Bob Phibbs

President/CEO, The Retail Doctor

Since 1994 companies worldwide have turned to Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor® for the passion and expertise necessary to grow their sales. A professional speaker and author, he has frequently been called on to provide commentary on Marketing and Branding for MSNBC.

  • Worked with some of the largest retail brands in the world including Brother, Hunter Douglas, LEGO, OMEGA, Vera Bradley, Viking, and Yamaha.
  • Retail consultant with a proven track record of increasing sales 20-50% within months.
  • COO with a broad range of responsibilities creating a culture of exceptional experiences.
  • CMO of second-fastest growing company in Los Angeles two years running.
  • Built two successful businesses from scratch.
  • Author of “You Can Compete: Double Sales Without Discounting”
  • Author of “The Retail Doctor’s Guide To Growing Your Business”
  • Author of “Groupon: You Can’t Afford It – Why Deep Discounts Are Bad for Business”
  • Contributor AMEX Open Forum

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  • Posted on: 01/20/2017

    Will online sales redeem struggling brick and mortar retailers?

    I just shake my head when retailers report "double-digit increases in online commerce." Sure, but it was 10 percent of your sales so you improved it 15 percent -- it's a small piece of the pie to begin with.Yes, customers who used to go to your brick-and-mortar store and feel good about that memory will shop you online. But let's be clear here -- the much greater opportunity is to do everything in your power at the physical store level where still most shoppers are.Increase those sales 3 percent and you've accomplished a lot. That takes a serious embrace of being a brick-and-mortar retailer -- not parroting every other retailer on how e-commerce is exploding. It is -- for Amazon, the rest are also-rans.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2017

    What’s stalling the virtual reality consumer market?

    VR removes you from reality. Its phony world is disorienting and in the end it is not the immersive holodeck many have touted. Much like a GAF Viewmaster, it's interesting to say you could "virtually" be in a store but you can't. And with a learning curve and meh response, there'll have to be a lot of small wins to make it a must-have.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Will its massive jobs announcement change public perceptions of Amazon?

    Their marketing department is smart like a fox. As most every other retailer was talking about closing stores and laying off employees, Amazon by default appears as the reason. Nicely played again Amazon, like drone delivery and Go store announcements at height of shopping season.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    Will 2017 be the year retailers start making their stores relevant again?

    Astound is "an e-commerce solutions provider," I'm not surprised by their findings. In the end a retailer -- any retailer -- cannot survive being a pickup place for things customers already know they want. It takes displays and stores and trained people.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    Will 2017 be the year retailers start making their stores relevant again?

    The killer app of 2017 is still going to be service. If you want to make stores into warehouses where bots deliver up "personalized" recommendations, you're going to be in worse trouble. People are still out there shopping -- they just aren't interested in dealing with Bitter Betty or self-service.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What will the sale of Craftsman mean for Sears and Stanley Black & Decker?

    Imagine if Apple sold off the iPhone name -- this is pretty close.When this all started with the forced merger of Kmart and Sears, some pundits said there must be a grand plan of how it pays off. Clearly there is no grand plan. Sad.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Will store closings and layoffs end Macy’s woes?

    If they hadn't bought up any and all other retailers like Robinsons-May, Marshall Field's, etc. they wouldn't have a glut of stores all doing the same thing. It's not all the consumer or digital, sometimes it's just that people don't like what you have to offer.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2016

    GNC takes the day off to reset pricing

    Things have to be pretty bad when you're willing to close all your outlets for an entire day. I think it's a great effort but I question how much of their troubles are price related. I'll be interested to see if they give up all of the promotional POP that littered their stores for years.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2016

    French retailer parodies Amazon Go

    Brilliant. It's about time regular brick-and-mortar stores stop being embarrassed that they are brick-and-mortar stores and find new ways to do more.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2016

    If not creative directors or data, what can make Gap’s fashions sell?

    I think it's easy to paint the lily and say how Gap is so far off-base. That leads to the question -- what are they doing right? Anything? Training? Displays? Apps? I never hear of any of that. Fundamentally there needs to be one vision of what Gap is and how they do things; they can't grow by grabbing at tools to fix something until they can see the expected product.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2016

    Did retailers doom their holidays with deep discounts?

    When the human-to-human experience is so rotten as I've seen in countless boutiques and department stores -- employees texting behind the counter oblivious to customers in front of them, employees standing at the front of store looking vacantly into the mall as shoppers are walking in the store and managers telling employees to get the items picked first before helping customers -- those retailers HAVE to pay us to shop.Until and unless someone at the top makes a true focus on humans over apps, look for more discounts and a complete collapse of seemingly healthy brands in 2017.Discounts can't hide a rotten shopping experience -- no wonder so many shoppers brag about not visiting a mall this season.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2016

    Will test show Amazon’s drone program is ready to take off?

    As Paula noted a few weeks ago, Amazon does these stunts during the first two weeks of December to keep Amazon at the top of the news cycle -- regardless of scalability or availability. Shrewd move Amazon, shrewd move.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2016

    Will turning Starbucks into Pokémon stops boost coffee sales?

    It raises more questions to me than answers. Why would Starbucks need to bring so many more people to its locations who, if they don't buy something, make the store look too packed and as if there are significant waits to purchase products? Are they trying to attract families with kids and, if so, aren't caffeinated beverages a miss?
  • Posted on: 12/07/2016

    Are retail associates ready to deal with abusive customers?

    Training employees has dissolved into "over there is the bathroom and breaks are taken here -- shadow Jane." In addition, stores that were created to run on four or six person coverage are now on two. Everyone's at the breaking point. Conflict resolution isn't a part of the job description. Especially with the add-on demands of picking online orders.Until retailers put enough people on the floor and train them well I would expect more and more instances of employee abuse by customers. Shoppers know if they do it and throw in, "the customer is always right" they'll probably get their way and management will not side with the employee.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail?

    Great reminder Paula!

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