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: 05/04/2021

    Kroger takes flight with drone delivery test

    It's great PR, but how does this pencil out on a cost per order basis? Are we enabling traffic in the sky for lip ointment? Serving rural Australia or somewhere remote I can see, but Dayton or NYC? This has a long way to go for practical sense.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2021

    Should retailers welcome vaccine passports?

    It would be made into the haves and the have nots due to one media group using these issues for profit, which I find disgusting.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2021

    Should retailers welcome vaccine passports?

    So true Paula. I am fully vaccinated. We require kids to be vaccinated to go into school. This can all be done electronically like holding up your phone. I think some people want to not be vaccinated so they don’t want the passport and run the risk of us going backwards. I think in the face of science, that makes no sense.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2021

    Should retailers welcome vaccine passports?

    Yes. Privacy concerns are being over-hyped. The reality is those who have gotten vaccinated know that this is the only way to prevent lockdowns again or horrors like India is experiencing. This isn't about Big Brother - it is about not going backward.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2021

    Will retailers be rewarded for giving ex-cons a second chance?

    Win. Win. Win. What could possibly be the downside here? And when states legalize marijuana and many of those convictions are dismissed, retail should be there to give them the tools to go on with their lives.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2021

    Do five-star ratings systems have a ‘positivity’ problem?

    One of the problems with reviews is that most retailers ask for a review when the item is purchased. If there were to be two things I would like to see they would be what Amazon shows as a "Verified Purchase" and a followup of actual usage one year later. It sounds good but how would that happen exactly? Especially when many products are not like a mattress where you really want a long-term use, not a USB plug.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2021

    Are consumers getting less creeped out about being tracked online?

    Creepy used to be a guy lurking and watching you - now it's an algorithm. My experience of creepy was talking about the crappy Williams Sonoma bar towels I was using, picking up my iPhone to enter William Sonoma and finding that the page that loaded was their bar towels. This isn't personalization - it's creepy.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2021

    Why did Amazon open a hair salon?

    Most thought pharmaceuticals, banking, and insurance were their next foray, not beauty salons. I'm sure plenty will say, "Oh, it will never replace the local beauty store" but that's naive. It would be a mistake to write it off without seeing the implications - Amazon payments for free to beauty salons so Amazon can have even more data points to collect now that cookies from Google and privacy changes from Apple will cut off those data streams soon. Make no mistake, this isn't trial for beauty salons - it's trial at new ways to get data.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Say goodbye to Walmart’s robotic towers

    And I would say this is being sold to us that it is widespread when it is a niche of a channel to fulfill. The danger is people saying this is the way of the future and anyone who doesn’t do it is a Leviathan.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Say goodbye to Walmart’s robotic towers

    My point is, brick and mortar stores excel at discovery. People go out to see what's new. Fulfillment is getting all the attention when demand will be the key. Unless you use the store for more than a warehouse, and unless you're one of the big 6, it simply doesn't scale for the ROI
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Say goodbye to Walmart’s robotic towers

    I think it is a big stretch to call these robots. Quite simply, they didn't work out. This relentless push to keep people curbside to me is short-sighted. I doubt many have ever said, "Please, can we drive down to a parking lot and wait to pick up our stuff?"
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?

    Pop-ups are the equivalent of food trucks. Yes, some can break through and get a loyal social media following. But brand building? Sales? Long-term ROI? I think many are excuses to craft "buzz" without working on engaging their customers through the shops that already carry the products.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    What goes into delivering a ‘wow’ shopping experience?

    A wow experience begins with a moment as I wrote in How To Engage Retail Customers Begins With A Wow Moment. "Free shipping" is not a wow moment. It is a feature. You could have said credit cards -- those too are not a "wow." Mr. Robertson has it right and while the pendulum has swung to the digital natives, stores will come roaring back. Retailers like Lululemon and others whose ethos is crafting engaged employees - they're the ones who can deliver a "wow." The rest is just table stakes.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Can omnichannel be as profitable for retailers as in-store sales?

    It's about conversion. Unless someone buys something, you failed. Online returns are huge, costs of acquisition are huge and conversions are 1 percent to 2 percent. The main channel - still - is the store. Yet stores are being starved of associates and those who are there are unable to add value making the whole experience worse and worse. Many retailers are killing themselves with a myopic view of digital only.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    What will going to mostly full-time staff mean for Walmart’s stores?

    Another reason Walmart leads the way. Full-time employees build brands. When you build people, you build brands. I love the way they are going against the part-time drive to minimize the frontline. Others should follow suit.

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