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: 10/22/2021

    Amazon rolls out in-store pickup and local delivery for marketplace sellers

    Amazon does it again. What a terrific collaboration with the online giant and local stores. Not only does this make Amazon a more local retailer by way of this relationship, but it adds the local, in-store connection for consumers who want to shop and buy local. For the local retailer this is an opportunity to interact with the leading data analytics and logistics company in the world; no longer as a competitor but as a partner. Win-Win-Win for Amazon, the local retailer and consumers.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Are brands about to take over the produce department?

    It's ironic that produce departments are shifting toward brands. Produce departments, along with bakery, seafood and meats, represent significant opportunities for developing positive points of differential advantage. Now, the produce section runs the risk of looking like the rest of the primarily branded aisles of the supermarket. If the move is away from loose "farmer's market" produce, then supermarkets need to develop their own branded produce that reflects the changing consumer needs. Don't simply follow the branded trend, unless your brands provide the reason for a customer to pass one or more grocers to visit your store.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    Kroger is attempting to be grocery market equivalent of Amazon. The concept has some real potential, particularly in Florida where Publix has little competition. Not so certain it makes sense in other markets, where the major supermarkets have developed online systems. Remember multi or omnichannel is not about channels, it is about customers. Many customers like having a choice between online and bricks & mortar. This option appears to limit that choice.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2021

    Should retailers set time guarantees for curbside delivery?

    I'm not certain the actual wait time is as critical as navigating to the store and parking or circling the parking lot until your order comes out the door. To do a scheduled pick up retailers need to offer a manageable queue or designated pick up location for customers arriving at the promised pick up time. Besides the logistics of designing and executing the 20 minute window, the grab and go benefit for the customer may mitigate some of the potential add-on purchases created by BOPIS.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2021

    Lunds & Byerlys gives associates Thanksgiving and Black Friday off

    These folks have been on the front line now for over 20 months. They have been there throughout the pandemic helping customers deal with the necessities of life. They have suffered the consequences of COVID-19 deaths, sickness, and blowback from customers refusing to mask up. Paid holidays off respects the work of the these workers and recognizes the family holiday importance. Bravo to Lunds & Byerlys. This is definitely a success clue that should be followed by other retailers.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2021

    Is Home Depot’s deal with Walmart a sign of bigger things to come?

    Given the ongoing concerns regarding logistics, supply chain and final mile costs, this deal makes sense for both companies. In addition to the advantages noted in the article, this deal provides a defense against the continued innovations pioneered by Amazon. I do not anticipate a merger between the two. It may be something preferred by Home Depot, but I doubt Walmart sees the same advantages.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2021

    Amazon asks, why wait for Black Friday when you can get Christmas deals today?

    Terrific pre-emptive move by Amazon. This move addresses the multitude of issues already noted, such as consumer concerns, product availability, supply chain issues, etc. The move by Amazon will resonate strongly with consumers and the heartburn experienced by the Amazon logistics team.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2021

    Last-mile costs keep piling up

    The “last mile” has always been a problem for online merchants. COVID-19 has certainly exacerbated this issue. According to McKinsey, the average company can expect to lose 45 percent of one year’s earnings over the next decade due to supply chain disruption. Going forward, the challenge is for online retailers to develop non-UPS or FedEx alternatives, such as drop boxes, pick up at c-stores, etc. They need to develop the online equivalent of BOPIS.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members

    The net impact of this decision is the removal of a benefit that many Prime members deemed to be important. No doubt this will result in some member attrition. This decision underscores the expenses associated with final-mile delivery. The question at the end of the day for Amazon is, will product margins from charging a delivery fee versus free delivery offset the loss of customers? I suspect Amazon has done pro formas that support the potential enhanced profitability of this decision.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2021

    What’s the best way to reap the benefits of consultants?

    I'm always reminded of this definition of a consultant, "Someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is, then proceeds to keep your watch." Apologies to other BrainTrust contributors, who I know, like me, make a living via consulting. Consultants can be a good source of problem solutions since they do not carry the baggage of working for the firm. However having said this the key is to insure that consultants really understand the nature of the problem they have been hired to solve. Plus, their success will be enhanced by providing them access to team members with various views on the problem(s) to be addressed. Finally, a successful engagement includes actionable results. There's a terrific video of a couple of consultants who provide a recommended solution to a problem. The manager who engages the consultants smiles and says, "great, do it." To which the chagrined consultants replies, "We don't actually do what we propose, we just propose it."
  • Posted on: 09/16/2021

    Online grocery shopping is pretty much all about convenience

    Multi-channel is all about customers, not channels. Customers will define their preferred shopping options. The ability to shop for groceries online changed the projected growth curve for online food shopping. Recent research data highlights that the growing concerns about Delta and Mu may result in a pull back from in-store grocery shopping. Going forward the opportunity that I still feel has been underdeveloped is BOPIS. If retailers can execute this option and bring customers into the store, even for only a short period of time, the opportunity to purchase high margin items (flowers, bakery, cheeses, etc.) would have a significant impact on the retailer’s bottom line. Who is doing it well? Whole Foods, Walmart, Kroger and Shoprite.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2021

    Rite Aid is going remote-first with its corporate workforce

    Rite Aid deserves kudos for this strategic move. While other companies struggle with reopening office dates and related Covid policies, Rite Aide’s remote first initiative make the #3 drug store #1 in innovation. Plus, the collaboration centers make terrific sense as vendors "hit the road" enroute to retailers. Finally, the new Philly corporate office and collaboration center is a stone’s throw (less than 10 minutes) from Philadelphia International Airport. How convenient is that?
  • Posted on: 09/14/2021

    Will Kohl’s be known for something other than its retail partners?

    I give Kohl’s kudos for its innovative alliances. The question is what do other similar retailers stand for? This category of retail has had identity problems for years. Changing the paradigm has allowed Kohl’s to become the lead dog. And we know the lead dog has the view!
  • Posted on: 09/13/2021

    Is the government’s vaccination mandate plan good for retail?

    Assuming the details of the plan are relevant and operational, this is a step in the right direction to protect both employees and customers. We know consumers are more worried about the Delta variant than they were the original strain. Any positive action to alleviate these concerns will be good for retail. As usual, the devil is in the details. However if the details are correct the results should be positive.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2021

    Will shoppers flock to or avoid stores for Halloween and Christmas?

    Consumers are becoming more anxious as the Delta and now the Mu variant surge through the country. According to recent research by Numerator Research, 50 percent of consumers are more worried about the Delta variant than they were the original strain. Consumers are pushing back their expectations on a return to normal, nearly half think that won’t come until 2022 or later. Yes, consumers are worried and will tend to avoid stores during the fall unless their concerns are abated.

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