacturing and distribution. Other timing factors include the curious announcements by two governors -- Texas and Mississippi -- that mandates are being lifted following what were botched responses to past weather events that should have served as lessons to avoid the heating, water and food supply debacles of recent weeks. Finally, these responses can also been seen as less about protecting citizens of a given state and more about advancing talking point credibility with a particular part of the electorate. The coincidence of the timing around CPAC (SD Gov. Noem lauded their approach there) and the mask announcements made by GOP governors following that event seem unusual, no?
  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    Is Texas messing with retailers?

    Total case numbers referenced in relation to one of the nation's least densely populated states are misleading, particularly when they have been cherry picked. As a point of reference, South Dakota saw spikes in the months following November. It also has the second highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in the U.S. to date and is second only to Nevada in hospitalization rates at 58 per 100,000 people.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Do grocers need to get better at planning for weather-related disasters?

    Both, I think. ;o)
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Do grocers need to get better at planning for weather-related disasters?

    I don't believe your assertion that no such similar weather event has happened in living memory in Texas is correct, but don't take my word for it. You can check out the National Weather Service, which breaks out "significant snow fall events" by regions within the state. Here's the one for North Texas. To Gene's earlier point, he's absolutely right that different places are better equipped than others to deal with unusual events such as a snowstorm in Texas. The reality, however, is that some places that have historically been able to deal with the rarity of such events are finding them increasing in frequency. The primary responsibility, in this case, lies entirely with the state's elected officials and the power providers. That said, essential businesses that Texans depend on for their health need to be prepared.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Do grocers need to get better at planning for weather-related disasters?

    I don't think anyone would seriously argue that the state government and the largely unregulated utilities in Texas need to do better. That doesn't change the equation for retailers who if the above were true would still be reliant on parties other than themselves to protect against foreseeable events.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Should suppliers help fund retailers’ omnichannel investments?

    Slotting fees by any name are just that. EDLP retailers that have eschewed upfront fees to focus on driving top line sales have consistently outpaced Hi-Lo operators for years. This seems like it could be a short-term fix and just another incentive for brands to develop their own direct-to-consumer businesses.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Do grocers need to get better at planning for weather-related disasters?

    While I see what you're saying about extraordinary events, this is the third time since 1999 (so about once every 10 years) that Texas has one of this extraordinary winter events. Climate change data suggests that weather occurrences such as this are more, not less, likely to happen going forward.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Who won this year’s Super Bowl ad contest?

    As a fellow Garden Stater, I too am oath bound to support the Boss in all things. That said, I'm never going to get used to seeing him wear a cowboy hat even though I know that there are plenty of people in New Jersey's horse country and rural counties that wear them everyday. As a Packer fan going back to Vince Lombardi's teams, the State Farm spot just made me sad even though it probably was pretty funny.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2021

    Is Kroger justified in closing stores over a hero pay ordinance?

    Kroger's opposition to the ordinance is based on facts that demonstrate the inconsistencies/deficiencies of the Long Beach ordinance. The real question is how it will play in the court of public opinion. Perception, as we all know, is often a replacement for reality. That doesn't seem as though it will play well for Kroger in this instance although I could be wrong. Closing stores in any community that is largely lower income and populated by minorities is not a great look for a retail brand at this time (there's that perception thing again). I hope A) that something can be worked out so members of those areas will still have good options for getting their groceries and B) that Kroger finds a way to address its grievance with the local government without talking past its customers in this case. There's no doubt that store associates will be losers as these locations shut. The stores' customers will be right there with them.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2021

    Will vaccine reluctant Americans slow the retail comeback from COVID-19?

    While anecdotal information may provide qualitative insights, it should never be substituted for or be given more weight based on quantitative findings - AKA facts.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2021

    Should store associates deliver online orders?

    Sounds like a great idea if, as others have pointed out, it makes financial sense for the associates and the retailer. I do wonder, however, how many online orders are placed where a level of personal service is required upon delivery. I have rarely even known a delivery was being made in the past without hearing the dog bark or the bell ring. I'm perfectly happy to have Alexa tell me a package is here and go out to the front porch to retrieve it. Will Zumiez and others be happy to have an associate spend 15 minutes or more on the clock talking with customers or will the associates be looking at their smartwatches trying to move along to the next delivery?
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    Amazon is certainly aware of the percentage breakout of shoppers by store and online. You don't have to look any further than the Whole Foods acquisition and the origination and expansion of the Amazon Fresh conventional supermarket concept for proof.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    It was interesting looking at the numbers and comparing them to my own personal experience. Here in our New Jersey home Amazon/Whole Foods (produce and supplements), ShopRite (conventional groceries), Trader Joe's (unique food finds) and Target (conventional groceries and non-foods) have been the top four recipients of our expenditures going back to March.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    One of the interesting findings of the dunnhumby research is that Trader Joe's remains in the top three retailers while continuing to only offer in-store as an option to shop.

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