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: 10/18/2021

    Is Amazon 4-Star a winner?

    It wins in terms of generating curiosity but it is not clear why one would return. I was in that same store and felt a "one and done" feeling - I don't need to see more.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Just how casual will wardrobes become?

    Confident people dress accordingly. If they are in sales or any kind of persuasion where someone will see them, I don't see much changing. Ties are history but dressing to impress never goes out of style.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2021

    Wawa goes big on self checkout tech

    Am I on the schedule today? Geez, we hear about this "cutting edge" idea over and over and years later we read that the kiosks are ripped out again. The promise is there of course, but if cashiers have to go through training about what goes in a bag and why, then why is it no problem if we put raw meat that might have blood dripping from it next to produce when we bag our own groceries? I don't know of anyone who likes to go through self-serve and, while the labor shortage gives it cover, I doubt customers will ever flock to the technology.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2021

    Will Wrangler make an authentic connection with Millennials and Gen Z?

    I think this could be a tall order with younger generations as Wrangler has always been shown as a white guys/rural brand along the lines of cowboys and the Marlboro Man. I'm not sure a few shots of diverse people is enough to erase those decades of images. I'm not even sure what "ride of life" means - at first I thought Harley-Davidson.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2021

    Target is giving associates even more reasons to stay

    All I can say is I'm sure glad I don't compete with Target. Talk about a brand on fire and delivering at all points exceptionally well! They have become a big magnet for disgruntled retail employees at all levels.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2021

    Will JCPenney’s ‘new, inclusive beauty experience’ relaunch be a hit?

    I sort of expect Advanced Auto Parts to add the category since everyone is doing beauty now. Is there really that much demand? For aisles of well-lit little boxes of cosmetics that can be as easily found at Rite Aid as at J.C. Penney? If someone added a personal touch of something more like Sephora or Ulta it could be helpful, but just more merchandise in a struggling brand? Color me doubtful.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2021

    Best Buy says ‘relax, we’ve got you’

    Great commercials. Do you really think that is the person you'd be connecting to? Seriously. Yes we want drama, wonder, and engagement but real-life situations are probably much more mundane. I'm not sure how many want a relationship with a faceless call center person in reality.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2021

    Will layaway programs go away for good (or bad)?

    The merch is out the door and someone else is guaranteeing payment. Afterpay and the like are the future for so many reasons. I don't know why anyone would take merchandise off their shelf on a promise of the customer returning diligently to make payments. I used to manage these in stores and often your best merchandise was never picked up and past prime selling times. The risk to the retailer is nil - to those guaranteeing payment, still risky.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2021

    Are gig worker complaints a retail problem?

    These delivery services seem to be creating a lower class who will endure traffic, non-payment, etc. for the chance to earn a buck. I am not a fan of the race for personal last-mile delivery when these are the very real situations individuals are putting themselves in to make it happen. These are employees. Pay them. Train them. Stop treating them like mine workers and expecting them to just "deal with it."
  • Posted on: 09/22/2021

    Who protects store associates when shoppers lash out?

    Associates are the face of order. They tell you where to go, what to do, where to pay, etc. Their very job is a position of authority, keeping order. I myself ran into a number of "mask police" just waiting to tell someone to put the mask over their nose. It is a way of exerting power. Now that that seems to be subsiding, it is essential that retailers train employees to make the customer's day. There will always be those willing to give their all for their cause and they carry phones but you don't make money from them very often.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2021

    Ron Johnson loves stores but says retail is moving to ‘commerce at home’

    Ron Johnson is not a visionary to me. He's a media-hungry guy looking for digital ink - just look at how there was really no there-there with J.C. Penney. Retailers with stores are finding shoppers increasingly are returning in droves. If we all wanted to work from home and shop at home that wouldn't have been the case. Window coverings and floor coverings have offered shop from home for a while and it is still just a niche. Consumers want high-quality experiences - yes and where do you get those? In a store with trained employees who you don't begrudge paying $15-$20 an hour.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2021

    Will overstocking get retailers through the holidays?

    It's going to be a once-in-a-generation holiday. Anything any retailer can do to have anything sellable is right. I talked to a manufacturer Friday who confided they won't have full stock abilities until 2023.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2021

    Will shoppers flock to or avoid stores for Halloween and Christmas?

    George, give me a break. So now it's THE FLU! There is too much information chasing too many people. I will blame the media for the fascination trying to fill the hole of clicks left when Trump left office. More and worse coming up next! A cargo container is stuck in the Suez Canal! Container ships at the port, oh my! Smart retailers should limit the news -- I don't care which side. It is based on fear, limitation, and paranoia designed for clicks. I'm not a Luddite, but I refuse to participate in the pile-on mentality of a few.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2021

    Will shoppers flock to or avoid stores for Halloween and Christmas?

    I would look at exactly who makes up that 50%. My guess is they are the vaccinated who are basically protected yet being made to feel it is worthless. Shame on the media.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2021

    Will shoppers flock to or avoid stores for Halloween and Christmas?

    I rest my case. A certain group of reporters will continue to harp about Covid for the foreseeable future. No one will say, "it's over." Ever. And those continuing to hype the fears will influence those who are most susceptible to feeling fearful. Will that affect retail in enough numbers to alter our course? I, like all of you, certainly hope not.

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