Dr. G in the News

As an industry expert Dr. George's insights and opinions are frequently sought...

“Food Desert Pains” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, July 1, 2016 (Cover Story)

July 1 2016 No Commented
  • “Supermarkets have to readapt to the changing marketplace, and especially in a small town, implement strategies to keep consumers from traversing elsewhere to shop.”
  • “You have to be the town’s draw.”  “If you have a parking lot, offer it one day a week for the high school band to practice in and serve them cookies afterward. Let the local CYO or Little League use your parking lot for a car wash, and work with the local dietician so you are perceived as the local health and wellness place.”
  • “They also need step up their game when it comes to quality.”
  • “You’ve got to have the right assortment and be spot on when it comes to fresh.”  “If people are going to a Walmart Supercenter or the town is large enough to warrant a CVS or Walgreens, they are going to have food, but not too much in the way of fresh. You have to be identified as the butcher, the artisan baker. You have to offer the things that the other stores either do not or cannot go into. You have to be perceived as the community’s grocer—you are the lifeblood and you have to do whatever it takes.”
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“Dollar stores are changing the way they do business, thanks to rich millennials” Alfred Ng, New York Daily News, June 21, 2016

June 24 2016 No Commented
  • “My research has found that 38% of millennials are buying groceries in dollar stores.”
  • “This is a generation that is delaying parenthood, abandoning marriage and not buying cars — instead preferring to share versus owning most things, in addition to an automobile.”
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“Survey at Hornbacher’s and Hugo’s show slight differences in prices” John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald, June 18, 2016

June 24 2016 No Commented
  • “I do not recommend a new grocer coming to a market start a “price war.”
  • “You should only engage in a price war if you have a sustainable competitive advantage.” “I think the key for both players, is what is their unique differential advantage that they can compete on?”
  • “Offering the freshest fruits and vegetables, making the bakery or deli a destination or speeding up the checkout process can help attract customers as well.”
  • “I always say, ‘Give me another reason to shop at your store,'” “You have to be close enough to be able to compete, you don’t have to be the lowest.”
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“German Discounter Lidl Adds Double Threat to Walmart’s Model” Kim Sousa, City Wire, March 31, 2016

April 4 2016 No Commented
  • “Consumers in the U.S. have not yet experienced “frugal fatigue” as they became more price and value conscious during the 2008 recession.
  • “The combination of value retailers, which will be further lifted by the impending arrival of Lidl, and increased grocery price transparency should be a wake-up call for Walmart as well as for traditional supermarkets.
  • I would not limit my concerns that Walmart might have to Aldi and Lidl. While the combination of these two have done a terrific job of communicating their value proposition, the other value retailers, particularly the dollar stores are also real threats to Walmart. Dollar stores now carry over 60% consumable products at prices that are lower than Walmart.
  • The value proposition of Aldi, Lidl and dollar stores when combined with their small (manageable) store size is a double whammy for Walmart.”
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“Kroger’s Click-And-Collect Breaks Through” Forbes.com, February 16, 2016

March 10 2016 No Commented
  • “I believe the real impact of potential click-and-collect options is on the center of the store.”
  • “I envision a day when center store is significantly diminished. Many of the center store products will be purchased online from the brick-and-mortar retailer and delivered to the store for direct placement into a consumer’s vehicle.”
  • “This will then free up consumers to shop enhanced and exciting perishable departments, then proceed to a designated area and have their online purchases placed into their vehicles.”
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“How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Success” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, January 1, 2016 (Cover Story)

January 21 2016 No Commented
  • “Everybody has caught up to Walmart on price and now they are having competition from fast-fashion retailers like H&M, dollar stores and limited assortment stores, like Aldi.  Even Walmart management refers to them as ‘ankle biters.’”
  • “Lidl is going to be like Aldi on steroids.  I’ve seen the Lidl markets in Europe and they are terrific. They will be a foe.”
  • “Even Target is now doing a great job with organics. All these other little pieces that used to be the ownership of Whole Foods, other people have taken on now, without the Whole Foods pricing.”
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“The Clock Strikes Midnight – Haggens Horrible Year” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, December 1, 2015 (Cover Story)

December 4 2015 No Commented
  • “Haggen didn’t understand the marketplace in terms of customers.  They are kind of premium price oriented and the Albertsons stores they bought were not. They did not understand the competitive array. They didn’t understand the whole issue of cash flow. They just didn’t have enough resources to carry them through to make the transition.”
  • “They were going from 16 stores to 160 stores—that’s a 10-fold increase. They didn’t have the necessary cash flow. I think it just caught up to them obviously much sooner than later. And now you have their demise. Everybody is suing them. People are out of work. It is a sad situation.”
  • “Haggen’s only hope is that they are suing Albertsons for $1 billion.  But that will be a long, drawn out litigation and the only ones who will get rich off of it will be the lawyers.”
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“Retailers Failing When Using Social Media To Answer Complaints” Tom Ryan, Forbes.com, November 16, 2015

December 4 2015 No Commented
  • “With proper funding, staffing and training all of the issues noted herein can, and more than likely will, be addressed by organizations investing in social media as a two-way dialog with customers.”
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“Amazon, The Bookstore Killer, Opens One” George Anderson, Forbes.com, November 4, 2015

November 8 2015 No Commented
  • “I see an analogy between Amazon Books and Apple Stores.”
  • “It will be a showcase store and potential draw for new and existing Amazon customers.”
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“Wawa Opens New Store with New Credit Card Being Offered” Brian McCullough, Daily Local News, October 9, 2015.

October 15 2015 No Commented
  • Richard J. George, a professor in the food marketing school at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, said the cards are yet another way for Wawa to stay close to its customers.
  • “I’m driving down the road, I can stop at a lot of places,” George said. “That (card with discounted prices) might be differentiator for me.”
  • Such cards give retailers yet another chance to connect with their customers, he added. Wawa has been successful with its marketing efforts, such as when it started offering ATMs with no surcharges.
  • “Something like 80 percent of the people who got cash spent money in the store. It’s all about how do I solve their problems for them,” George said of Wawa’s approach. The cards also give the company information that will allow them to direct customized coupons to their customers.
  • “From a marketing point of view, it ties them to their customers,” George said.
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