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: 08/14/2018

    ‘Less is more’ when competing with Amazon

    I’m sorry, can we stop talking about how all retailers should be like Apple? It’s a design concept unique to Apple. Their “curation” comes down to their product selection which is their brand. Yes smart brands understanding curated product helps customers not feel like shopping is work. The reason you go to Amazon though is that you have every choice there. I don’t see this being applicable across both platforms.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Can AR help shoppers get where they need to go?

    I don't know how many people want to shop in a Tron world. While I get the demo video was for their new employee, the constant overstimulation and need to look at what was fake left little time to look at what was real. I don't see this as a broad adoptable trend. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    J.C. Penney goes after Babies ‘R’ Us customers with new shops

    Is this more of the "bold plan" by former CEO Ellison to keep bolting on products from retailers who either are struggling or went out of business? First appliances, now baby shops, what's next -- a RadioShack and Toys "R" Us section? These announcements do little to make a cohesive statement that J.C. Penney has their act together. The baby clothes segment is expected to grow annually by 0.9 percent. With Millennial moms buying on private Facebook groups and franchises like Kid to Kid popping up it seems like another shoot-then-aim strategy coming from J.C. Penney.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Party City to run pilot with Amazon, ‘the world’s largest and most trafficked mall’

    Amscan owns Party City and Costume USA. It’s just another way to grow the pie -- they don’t lose. The ones who do lose are the independents who are competing against the supplier who is also their brick-and-mortar competition.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2018

    Consortium is made-to-order for people who want customized brands

    Just because I can order something customized does not mean it is better. I tried Proper Cloth and the shirt was fine but not worth $160 to have my name on the label. I think many consumers will learn that the reason they buy Clarks or Jimmy Choo or whoever is due to fit and quality.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2018

    Fred’s amps up the treasure hunt

    I think this is a lot like Groupon when it debuted. It's interesting until it isn't. Color me doubtful this is around still in February.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2018

    Empty malls spelled the end for Brookstone stores

    Sorry, I don't think you can pin this on mall traffic. Stale product offerings pegged too much to massage chairs and air purifiers meant failure was fairly predictable. They were b8ta before b8ta. If you can answer the question, "what's new?" for shoppers, they will seek you out. Anything less becomes, "I've seen that" and they move on, whether in an airport or a shopping mall. Blame their buyers for lackluster merch and their employee training for their appearing as jaded ambassadors in what should have been a fun store for adults.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Wayfair to open its first brick & mortar store

    As Seeking Alpha noted earlier this year, "For the full-year 2017, Wayfair grew revenue by 39.7% to $4.7 billion but still managed to lose $244.6 million (up from $194.4 million in 2016). To put it simply, Wayfair has a profitability problem that it has not solved by growth." This is a play to follow in Macy's and others' footsteps to not have to turn over any remaining profits in returns to a third-party. An outlet store isn't the same as Casper or Birchbox opening stores, this is just trying to squeeze the last dime out of merch.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Publix takes on service dog tag abuse

    While I get that it is tough to weed out those who are real service animals and fakers, something has to be done. As a speaker who flies over 100,000 miles a year, the abuse is growing because there is no "proof" required. ADA was never meant to be gamed but clearly it has from people just wanting to bring their pets anywhere to valets using temporary handicap placards for street parking.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2018

    Will RadioShack find new life inside HobbyTown’s stores?

    Irrelevance cannot be undone. Seriously a soldering gun as a symbol of a brand people are looking for? I've heard zip consumers bemoaning the death of this brand which means zip are looking for it to return.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Can store associates do anything about rude customers?

    Oh please. Those mean shoppers are making my job hard. You know why associates complain? Because a.) they were probably never trained 2.) lax hiring standards 3.) low wages making employees feel inferior to begin with. I've been the target of a lot of employee gripe sites from some of my posts that essentially say if you don't like it, don't work retail. That said, the opportunity is to hire better, train better and find ways to make the associates who don't come to work with a chip on the shoulder to feel able to treat people right no matter their race, religion, sexual identification or the rest.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Having little luck with Millennials, J.C. Penney refocuses on middle-age women

    I think the key is in the headline; "Having little luck." Retail isn't about luck. It is about consistency and innovation. Johnson killed this brand due to activist investors who pushed him and his broad misunderstanding of the core customer because they felt they could "unlock value" in the space. The brand has never recovered and the grasping at straws appliance play with half the margin of apparel -- what those shoppers who actually shopped at J.C. Penney bought only made it worse. With no CEO to helm this rudderless ship, and no consistency or innovation, I don't see any generation willing to get in a car and drive to experience whatever it is they are offering. #tragedy
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Retailers throw ‘hiring parties’ to reach staffing goals

    Retailers often forget that they model what customer service means to the culture when they hire people. I applaud the hiring parties as long as they are organic to the culture. The "start with us stay with us" is a great slogan, I'm sure they'll continue to innovate around that. Great lessons for any business -- you get back what you give out.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    7-Eleven franchisees have to pay up to stay in business

    It is in no one's interest to have a combative relationship with their franchisor. Move on or follow the program; franchise agreements are based on "do this, don't do that" without wiggle room. They forget that's how you build a franchise -- consistency. And I applaud their requirement to be open on Christmas. Don't these franchisees know about Amazon Go coming to their area soon? Geez.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Kellogg urges retailers to cater to ‘brick & order’ shoppers

    I'm not so sure online grocery will be able to capture much of the impulsive nature of shopping in a grocery store no matter how you say potato chips are crunchy like your footsteps across a frozen snowfield. I did like the idea of brick and order -- very catchy and quickly captures the idea much better for the consumer than BOPIS.

Contact Bob

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.