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: 05/13/2021

    Simon says J.C. Penney is ready to become a 21st century retailer

    While I wish J.C. Penney well, I see little in the way of any planned differential advantage that will bring customers back into the stores who have migrated to online and specialty retailers. While focusing on the debt and vendor relations is necessary, beyond the promised new brands, there appears to be little in the way of a long term marketing strategy.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2021

    Uber Eats delivers dinner with a side of blush

    Marketers get permission to make a product from management. Permission to sell a product comes from potential customers. Just because you can deliver beauty products with a meal does not necessarily mean it is something you should do.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2021

    Simon CEO says Americans are experiencing ‘euphoria’ as they return to malls

    As noted there may be some pent up demand in certain parts of the country. While the need to socialize is evident, the means to do so is not so universal. Restaurants for sure are getting a bump. Plus, strip or open air malls are seeing more traffic as Americans slowly emerge from their residences. However the euphoria comment by Simon appears to be the PR component on the earnings call.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2021

    Walmart is going all in on 24/7/365 telehealth

    With the combined increase in the cost of healthcare and the aging of America, this is a terrific opportunity for Walmart to maximize its size, efficiencies, customer profile and marketing expertise. This concept should enhance its brand and standing with current and potential employees in a tight labor market.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2021

    Are retailers making it too tough for seniors to shop online?

    Tutorials should be offered at a minimum. Plus, the website interaction needs to be more customer sensitive in terms of the type of shopper demographics. This is a terrific opportunity to capture high income senior shoppers. We should not assume that they cannot or will not make the move to digital if properly educated. Recall a decade ago when everyone was getting a cell phone. The thinking was everyone, except your grandparents. Not true for cell phones today and not true for online shopping!
  • Posted on: 04/30/2021

    Should retailers welcome vaccine passports?

    Apparently, the privacy issue is no longer a federal government mandate, thus the concerns of big brother tracking you are mitigated. However, privately sourced vaccine passports like the one in development by the International Association of Travel Agents (IATA), still carry privacy concerns. That being said, such passports should reduce the fears of customers and employees interacting in non-virtual spaces. Time to move on. Let's get vaccinated and get comfortable with a non-fraudulent, non privacy invasion way of letting others know we are fully vaccinated.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2021

    Vaccinated Americans like getting retail thank you freebies

    We need to stop politicizing every action that may affect the critical objective of getting people vaccinated. Anything that moves us closer to herd immunity should not be dismissed out of hand. Krispy Kreme should be heralded not derided.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Are restaurants ready for what comes next?

    According to a National Restaurant Survey in December 2020, "17% of US restaurants — or about 110,000 establishments — have permanently closed down, with 10,000 closing in the last three months alone. The majority of restaurants that closed were not brand-new businesses, the association found: on average, they'd been in business for 16 years." This is indeed a terrible situation. However, those that have survived have done so by being adaptive. Many of the changes have been noted in the article. However, I believe that the biggest opportunity still lies on the take out side of the business. To achieve even greater penetration in this growing part of the business, two changes need to be made. 1. Re-engineer the food offering. Preparing a meal for immediate consumption is a different process than a meal to go. 2. Change the packaging. The old Styrofoam neither does the job of maintaining food quality nor properly represents the image of the restaurant. Food retailers are going to go after this segment and will use the above tactics as a way to take share from traditional restaurants.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Will American consumers push back against higher grocery prices?

    For all the reasons noted in the article, we can expect some level of price increases in the near future. However, keep in mind that many traditional bricks and mortar food retailers have been price and value driven as part of their legacy, to the point of not actively pursuing non-price differentiation. So they will continue to fight the price battle against "like" retailers. In addition, they need to guard against the dollar and other value chains who seek to capture market share. However, despite noted vendor pushback, I see these vendors reentering the promotion space when pandemic bloated sales return to normal. The challenge will be bringing customers back into stores from their online pandemic journeys. Price will be a factor, but not the only factor that needs to be considered as the stores see more customers.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    What goes into delivering a ‘wow’ shopping experience?

    The key to wowing customers or, in my terms, "delighting" them has two essential components: system and people. The system entails all those items that are essential for a potential wow experience - clean store, in-stock merchandise, easy and fast checkout, easy returns, etc. Often times when these things are not delivered the assumption is that it is a people or staff problem. However in each of the examples noted above, the system the retailer has in place failed to deliver as promised. On the other hand, do not minimize the role of people in the process. But the people can not always overcome a bad or lacking system. I use the analogy of a Broadway musical. Unless the stage is properly set and decorated -- lighting and music in sync, costumes ready, etc. -- the performance will be disappointing. Imagine the performers in Cats, acting sans costumes. It wouldn't be a wow performance. The same goes for retail.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2021

    Target looks to elevate its ship-from-store operations

    The problem of goods piling up in stores is a real one. Plus the final mile costs can be prohibitive. The challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers is who owns the shipping process and, therefore, the customer? While outsourcing may have some financial benefits, the opportunity to control the process and the relationship with the customer can provide significant differential advantages to Target. The key for Target and similar retailers is to aggressively pursue logistical control of its products, not develop patchwork responses to the final mile issue.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    Kroger says it will transform grocery e-commerce with ‘first of its kind’ fulfillment tech

    Kroger continues to invest in areas that it sees will make a difference. We have seen the struggles that brick-and-mortar retailers have endured as they attempt to compete with Walmart and the rest of the online companies. Omnichannel is not about channels. It’s about conveniently serving its customers. Kroger takes this seriously and it should make a difference to its top and bottom lines.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    What will going to mostly full-time staff mean for Walmart’s stores?

    Terrific decision by Walmart to elevate the role of its in-store staff. Not only does it provide the noted recruitment and retention benefits, it offers the possibility of enhanced customer service experiences. This should be a new paradigm for other retailers: making a full time commitment to front-liners. Remember, you get what you pay for.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2021

    Will Google Maps bring a new dimension to the in-store experience?

    An interesting concept that has significant potential in an era of instant knowledge and gratification. Obviously, there are design and implementation challenges. However, the investment required may be somewhat offset by fewer in-store employees (if that's even possible). Seems to be at odds with the concept of in-store browsing and discovery. However, for some customers it may be perceived as a differential advantage.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2021

    What will travel’s potential recovery mean for tourist retail?

    Americans want to get out of the house. The question is where will they feel comfortable traveling. It appears as though Europe will still be off limits this summer, even with a digital health app. Domestically, as vaccinations increase, hospitalizations and deaths hopefully decrease, I expect a surge in U.S. travel. I see hotspots as being all those places Americans can visit that have an outdoor dimension, think beach resorts, national parks, etc. The roaring '20s may be here!

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