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.

  • 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.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2019

    What’s wrong with the (fill in the blank) category?

    Many terrific comments. Two additions: 1. When did "sku curation" become the hot marketing phrase for "sku rationalization?" 2. The issue extends beyond hot categories. Look at all of the legacy consumer packaged goods brands whose values have been severely slashed. Hot category or legacy brand: follow the consumer, simplify the choice process and deliver on your brand promise.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Is anyone going to buy Sears’ rebranding?

    Sears is dead. Re-branding will do little to change the negative mindset that most consumers have of Sears. Time to have them exit the U.S. retail landscape.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2019

    Sainsbury’s plans Amazon-style online grocery marketplace

    As discussed in several RetailWire articles, many brick-and-mortar retailers are attempting to emulate the success of Amazon. This effort by Sainsbury's is more of the same. The key for Sainsbury's success in this endeavor is to make third-party products available that appeal to its target market. Sainsbury's and others need to put down the shotguns and pick up the rifles. The opportunity is to create a profitable niche in the online marketplace. Potential downsides have been highlighted, namely problems with product quality and bad experiences with fulfillment. Thus the need to choose partners wisely.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2019

    Will Americans eat a direct-to-consumer cereal brand for breakfast?

    Not convinced this brand will make a significant difference in the market. True, the center of store is shrinking for a variety of the reasons mentioned. However, the established brands recognize the erosion due to the movement into online and are course correcting as consumers’ shopping options are changing, albeit not as quickly as needed.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2019

    McDonald’s teams with AARP on national campaign to recruit older workers

    Good move by McDonalds’s. My mantra for hiring and engaging workers is that you need to FIRE them up. Find (F) them underscores the need to actively recruit employees. The AARP relationship is evidence of such pro-activity. Involve (I) them refers to the need to create a positive culture. In this case, potential age discrimination and differences between younger and older workers can be addressed by appropriate development programs. Reward (R) them is as it sounds. Finally, empower (E) them suggests using the life experiences dimension of older workers to delight McDonald’s customers.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2019

    Why can’t Amazon convert Prime shoppers into Whole Foods shoppers?

    They are simply two different target markets. For years, Whole Foods wore the “whole paycheck” badge proudly. Amazon has a completely different positioning. Many of the reasons noted in the article explain the slow conversion. However, despite all of the concerns, Amazon has effectively used Whole Foods as a key distribution option. Give Amazon time. They will figure it out.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2019

    What’s really driving disruption? (Hint: it’s not technology)

    I always remind myself that customers only buy two things: good feelings and/or solutions to problems. All of the technological advances have satisfied one or both of these buying reasons. The key is to figure out which of these two factors is the one that a company or brand is not addressing as best as it could, from the customer’s perspective. Therein lies an opportunity.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2019

    Kohl’s goes all-in on Amazon returns

    Win/win for both parties. Another logistics option for Amazon that underscores its commitment to seamless customer service. For Kohl’s, a terrific differential advantage. Brings Amazon traffic into its stores with an opportunity to showcase Kohl’s offerings. Other retailers should take notice. Sometimes it's more prudent to collaborate versus engage in a costly war.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2019

    Will a healthier Wawa be a more successful Wawa?

    Wawa has constantly reinvented itself, from a traditional c-store based on its roots as a dairy farm with the usual emergency items like bathroom tissue, ketchup and the like, to its Florida stores which look more like fast casual restaurants. The first Wawa opened 55 years ago this week and the first Florida Wawa opened in 2012. The original thinking was to replicate its northern successes in the Sunshine state. Instead, it pioneered the c-store of the future with the aforementioned focus on meal solutions. Going forward, its emphasis on heath and wellness, combined with its focus on the two younger generation represents its latest reinvention of the customer experience. Given my knowledge of the Wawa leadership team, I have few concerns. I think it will continue to use technology to enhance the customer’s interactions with its offerings. Delivery will become an everyday option. The biggest challenge will be the ability to provide the variety of chef-driven meal and beverage solutions within the space and time constraints of its stores and customers. Reinvention is its way of life.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2019

    Will former exec’s Godiva café plans spell trouble for Starbucks?

    One of my books was titled, Success Leave Clues. Annie Young-Scrivner learned up close and personal from the many successful clues left by Starbucks. Her challenge will be to take the best from Starbucks and adapt the learnings to develop a strategy based on a positive point of differentiation for Godiva. In the words that Steve Jobs attributed to Picasso, “good artists copy, great artist steal.” Godiva needs to steal, adapt and adopt.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    Unfortunately, Bed Bath & Beyond’s extensive use of high value coupons has become like crack cocaine for its users. It will be a difficult & time consuming process to wean customers of this dependency. In addition, the online players in this market will show little compassion for BB&B’s coupon reduction initiative. However, the move makes sense if BB&B is able to redirect its perception from a price player to a innovative home accessories problem solver.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Amazon Go doesn’t want to leave cash on the table

    Amazon will figure it out. In addition, to the negative PR it received for its cashless concepts, economics will come into play. There are almost 40 million Americans using SNAP and WIC benefits (more than the entire population of Canada). Even with EBT options available to them this population may have felt neglected by a cashless enterprise. No longer.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2019

    Will Amazon, CVS or Walgreens win the speedy Rx delivery race?

    Given the aging of America the demand for prescription delivery will grow. The challenge will be to do so profitably. Delivery minimizes store visits and related potential purchases, particularly impulse purchases. My bet - Amazon. It has the best logistics in place and its customer-centric focus gives it the best opportunity for add-on purchases.

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