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: 07/16/2019

    CEO says Walmart’s stores are the answer to Amazon – at least for groceries

    Walmart locations, number and geographic spread provide a significant advantage that currently Amazon cannot replicate. The challenge has been and will continue to be in the execution at store. If issues of freshness, convenience and service cannot be addressed, the apparent differential advantage can become a real detriment to Walmart. A terrific opportunity to gain on Amazon if the promise becomes a reality.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Target expands its college tour

    As a University professor, I learned early on that college students are eating and drinking machines. Years ago, the university’s foodservice provider experimented with a vended pizza in several of the dorms. As a teacher of ethics, I am compelled to report that the experiment failed. Why? Because they couldn’t keep the machines stocked! Target’s smaller formatted stores represent a terrific niche strategy. Remember, there are riches in niches. The next evolution will be delivery from these stores.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Will meatless meat, CBD and cold brew coffee help food retailers differentiate?

    I think all three (meatless meats, CBD, and cold brew coffee) are trends versus fads. Each will have the opportunity to develop new categories within food retail, something that is difficult to do in today's environment. However, I do not see any of these providing long term differential advantage as most food retailers will cut in space for these products assuming they are trends not fads. The real question for retailers is will each of these new categories increase overall store sales or simply cannibalize existing offerings? CBD should produce incremental sales and meatless meats may have some positive impact as non-red meat consumers try the new offerings. Cold brew coffee is more or less another flavor option.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2019

    Will a new BOPIS option boost Amazon’s results?

    This is a classic case where all parties win. Customers have another delivery option, Amazon saves on shipping costs, and participating retailers generate incremental volume thru extra traffic. Amazon continues its customer centric delivery focus while reducing its logistics expenses. Amazon is not finished experimenting.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2019

    Is complaining about customer service becoming America’s national pastime?

    Fewer associates in bricks & mortar retailers, combined with long wait times & poor experiences when connected to customer service personnel when contacting by phone, have driven customers to the Internet to vent their frustrations with poor performing products & related services. The alternative to a phone complaint was at one time limited to snail mail. Without the technology of easy to use electronic communications less than 5% of customers would formally complain to sellers. Now, it is not only easier to complain via social media, the post is also available publicly versus a phone call or written letter. Seller responses should be empathetic, timely & non-argumentative. Treat the customer before you treat the problem. Saying you’re sorry for a bad experience is not the same as saying you’re guilty. Respond quickly & don’t argue with the customer. If you argue with the customer you will lose them & may alienate readers of the interaction.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Did Amazon just ‘turn up the heat’ on rivals with its Prime Day announcement?

    Lots of terrific (free) PR. Another example of first mover advantage that keeps competitors on the the defensive & forces them to react according to Amazon’s rules. Emulation alone is not enough. Competition needs to develop their own unique differential advantage to turn the tables.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    How do consumers define cleanliness in grocery stores?

    In addition to the attributes noted in the article, in my research on customer delight in grocery stores, I found three attributes that customers related to perceived cleanliness and order in grocery stores: uncluttered aisles, shopper-friendly store layout and clearly marked shelf tags.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2019

    Kroger sees rivals’ one-hour delivery and raises it a half hour

    I'm not convinced this would be a game changer for customers. Plus the logistics and economic considerations might be a deal breaker for Kroger. Even Domino's abandoned the 30 minutes or less guarantee for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a public perception of safety.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    There is no doubt that Target and Walmart are responding to every new delivery concept introduced by Amazon. However, this fast follower approach with individualized tweaks seem to add little in the way of differential advantage. If a shopper is someone who needs it now, the $99 annual subscription or $14 per month subscription (pays for itself in less than two Deliveries), would be the preferred subscription options. The delivery wars will continue, however, this latest move by Target is more a tactical versus strategic move.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2019

    Ace Hardware and True Value satisfy customers, Home Depot not so much

    The big box stores often fail to provide the “local knowledge” and problem solving approach of Ace and True Value. Knowledgeable and empathic associates in-store make a difference.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2019

    Walmart to expand its talent pipeline with a debt-free college plan for high schoolers

    As an academician I applaud Walmart's decision to offer flexible work hours as well as the opportunity to earn a college degree debt-free. While the debt-free college degree benefit will get the most PR, the freedom of schedule flexibility is something 16 to 18 year old students cherish. This benefit recognizes the school, athletic, and social demands associated with high school. This is a good first step by Walmart to show respect to this generation of workers. Kudos to Walmart!
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Experience is overrated, hire talent

    Unfortunately experience, which should make a difference, is too often overrated. In many cases a candidate who states that he or she has 20 years of experience has one year of experience repeated 19 times. Recruit aggressively, not passively. Assume you have hired someone who has achieved, learned, and fits. The next step is to involve the individual in your organization’s pursuit of customer delight. There are two aspects of the involving process -- cultural and educational. The cultural part creates an environment that makes people feel good and enthusiastically supports their quest to delight customers. The educational component prepares these enthusiastic players to constantly and consistently delight current and potential customers.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2019

    Amazon to set small suppliers adrift

    Today, the majority of consumers (52 percent) start their online shopping search on Amazon rather than search engines like Google. Part of this search behavior emanates from the consumer perception that "Amazon has everything." While one can understand the cost savings with a more focused logistics approach; this needs to be compared to the potential impact on customers, specifically to those customers who will turn to other online marketers who can better fulfill their complete shopping needs. If enacted, there is no doubt that small vendors will be negatively impacted.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2019

    Are retail HQs and stores suffering a communication breakdown?

    While the article focuses on execution, the real issue is the appropriateness of the strategies emanating from corporate. Unfortunately, many corporate executives spend little time in the stores. They need to regularly and routinely visit stores. Recall that when Sam Walton was building Walmart, he and his corporate team would visit stores from Monday to Thursday. During these visits he focused on three questions: 1. What’s working? 2. What’s not working? 3. How can we fix what’s not working? The Friday morning meetings were dedicated to the followup from the store visits. It worked for Walton and Walmart and still should work today. High tech is good but high touch is still relevant.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2019

    Did Walmart just one-up Amazon on next day deliveries?

    The Walmart move, while a potentially good one, is still a "me too" or two. Amazon sets the bar for innovation in many areas, including logistics. Walmart and Target are still trying to catch up. Although Amazon has expanded its store pickup with the acquisition of Whole Foods and has made returns easier with the Kohl's partnership, nevertheless Walmart has a terrific brick-and-mortar infrastructure that has not been fully engaged for pick up and/or returns. Improvements in this space can provide differential advantage.

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