Rich Kizer

Consumer Anthropologist, 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: 07/23/2019

    Will Google’s new shopping platform steal product searches away from Amazon?

    It will be a monstrous job to capture a large percentage of Amazon traffic. This may be a start, but I think Google will need to find something exciting and new to offer on their platform to really get the consumer's attention. Their guarantees with this program are smart, and integrating consumer search histories will help. But it will be very hard to to break the habit of the consumers automatically going to Amazon. That will require something very innovative, special and new.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Should retailers hire more ex-cons?

    Of course. My guess is that if the ex-cons don't tell customers they are ex-cons, no one would even know. And if customers did know, they should be happy to see someone trying to make a good life.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Is Amazon’s deal with indie brands a Faustian bargain?

    Wow, this would kind of scare me. I hit a home run then it's gone for $10,000? In 60 days? It kind of reminds me of the old song: "shut up silly woman said the reptile with a grin, you knew darn well I was a snake when you took me in."
  • Posted on: 07/19/2019

    New concept turns retail store into a theatrical experience

    Really? Down a slide? Kind of sounds like one of those escape room attractions. Too quirky for me. Maybe a one time event for most customers.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2019

    What does it take to develop top retail store managers?

    All great input on this article. I always stressed in my years of department store management that no manager can be can be held responsible without having the authority to get the job done. They must have the authority to do what they think they must do for success; hire, fire, re-merchandise , train and on and on. The manager must be a "rain maker," not a caretaker.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2019

    What’s the recipe for de-stressing entrepreneurs?

    Yeah George, you're right on target. I think the gremlin is that at home, away from our office resources, when something comes to mind that has to be done now, it creates a lot of stress. My favorite term here is: Silent Desperations -- "nobody knows the trouble I've seen" is the feeling of being alone and not able to fix the issue. That's my dilemma most times ... as I think it is for most business people. I have to remind myself -- I certainly am not alone.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Ryan, you are correct in assuming online purchasing is here to stay and to grow. I’m saying the social side of stores will be with us long after we on this discussion are gone. Creative social retailing will remain.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    I think this is very simple: consumers want to shop! It is social and discovery in the hand. Case closed.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    I utilize Alexa for items I know. To “shop”? Nope. I want to see what I am shopping for, thereafter, I probably will be more than comfortable with just Alexa. But for quick information on products, Alexa is my choice of convenience.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    What makes great retail leaders?

    I will never forget the best retail lesson I learned from a boss: I was being transferred out of a department store to another, and asked my present boss if he would give me any advice as I was leaving. He looked up from his desk and said, "the ladies bathroom on three is out of toilet paper. Go take care of it." At first I was upset, but then realized that the lesson he imparted was that I must constantly be aware of everything that was going on.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    What makes great retail leaders?

    What's not to agree with in the comments made and to be made. There is one huge criterion that makes a great leader: when they can show everyone the scars on their fingers from putting store fixtures together in their past and doing literally every job a retail environment requires, then you have a leader that understands just what it takes and who has empathy.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Franchisees want McD’s to be more like Chick-fil-A

    I love this; we all feel it's a good idea for McD's to listen to the field and answer with action. This reminds me of the competition telling another competitor what they should do. It becomes a chase. So McDonald's should pursue the sandwich, but also concentrate on the pleasant environment and staff attitudes and performance at Chick-fil-A. Remember, market share is not just the sandwich, it's the whole experience!
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Will free, same-day pickup give Sam’s Club the edge it has been looking for over Costco?

    You're late. But still, welcome to the table - you'll be dealt in the next hand...
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    Is Nordstrom staring at a ‘no-growth’ retail future?

    Our company has a mantra that we always share in retailer presentations: "10 percent of your business changes every year whether you like it or not. Make no changes and in only three years you are 30 percent behind the world." Retail sustainability is created by the act of changing at least 10 percent a year - every year. The world has high regard for Nordstrom. There will always be shifts in the market, and those who are successful will be those who take chances and change. The talent at Nordstrom has never avoided the "change" and will find the combination. Just watch.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2019

    Is Primark ready to bust out in the USA?

    Neil Saunders is spot on! And I think that is why this will be a slow "let's learn as much as we can about this new marketplace" before going crazy with openings.

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