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: 06/18/2018

    Kroger walks away from Raleigh-Durham

    Retreat is a strategic alternative used successfully by the military. It can also be a viable strategic option in business. A couple of questions which I am certain Kroger considered in making this decision: 1. Given the competitive climate, not necessarily the number of stores, could Kroger realize long term profitability in this market? 2. Would this retreat free up resources (capital and personnel) that could more efficiently and effectively be used against the many competitors and challenges confronting it in other larger markets? I agree with the sentiments that the sale of the majority of the Kroger stores to Harris Teeter hedges Kroger’s Raleigh-Durham bet. Plus, the HT banner is better positioned to respond to the latest market intrusions by Publix and Wegmans.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2018

    The question for today’s retailers: What business are you in?

    In addition to Levitt’s classic article, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon proclaimed, “In the factories we make cosmetics; at the counter we sell hope.” If a business can define its equivalent of “selling hope” it provides clarity to what business it is in. Three food retailers stand out as evolving marketers who clearly understand the changing nature of selling hope: Wegmans, Publix and H-E-B. Perhaps none have done a better job of redefinition than H-E-B with its customized banners (H-E-B, H-E-B Plus, Central Market, Mi Tienda, Joe V’s Smart Shop and H-E-B Convenience Stores). More recently its move into online with convenient delivery options from click-and-collect to in-home delivery continues to raise the bar on its equivalent of “selling hope.”
  • Posted on: 05/31/2018

    Walmart looks to win talent war with new education benefit

    It should make a difference. Everyone wins -- associates and Walmart. In addition to the noted labor shortages, the supply chain management focus is terrific. Between the rise of online and the shortage of truck drivers, supply chain management will become an even more sought after talent. Plus the model of learning while working, focusing on adult students, represents the new learning paradigm. The long-standing approach to education and work, featuring 12 to 16 years of formal education, followed by 40+ years of work, is no longer relevant in today’s changing world. Life-long learning is the future and Walmart appears poised to take advantage of this trend.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Publix pulls political funding amid anti-gun protests

    Publix did the right thing. It is unfortunate that this happened to a very good retailer, led by highly ethical and community focused leaders. I think the key is not so much the concept of political contributions by corporations, as much as it is avoiding contributions that may be perceived as controversial or community dividing. Certainly, gun control is one such issue, however, there are others, e.g., abortion and gay rights, on which much of America is divided. Contributions to these causes, by their very nature, will engender customer responses, both positive and negative. Whatever the decision, corporations need to understand the implications of their contributions, however they may have been positively intended.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Kohl’s emphasizes cash in merging of rewards program

    The key here is simplification, namely making it easier for heavy spenders to reap the benefits of their Kohl's spending and for light users to become introduced to the benefits of Kohl's Cash. Kohl's Cash is a terrific method to "bring customers back to the store in a relatively short period of time. As a result customers normally spend incrementally more than the Kohl's Cash they have earned. A win-win situation for Kohl's and its customers, regardless of their spending levels.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    Convenience is king as new-gen vending units add meal kits

    The key to any meal kit business, regardless of distribution system is quality, variety, taste, freshness and convenience. Certainly, a smart vending machine in an office space and other common gathering spaces addresses the convenience factor. However, the logistics must be in place to insure that the other four attributes are in place (quality, variety, taste, freshness). The variety and freshness dimensions are a function of volume and replenishment. If potential marketers can stimulate sufficient demand than the probability of success increases.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    Kroger to become meal kit force with Home Chef deal

    Remember the trite saying, "People gotta eat." Certainly, Kroger is redefining itself from simply a grocery store to a provider of your grocery and fresh foods with a variety of customer friendly options. The expansion of meal kits not only is a differentiating factor in the food retail space, it is a tremendous opportunity for Kroger to expand further into the foodservice arena, offering fresh and innovative meals without the need to go to a restaurant or order from one. Think of the savings, dollars (no gratuity) and time (no need to dress and transport the kids). I believe the traditional foodservice business may have more to be concerned about when it comes to meal kits, regardless of the providers of same. Kroger by this and other recent moves, e.g., Ocado, recognizes that the old game is over and a new one has realized significant growth in its place. Kudos to Kroger and additional warnings to those still competing only in the old game.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2018

    Amazon bans chronic returners

    While generous return policies have long been a significant advantage for Amazon, L.L. Bean and others, it does not justify a policy with no limits or constraints. Yes, there is a downside to firing innocent customers, however, that is not an excuse for turning a blind eye to customers who abuse the system. The fact that Amazon and others are shining the light on such abuses, by itself, may deter others from taking advantage of the system. Even 11 percent of the 11 percent returned that is deemed fraudulent has an impact on the bottom line.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    That’s why it’s called a test. I am confident that Walmart will continue to test options that address the dreaded checkout experience. Lesson learned from this latest experiment: fit the technology to the customer, not vice versa.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Ocado to automate Kroger warehouses in exclusive U.S. deal

    Terrific move by Kroger in securing the U.S. exclusive with Ocado to assist in their continued online evolution. This is a classic example of build versus buy. Build where you are strong and Kroger is dominant in the brick-and-mortar space. Buy where you are weak. Kroger recognizes the lead enjoyed by Amazon and others in the online space. This deal begins to close the actual gap as well as the knowledge gap.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Will Target Restock undercut Amazon’s Prime Pantry?

    Obviously, these single hits will make a difference when taken collectively. The question remains, does Target have a strategy that results in a home run? Actions in the online area will allow it to stay in the game with Amazon. Unfortunately, none will be a game-changer. However, if Target can achieve parity in these areas it will buy the retailer time to redesign its brick-and-mortar strategy. Target, like many other retailers, now realizes that it's not an online versus physical store battle. Instead, it is now a war that needs to be waged on several fronts. If Target can figure out the stores, it may provide itself with a needed competitive advantage.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Can retailers find riches at sea?

    Only if the product assortment fits the lifestyles of the particular cruise line's target market. Being captive on a cruise ship is one thing. Being focused is clearly an altogether different phenomenon. If done properly, there are riches in niches.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Retail loyalty programs are no longer in the cards

    We have loyalty backwards. Why should customers be loyal to a store or brand? Be loyal to your family, school, church, country, etc. not to your brands or retailers. Brands and retailers need to be loyal to their customers. How? Deliver/exceed your promises to your customers.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Why is Amazon partnering with Sears again?

    Sears is where "America used to shop." This latest partnership may provide some temporary relief, but by itself is not sufficient to refloat, much less turn around the sinking Sears ship. The potential positive for Sears is an aggressive online partner for its flagship brands. Unfortunately, this will not be enough to bring customers back to Sears’s struggling stores. For Amazon this represents continued experimentation with the potential for continued success. Amazon wins. Sears gets a temporary reprieve.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Uber isn’t going along on Walmart’s online grocery ride

    Not surprised by the elimination of the passenger-focused delivery options. Transporting passengers is one thing, groceries another. However, despite Walmart's investment and desire for the click & collect option to the final mile, some customers still desire home delivery. I see Walmart, like Amazon, continuing to test various options. In fact, I believe the current relationships with Deliv, DoorDash and Postmates, which have experience delivering food, will continue. Each of these focused delivery services provide additional insight into the process should Walmart decide to build its own option or acquire one or more of the options it is currently using. In the end, this could be similar to Walmart's acquisition of Jet.com, purchased for its talents and insights into an area in which Walmart had limited experience.

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