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

Visit his blog at

Other Links from Bob Phibbs:

YouTube Channel

  • Posted on: 10/21/2016

    Should high-end brands avoid Amazon?

    This will be the litmus test for brands. Those struggling will continue to go down-market and become available everywhere. Those who are in it for the long run will eschew Amazon and the rest to remain exclusive. Part of the reason Michael Kors and Coach are struggling is overexposure. There needs to be fewer luxury stores in the world but better ones.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2016

    Will greeters make Penney a more inviting place to shop?

    Walmart greeters going away was widely covered and their return in May of 2016 as well. One example here.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2016

    Will greeters make Penney a more inviting place to shop?

    Without adding this position separate from sales it's another example of "just do more with less" to employees. I'm not surprised they balk.As a retail sales trainer I can tell you divorcing the greeting from the sales process is little more than making an employee into a robot. The greeting is what starts to build rapport between people. It's the first inclination to the customer that for those few minutes, they will be the most important person in the world to the employee. That is probably why this one post How to Approach A Customer in a Good Way has been shared over 3000 times -- retailers are hungry to master this. But the greeting is just the start of an interaction -- it establishes a promise of a personal shopping experience.Retailers have to be willing to put in the time and resources to see the greeting as the direct connection to a process that takes two strangers from being two people in a chance encounter to being a shopper buying from a trusted advisor.Do less than that and you're pretty much pointing where the bathrooms are with a fake smile.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Could a ‘breakfast aisle’ revitalize the grocery center store?

    As a business traveler, I'm used to finding Kind bars and such easily anywhere I travel. Once I get to the grocery store ... good luck. It appears grocery stores are looking at how traditional retailers build a system of products or a total look to create a system of options that work well together for quick meal replacement versus individual products. It's made sense for sound systems and haircare, why not breakfast foods?
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Is it time for retailers to stop the Thanksgiving madness?

    As I quoted in this post today, Why Malls Should Be Closed For Thanksgiving -- Being Open Punishes Small Retailers, in 2014, sales on Thanksgiving/Black Friday fell 11 percent, primarily because retailers started their sales in early November, diluting the weekend’s impact. And last year, for the first time, more shoppers went online than to stores, mitigating the benefit to being open for so many hours.With that acknowledgement, I have to ask ...Why do so many malls still open themselves up to bad PR from millions of Americans offended by the encroachment of seasonal shopping on this national, non-religious, family-oriented holiday?
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    Should retail prices in-store be the same as online?

    I would turn the question around -- should consumers pay more for items that are in short demand in-store when buying online? Too many retailers do not have full transparency online so a low price when added to basket says "checking stock" or "limited" only to receive notification they have to wait. I would suggest that the same prices only applies if the availability is exactly the same as a store that actually has the item. Anything less is apples to oranges.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2016

    Is consistent messaging the key to loyalty?

    Sorry, you can't put lipstick on a pig and communicate more and more that it is Marilyn Monroe. As other experts have noted, this is clearly the wrong group to ask or they as a group are kidding themselves that inconsistent service is the least thing they need to pay attention to.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2016

    Should Bed Bath & Beyond ditch its coupons?

    As I wrote in this post, Bed Bath and Beyond’s Marketing Problems Are Yours Too Retailers this once effective strategy has resulted in consumers weaned to never pay full price. It is unsustainable. The membership is still a discount -- and probably a worse deal for the brand.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2016

    Are the alternatives any better than annual performance reviews?

    Annual is worthless. More frequent, more positive -- yes. You must be willing to track the performance of your employees like you do your website to succeed in retail.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2016

    How can retailers satisfy entitled consumers?

    "Retailers need to scale what their best associates do well — solving problems vs. pitching customers." PLEASE! How many retail employees "pitch" customers? It's not tin siding. The conceit of many retailers is that merchandise doesn't have to be sold any more; that it is all about price.It is if you are the 10 percent of those shoppers who have already decided to buy the item. The other 90 percent are in the consideration and awareness stages. They don't need a problem fixed -- they need to be intrigued and engaged with by a human being, not a buying app.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2016

    Will opening hotels help West Elm sell more furniture?

    I would offer that the number of potential customers looking to purchase furniture while vacationing or attending a conference is slim. Everyone is trying everything but talking about upgrading their brand experience in their own stores. I was in Vegas last weekend and visited Lindbergh clothing which had a cafe. Two employees in a two-story location -- and 50 percent off everything. The cafe was busy but the merchandise sat. Until retailers up their game in their own locations, look for further brand extensions as distractions.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2016

    Coming soon – a members-only store for the ultra rich

    This isn't the '50s. I don't see how a department store for the ultra rich is anything but a terrorist target. While I am not one of the people, a recent luxury survey reported many lived in Ohio, Wisconsin and other rural areas. I would venture to say if they wanted to stay over they'd rather be at a Ritz-Carlton than a department store.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is a trendless fashion industry killing Gap’s business?

    From years of discounting, Gap has shown their value proposition as nil. On the other hand retailers like Ulta have refashioned their brand away from discounts successfully. Until as a company they believe they have merchandise worth the price stated, not marked down, consumers will sit on the sidelines. The question is, how long can a brand survive like this?
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Is digital defining the shopping experience?

    This study makes a fairly big assumption that online is winning because it's a simpler path to purchasing. That's true but the customer that has decided to buy is probably only 10 percent of the game. 60 percent is in them becoming aware that they have a need or having their interest piqued, 30 percent is considering their options. People go to stores many times for the awareness stage. I think well-merchandised stores and well-trained employees still can provide a much better experience than an algorithm. And let's be honest -- all retail is transactional.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2016

    Can crowdsourced price data change shopping habits?

    I'm a bit shocked that this is a thing. Everything I am reading and writing about customer convenience points towards one thing -- one stop. The idea that people are going to find certain things lower-priced and just buy them in one store and drive to another to buy others, when they're all time pressed, just flies in the face of reason. Unless these people don't have jobs or other responsibilities.

Contact Bob