It’s never easy to report on the passings in our industry, but we always take this moment to celebrate their contributions to our lives.
With a heavy heart, we are reporting the passing of revered retail veteran Bill Bishop. Known as a pioneer in the industry with a career spanning many decades and roles, Bishop passed on Friday, March 25.
Early in his career, Bishop worked as Vice President of Research at the Supermarket Institute (now known as FMI – The Food Industry Association) for six years. He started Willard Bishop Consulting (WBC) in 1976, where he focused on a wide variety of projects spanning grocery retail formats, pricing, activity-based costing, and more. Bishop’s obituary states that he and his wife Cathy operated WBC for 37 years and sold the business in 2008 while he continued as Chairman until 2011.
Bishop then went on to Co-Found Brick Meets Click (BMC) with his son Steve. BMC is an analytics and strategic insight firm that focuses on helping the grocery industry navigate the impact of digital technology and e-commerce. He served as BMC’s Chief Architect and eventually retired from the business.
The obituary further wrote that Bishop’s other notable professional accomplishments include helping to create two Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils; teaching Marketing Channels at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University MBA program; serving as a Board member for Raley’s Fine Foods and The Food Institute; and being inducted into PLMA’s Private Label Hall of Fame.
In his free time, Bishop enjoyed taking family trips, spending time at the family lake house in New Jersey, tending to his vegetable garden, and getting to watch his four grandchildren grow up into young adults.
Bishop is survived by his wife of 58 years, Catherine; children Cindy (Joe) Christian, Steve (Anila) Bishop, and David (Julia) Bishop; grandchildren Anna and Sean Christian, and Grace and Emma Bishop; and brothers, Richard Bishop and Philip (Sheryl) Bishop.
A private Celebration of Life service is being planned for mid-May in Barrington, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to F.I.S.H. Food Pantry.
We extend our deepest condolences to those in his life during this time.