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: 10/17/2018

    Eddie Lampert is the worst

    Can’t say it better George! Yes, even worse than Ron Johnson and what he did to J.C. Penney.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    ‘Frictionless’ is the annoying word of the year

    Let's change the dialogue. Instead of a frictionless experience it is more of a flywheel - taking the shopper's energy, adding smart merchandising, payment options, etc. and through that energy the retailer expends, getting the shopper out the door feeling more energized than before.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    Does anyone pay the full retail price anymore?

    Let's be totally honest here, the reason more shoppers buy on discount is retailers are addicted to giving them.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Will anything change for Sears after Chapter 11?

    There are so many lessons for retailers of all sizes from the spectacle of Sears that I wrote about 5 Giant Takeaways To Heed From Sears Withering Bankruptcy Tale. One has to wonder if this really was the grand scheme after all. I'm sure shareholders and pensioners will file lawsuits, as Retail Dive noted; "around fraudulent transfers and other ownership conflicts as leverage or to recoup lost investments." Like Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction, I fully expect Lampert to resurrect a version of the brand and continue to enrich himself at the expense of the many people who built that business into being our store; it's a microcosm of what's eating at the soul of America.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2018

    Gap sends its Visa cardholders to Amazon and Target

    Truly one of those, "What are they thinking?" moments for me. Gap embraced Groupon as the way forward and lost their shirt, now they're sending shoppers to the ones most likely to put them under. So many problems, so little vision, so much grasping at straws for traction.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2018

    Can a new CEO revitalize J.C. Penney’s business?

    The on-again off-again noise from J.C. Penney has told customers it is a crap shoot to know what or who J.C. Penney is anymore. I wish her well but I would suggest we hear less of J.C. Penney's plans and they should simply start building a new foundation after Ron Johnson blew up the customer loyalty and, in fact, the business.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2018

    Toys ‘R’ Us to rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, but should it?

    Sorry, I just don't get this new wave of buying out-of-favor retailers assets and then co-opting them to say you're bringing it back. I don't expect FAO Schwartz or whoever they are or Bon Ton or Toys "R" Us to be successful because they don't come from anything. They're opportunists full of hubris thinking people who actually worked and sweated and made those companies great were just naive.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2018

    Will Amazon’s new $15 an hour minimum wage mess up rivals’ seasonal hiring plans?

    If this was Target or Macy’s that would be one thing. But these are by and large warehouse workers, essentially drones in the big machine pushing merchandise from one place to another. I would not expect it to have much effect on other retailers.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Is traffic a flawed measure of engagement?

    It's really a yes, and yes gauging foot traffic to a store is important and it is only one tool. Traffic without conversion is worthless whether it’s in the store or to a webpage. Ultimately all that matters is, did the store make a sale that day? When looking for the “why not?“ one has to look at what the employees are trained to do with the traffic. Unless and until retailers notice every nanosecond in their brick-and-mortar locations and craft an exceptional experience, oftentimes these become vanity metrics -- a distraction from the training brands should be devoting to their most important asset: their employees.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    HiO brings pop-up vibe to new store concept

    I just don't see how this is profitable unless it is like Story where they get the money for the product upfront. I don't buy that consumers want to essentially go into a bunch of unknown brands looking for unknown products. We already had Sharper Image and look how that ended up.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Why don’t retailers concentrate more on selling the Christmas spirit?

    Creating wonder is key in great retailing. I did a case study on a small retailer who spent months creating amazing holiday windows. Creating holiday spirit requires a complete upending from the top to become brilliant on the basics of creating a human connection in stores. The old models of hiring, training and engaging shoppers is broken and retailers need to believe in employees, not Santa Claus, Wall Street or a hedge fund as savior. Magic starts with how you treat employees and on to shoppers. Anything else is just window dressing.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    What would 3,000 AmazonGo stores do to the U.S. retail landscape?

    This just reeks of a PR machine. How in the world would 3,000 stores make them money with all the upkeep of technology and exposure to theft? Plus this is just another version of IoT looking for a reason to exist. I don't think there is a clamor for the need to check in via smartphone and walk out -- certainly not multiple times more than at 7-Eleven, that's for sure.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Retailers need seasonal workers, but do workers need retailers?

    Excellent point, Rich.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Retailers need seasonal workers, but do workers need retailers?

    When you have to pay part-time workers for time off, something is wrong with your culture. Smart retailers understand high turnover is due to poor training. When employees are not trained and held accountable, they can feel their job is boring. Like shoppers, it isn't about how you attract them, it's how you get them to stay. I would suggest retailers up their training so they become a place people want to work and tell their friends about -- not where you have to beg them to apply in the first place.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    What will a ‘new standard for green retail’ mean for Starbucks’ results?

    Gen Z absolutely looks at such things and it makes them feel good when choosing Starbucks as "their store." But let's be clear, Starbucks is doing this because it is part of their corporate goal just like Apple's and just like Target providing gender-neutral bathrooms. Not everything is for marketing. And employees who work for those companies also feel it when corporate vision and action is in line with their hopes and world-view -- and they stay longer.

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.