Rich Kizer

Partner, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
Rich Kizer is a 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. 2018 marks their 28th anniversary as a speaking team.
  • Posted on: 01/23/2019

    Lowe’s kicks off NFL deal in the biggest game of all

    Co-branded billboards in Atlanta and the interactive "Super Bowl Experience" park are perhaps great visibility for those who are at the game. That seems like a narrow reach to me. That does nothing for me in Chicago or anyone anywhere else. Lowe's needs to open their eyes and focus on the customer experience and their position in markets -- then create a campaign of excellence and emotion that is translated and implemented in all stores and headquarters and to all associates. Then maybe some of their target market will be reached, influenced and won.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2019

    Can grocers sell produce without plastic bags and boxes?

    I don't think anyone (well maybe a few) can or will argue for the need of plastic bags. I remember the Kroger announcement some time ago that they will be completely stop using plastic bags by 2025. I do believe that customers will want containers for produce, but these very well could be small fabric shopping bags with copy promoting a store's great produce department. I also remember a source of reusable mesh produce bags featuring a set of nine premium washable bags that were transparent, lightweight, strong and see-through. Perhaps some brilliant manufacturer will supply these bags with logos/messages to grocery stores. Smart move.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2019

    NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands?

    On political issues ... NO! True, some people will love you, others will pay no attention to you and others will detest you. Somebody tell me where the upside is on this.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2019

    NRF: Roving robots report for work at all Giant Foods’ stores

    If retailers see the robots' ability to do the tasks as mentioned, and more in the future, while it frees associates to work with customers, this type of interaction can transform the floor to a delightful, service-centric experience for customers. That is as long as retail doesn't see future robotics as eliminating associates to minimize cost. That would birth lower service levels and customer satisfaction will drop dramatically.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2019

    NRF: Consumers prefer self-service, but associates still have a role to play

    Customers are smart today due to the vast information on line of options and information -- sometimes very technical, on products they wish to investigate or buy. Most customers feel at entry to the store, their self-knowledge of the product is at least equal to or exceeds that of the associates. This perspective has been produced through years of sub-par staff training on behalf of the store's associates. The role of the associate can, and is elevated in the mind of the consumer when a true professionalism centering on customer engagement and information is demonstrated. That should be high priority today in-store. Information on the internet is basically the same across the board on products which creates a purely level playing field. Interaction with a professional associate that cares about making the right presentation for the customer's uncovered needs, and then helps the customer make the right decision fit for them in purchases, will create bonds of credibility, satisfaction and loyalty. And that "un-levels" the field.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    NRF: Is video analytics the solution to ending long checkout lines?

    By the way, aren't most customers already on camera in most stores (and everywhere) today? I think most know it anyway.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    NRF: Is video analytics the solution to ending long checkout lines?

    Obviously, long lines are danger. Consistent visits with long lines are deadly. I'm okay with what Rossman can do for the customer. Perhaps an additional solution is management's ever-presence on the floor, and armed with knowledge of traffic patterns coming in the store, have staff ready to operate additional lines. Both ways, we have eyes on the customers.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2019

    Is it now or never for J.C. Penney?

    The very under-performing stores need to be shuttered now -- no waiting on the next CEO’s six months of evaluations. Secondly, when you change slower than the rest of your competitors, you are doomed. Many say they need to completely reinvent themselves, I absolutely agree. But I don’t think it will happen; it’s a big ship to turn and they’re in heavy water. And many locations are in sub-performing malls. This is going to be a climbing Mt. Everest saga for Jill Soltau.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2019

    Is Lowe’s doing it right with its new tagline?

    Just one point: If the slogan is “Do It Right For Less,” does that tell customers the price is better? That's dangerous. Not the best, and it probably forces the retailer to unnecessarily shave margins on some items to keep the promise?
  • Posted on: 01/09/2019

    Should Dollar Tree sell Family Dollar?

    Here's the way I see the dollar store competitive landscape: Dollar General - the big player in the landscape, took the money they didn't get to spend on Family Dollar, and went on a growth spree opening many new stores. Now they are the dominant player in the dollar store landscape. Things turn out, and change occurs.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    Sears likely headed for liquidation

    David Weinand, you're right. But my point was the lesson retailers should take away from this downfall, which is to be aware of the world of change we are in and take action, or be left behind. BTW, I am watching further actions of Lambert; do you think he will sweeten his $4.4 billion dollar offer (which I think the judge refused), and try to buy a number of stores (properties) as well as intellectual properties? I'm staying in a holding pattern.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    Sears likely headed for liquidation

    The first and most important lesson for retailers (and any other business) from this Sears fiasco is: When you see your entire world moving and changing faster than you are moving -- either get moving or delete yourself. I wonder how much more money Mr. Lampert is willing to throw out in this nearly impossible mission.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Retail industry mourns the loss of Blake Nordstrom

    Blake Nordstrom was an incredible visionary. It has been said that a visionary is a person who sees a road in the forest where there is no road. Thereafter, the visionary builds the road of opportunity for others to follow. Blake Nordstrom was that visionary for the company and the entire retail world. He will be missed.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2018

    Are dollar stores bad for cities?

    Dollar stores are not operated by idiots. Either they make money or they stop paying rent. I really believe they fill needs: in rural areas they sometimes are the only close retailer, in urban areas they can supply items needed by stressed budgetary customers. Here we go again; this sounds like the old comments made during the introduction of Walmart stores. We live in a wave of change.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2018

    Camp brings a playground to retail

    Wow. This store sounds like a Build-A-Bear or craft stores on steroids. Exciting. I believe that craft vendors should be/will be knocking on the door. There is an old adage in retail about the importance of children's events: "Love my kids and I'll love you!" One caveat, make sure parents/guardians understand to not just drop kids off, that puts the store in a tough position. Overall, Incredible potential, wonderful idea. And Jeff Sward hit the nail on the head: mall operators should be seriously talking about this as a possibility.

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