Rich Kizer

Principal, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a retail and consumer anthropologist, retail strategist, keynote speaker, author, consultant and one-half of the KIZER & BENDER Speaking team. Rich and his partner, Georganne Bender, are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2014. Their award-winning Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media, and is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. Any speaker can talk about consumers, but KIZER & BENDER actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine; and maybe even a few that you can't. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers. KIZER & BENDER are married, just not to each other. 2021 marks their 31st anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2021

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

    This message sounds really good, and is somewhat expected from the CEO of the property group and co-owner of the retailer. This does really sound like a better shot at life for J.C. Penney compared to the news we all were reading last year for the retailer. This could be a lot of fun watching the transition, news and store presentations. I do think that J.C. Penney still enjoys good brand equity with many people which will help the transition back into retail life.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2021

    Are two PacSun CEOs better than one?

    " requires effort, trust and constant communication." I give that quote a high five. I honestly believe that one or the other has the extra vote, or confusion starts to enter the company. I'm not saying it doesn't work, but there has to be major maturity and a sense of sharing success and failure. Sometimes that can get very sticky and radiate through the entire empire. It scares me a bit.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2021

    Can associate dress codes support in-store social distancing?

    I am really not in favor of dressing associates in a way that differentiate them one from another along these lines, messaging to customers "I'm vaccinated" and "I'm not." Think if a customer walks in and tells the un-vaccinated associate "I would rather the other associates wait on me, thanks." I don't think that helps harmony in the store. However wearing a badge in good taste that states "happily vaccinated" or something to that effect would be appropriate. It is kind of like walking into a store and seeing merit badges hanging off employees' outfits. That's a reassuring message.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2021

    Will store-hailing revolutionize grocery delivery?

    I don't know what the economics are of this program, but I have to think they need more than a four-item quick need to support the cost of this program. I didn't find any up-charge for the service, nor did they mention if there is a price escalation on these items. MY response: "hmmm."
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    Will a new subscription program make Circle K a daily stop for members?

    I remember hearing an executive in this business praise the fact that for every gallon they pump, a dollar is spent in the store. I believe this is the agenda here. And if it works like that, it's a great strategy. However I agree with David Naumann: if it is on my daily path.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    How did Crocs ever become cool and how long will it stay that way?

    Crocs are amazing. Like a cat, Crocs seem to have nine lives. I purchased my first pair in Aspen on a ski weekend at least 10 years ago, and I still wear them year round. My friends tease me about them, but I bet some of them have the purchase in mind. This will be like a huge wave creating lots of purchases.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2021

    Remote work is rough on big retail districts

    It will come back. But it will be a slow, metamorphic movement. Workers will come back and footprints will appear on sidewalks and store floors. People have to get acclimated to new feelings of less fear and more safe freedom. It will come, just not fast enough for the business districts' comfort. Chicago has announced that mid summer will really start to open the traditional events and businesses; and you can feel the release of stress and escalation of peace and celebration here. So hold on!
  • Posted on: 05/04/2021

    Will a virtual quick serve restaurant drive Pepsi’s cola sales?

    I think the fast-food market is a battlefield. And knowing I can get it delivered? Ho hum. No news here. So now, think about the list of fast food options they will have to compete with in this very crowded market. Perhaps the meal options will be outstanding; I hope so for their sake.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2021

    What goes into standout Mother’s Day marketing campaigns?

    OK, call me emotional, But Dick's gets my vote hands down. I strongly believe that advertising's goal is to create emotion and memories that position a spot top-of-mind with customers. Dick's did it with this one!
  • Posted on: 04/29/2021

    Will Americans open their garages and homes to Amazon and Walmart?

    I am with Georganne. And with my luck, I would forget I ordered the food that is placed only five feet inside the garage door, and smash the stash and get only mashed potatoes. Seriously, I am not a fan.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2021

    Will immersive experiences revitalize U.S. malls?

    I recently had a conversation with a mall executive on this same subject. He asked the same questions he has been asking for two years. I told him that perhaps he should get out of the mall mentality and think completely about experiences. I then suggested he get to Pike Place (not for the fish), but to see how he could create the culture they have with with their mix. Certainly we agreed that nothing that size, but a wonderful rotating presentation in similar to Pikes Place vendors. I also suggested that perhaps JURIED artisans could also participate. He asked how long it could last. My response was perhaps some time, but never forget that it is about consumer thrill, AND attracting lease negotiations.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2021

    Vaccinated Americans like getting retail thank you freebies

    To all of those who are warning me not to go to Krispy Kreme to get a free free donut, thank you. I and millions of others probably didn't know that it is not the most healthy snack to have. Now taking my tongue out of my cheek; Krispy Kreme has always given me, and my fellow donut purchasers, a free donut when we have to stand in line. But to the point, I see no harm in this free donut program. I think it is an extremely smart positioning act that customers will remember favorably. And it is probably attracting new fans. Welcome to the world of business!
  • Posted on: 04/26/2021

    Schnucks displays St. Louis pride with streetwear store-within-a-store concept

    This is interesting, especially in an industry where linear footage productivity is everything. Because so many stores have turned to this outpost idea, it better be good -- and not just reflections of other stores' attempts of the same. That could disappoint shoppers, which no one wants to do. I'm yawning at this one.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2021

    Will Americans go shopping for dressier clothes as the COVID-19 threat is reduced?

    Absolutely yes, we will start shopping for more fashion in our world. That being said, it won't come like a tidal wave, but as gentle winds. As shoppers pick up items, they will feel better in how they feel and look. And that growth is exactly what will fire a wonderful resurgence of fashion for all instances.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    What goes into delivering a ‘wow’ shopping experience?

    To a degree, we have spoiled consumers with the constant emphasis on more and more improvement in service. I think that is a good thing, and a strategy that leads to more success. However along with that comes the further consumer expectation of perfection. What thrills them today will be a sure expectation tomorrow. And the beat goes on.

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