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: 01/19/2022

    Are retailers’ returns concerns coming to a holiday head?

    The promise of everything available all the time means many things are no longer a considered purchase but a whim from a FB ad. No apparel sale is complete until it is on the back of the customer yet someone who tries it on in the store returns in single digits. Online is not profitable or sustainable. Get more people to engage at stores and get the purchase right, rather than paying $33 to return $50 items.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    Like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction, the story of J.C. Penney returns around NRF with hope. I wish them well.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    Are brand and product messages in conflict?

    CPG companies I see are failing to deliver in brand messaging. What does it do for me? That's the number one concern, not your values or marketing-speak. It's competitive on the shelf and keeping it simple for consumers still has to be the priority.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Reality hits omnichannel retail with a hard truth

    This line that shopping behaviors have forever been changed just doesn't hold water. Yes there are many options but that's not why cleaving off online is popular. It is Wall Street. Shoppers go where they feel they matter. If they don't feel anything, they might as well shop online. If it is just a replacement, they might as well shop online. But looking at stores as mere waypoints to delivery is a big misstep.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 15-minute cities truly bring back local retail?

    I think utopian cities always sound great but the devil is in the details as Disney's Centennial, FL experiment showed. Such a hyper-local atmosphere would not play well with small retail as it has always started in the more forgotten parts of downtowns to afford rent. If it is being subsidized, who picks the winners and losers? And my guess is those residents would rather bank on a Starbucks than an unknown.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Is retail ready for the phygital future?

    ^ Truth^
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Is retail ready for the phygital future?

    You know what I don't get? All these brands running to the promise of a compelling and shoppable experience in Meta, et al. when they abandoned having that in their physical stores where still, during a raging pandemic, online only got 20 percent of the business.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Will U.S. livestreaming soon take off like it did in China?

    I agree with Andrew. I don't know many people who have disposable income waiting for anyone's livestream.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2021

    Are in-person trade shows safe (enough)?

    I'll be in NYC for NRF since I'm vaxed and boosted. Anyone else should be required to be as well. Having just returned from a keynote in Dubai I can tell you international travel is a lot of stress so I expect successful attendance will teeter on how many are willing to go through all the hoops and uncertainty. Having just been in Manhattan last week to see Book of Mormon again, I felt safe and protocols were clear.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2021

    Should customers be offered discounts to keep returns?

  • Posted on: 12/21/2021

    Is showrooming still a concern?

    No service and just product mean you are at high risk of being showroomed. As the study noted helpful frontline workers are the biggest way to deal with it. As I say, If I make a trip to your store, it better be worth the effort.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2021

    What’s driving the merch opportunity at restaurants?

    Because it is a heck of a lot easier to offer merch than train crews or hold them accountable.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2021

    Should retailers do more to protect frontline workers?

    It seems the smartest idea was missing from these recommendations. How about supporting anyone who works in retail to be required to be vaccinated with booster?
  • Posted on: 12/10/2021

    Is union’s victory at Starbucks a sign of things to come?

    Let’s be clear, this is not Norma Rae or the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. These are people doing a job in a company that has taken great strides to make things good for employees. I don’t really see what good comes from it in the long term. What does surprise me is this is in a very red area of New York which I would think would be traditionally anti-union. So the big question: is this a trend or a one-off? We’ll have to see.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2021

    Is Small Business Saturday losing steam?

    Actually Rick, I don't survey my clients nor then try to get clicks like this survey. I simply was sharing some IRL.

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