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: 03/03/2021

    Target CEO says record-setting 2020 was no ‘fluke’

    Target and Brian Cornell do certainly need a break from the stock market criticism. Judge the company on what it has achieved, not on an earnings guidance projection. The article highlights the “why” behind Target’s success. The area that has had the biggest improvement is the food side. However this side of the business still needs improvement, which if done properly will produce the kind of earnings that make analysts drool.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2021

    Is off-mall where it’s at?

    Shoppers have gravitated toward open air and freestanding locations as the pandemic endured. An additional benefit of free standing retail locations is the ability to use the store as a convenient pickup point for online orders. Going forward, the primary impediment to this concept is the weather factor. Temperate climates will do well. Not so sanguine about the extremes, particularly the cold side.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2021

    Automated checkout ‘will be everywhere’ sooner rather than later

    The concept makes intuitive sense. In my many research projects focusing on grocery shopping, checkout was always one of the most important and the least favorable attributes among shoppers. Think about the current approach either via a cashier or self checkout. A shopper needs to put the item into the shopping cart, stand in line at checkout, retrieve the items for scanning and bagging and then put them back into the cart! Obviously, technology will be key. I’m always reminded of the saying, “technology is great, when it works.” However the concept would make for the biggest improvement to date for in-store shopping.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2021

    Is it the right time to reopen food bars?

    Too soon for food bars in grocery stores and too soon for salad bars in restaurants. Also, too soon for the cruise favorite buffets on cruise ships. We're not there yet. When we get there, I do not envision a customer or cruiser helping themselves to food via self serve. I do see the option of trained staff doing the task. Cruise lines will probably go this way. The question for food retail and food service is the cost of staffing to do something which customers used to do.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2021

    Can making deliveries once a week make e-commerce sustainable and more profitable?

    An interesting and laudable approach to the final mile. Perhaps the biggest impediment is reconditioning consumers to wait for a shipment versus the instant gratification of same-day delivery. Having said this, if the economics can be made attractive to consumers and retailers, the concept has a chance for success. As someone who lives in a Florida condo in the winter with always full recycling bins, a reusable tote and easy returns would be a potential point of positive difference.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2021

    Keep on growing is Target’s mantra as chain announces leadership moves

    Target has done a terrific job of developing future leaders from within. Give Brian Cornell credit for recognizing talent, developing them and promoting when ready. Target's greatest challenges and accomplishments in the last few years have been on the grocery side of the business. However, these new leaders have the talent and experience to grow this side of the business even more.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Should retailers just say ‘no’ to Instacart?

    Instacart is a good example of buying versus building expertise. While the concerns regarding Instacart are real, the solution is not simple and in the end, it will require a build decision, which as noted is expensive. The tradeoff is the capital investment and operational management of a dedicated system versus the fees and limitations noted of an Instacart relationship.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Will same-day delivery pay off for dollar stores?

    Family Dollar is facing the choice of build versus buy same-day delivery. The build process can be expensive and time consuming. Instacart is not an inexpensive option but addresses the time, money and expertise requirements of same day home delivery. Plus, it gives Family Dollar an opportunity to learn from Instacart. Same-day delivery is the new ante for all retailers.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2021

    Are U.S. manufacturing sources an absolute necessity for American retailers today?

    In the long term, sourcing will continue to be focused on on-shoring or near-shoring. Two real long-term benefits of this are: 1.) Shorter and better control of the supply chain and, 2.) Consumer preferences for products "Made in America." No doubt there will be costs associated with the transition from foreign to U.S.-made goods. However even beyond the pandemic, one can build a strong economic case for goods sourced on or near shore.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2021

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

    Slippery PR slope that Kroger is on. Lots of potential negativity, not to mention the blowback from customers, whose stores have closed. Understand the financial arguments, but this issue is as much about emotions of the workers and customers as it is about the numbers.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2021

    A new era for Amazon as Jeff Bezos hands over CEO role

    I would never bet against Bezos or Amazon. Bezos has often been quoted on his innovative successes. Here’s one of my favorite Bezos quotes: “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.” I see no reason for Jassy to change the Amazon course.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    Do retailers need to further commit to free delivery?

    Both free shipping and returns are real costs. The issue is who absorbs them: the company and/or customer. The economics can be developed where both parties win (share) by requiring minimum purchase levels, which would enhance basket size. Here is a terrific opportunity to employ analytics to determine feasibility and profitability.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2021

    Are small brands eating big food’s lunch?

    This rise in small brands mirrors the surge in private label sales a decade ago. At that time, complacency on the part of the big CPG companies, which raised prices without additional benefits, contributed to a perceived negative value proposition vis a vis private label offerings. I don’t see that happening here. In addition to the reasons noted in the article, I see the pandemic as creating a desire to relieve the stress & restrictions that consumers are experiencing. This products allow us to escape the pandemic’s hold, if only for a moment, as well as give consumers permission to experience non name brand products.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2021

    Is Target’s limited-edition collab with Levi’s a sign of bigger things to come?

    As noted, these collaborations have been successful to date for Target. These differential advantages give customers permission to drive past Walmart or Bed, Bath & Beyond to visit a Target store. The same uniqueness of this collection will cause a potential customer to eschew a virtual visit to Amazon.com and instead click on Target.com. Plus, the focus of the Levi’s line on home and lifestyle products is well timed during the pandemic, which has resulted in consumers making investments in their homes.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    Will Walmart gain an unrivaled edge by automating its local grocery fulfillment?

    The beauty of this system is twofold: 1. Creates potential cost savings/economies of scale, 2. Reduces store traffic created by in-store selectors. These local fulfillment centers have the capacity to optimize the grocery and fresh selection processes. The next step would to move some of the fresh components (space driven) to the LFCs with the goal of increased efficiency and further removing store employees from hand picking fresh items in-store.

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