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: 01/24/2023

    Can opera keep loiterers away from store parking lots?

    I know!
  • Posted on: 01/24/2023

    Can opera keep loiterers away from store parking lots?

    As a conductor, I'm a bit dismayed that opera and classical music are the music chosen as deterrents but I would try EVERYTHING to keep my store from being a homeless camp. Water dripping down the walls, noise, strobe lights, whatever is fair game. I decided not to move to downtown Los Angeles a few years ago because it appears the homeless have more rights than business owners. Something has to change but until then, if talking to them doesn't work then don't, as they say, wait until the fat lady sings and you have to close your doors.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2023

    Study says retail jobs are just the worst

    Retail jobs represent a wide swath of retail, from cashiers to highly commissioned salespeople. This article is like painting the lily; yes, many jobs are entry-level for people with minimal skills. However retail used to be the one place that normalized someone to understand you have to make the customer's day before they make yours, that being on time matters, and when you bring your best self to the sales floor it can provide a leg up to any career. It's not a mystery that the best retailers provide not only onboarding training but ongoing training. Until more follow that lead and get out of the idea that "anyone can do it" turnover will remain high.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2023

    Rite Aid puts out ‘help wanted’ sign for a new CEO

    I met with some of their team last year looking for ways to improve. They pleaded they didn't have any money to work with and expected drastic reductions in pricing. Cut stores and do the hard work.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2023

    Is ‘quiet hiring’ the next big thing in labor?

    This is the silliest line extension ever. Quiet quitting. Quiet hiring. What's next, quiet shouting? You don't have enough staff and people have to cover. Putting some buzzwords into the discussion helps no one.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2023

    Do retailers need a different retention strategy for older workers?

    Older workers grew up giving their all. They didn't just skip out on work. They didn't quiet quit. They did the job. Having to work in an atmosphere of tasks and delays adds instability to one's day. I'm not sure how much anyone other than the employee is responsible for creating "a fun-loving" workplace. Adding stability, vetting anyone who works there, and speaking to each front-line worker goes a long way.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2023

    Victoria’s Secret CEO stepping down after eight months on the job

    Sorry, something doesn't add up. The story isn't Adore Me but why a deeply troubled company lost a top CEO in under eight months.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2022

    Is holiday music torturing retail workers?

    Oh please. One could say this about any music appropriate to the store. How about explaining why you do it to begin with? For example, the right music can increase in-store spend by 9.1 percent. Holiday anything -- music or merchandise is an old dog that perennially is kicked for being too early. Smart retailers create multiple playlists for their stores and create a sonic identity. Most of these complaints come from the manager choosing one radio or internet station meant to play music in 20-minute sets that repeat. In any event, music is not an enemy.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2022

    ‘Just in time’ and ‘just in case’ systems leave retailers with too much inventory

    Can you work on the replicators for me? :)
  • Posted on: 12/19/2022

    ‘Just in time’ and ‘just in case’ systems leave retailers with too much inventory

    This is not a new problem. Years of cutbacks in store personnel and training have led to this. Get more trained people on the floor to sell the merch when it is full price. Discounting is because no one felt anything with your shopping experience. No one helped them, and the merch had to do the heavy lifting of trying to get someone to buy. Unless you want to stay an "asked and answered" retailer like a hardware store, you will give up the two things people go to stores to do -- connect to people and discover. Until then, people will focus on the wrong things.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2022

    Will Christmas 2022 be the terminal squish of retail’s mushy middle?

    Where was the vaunted AI in all of this? For five or more years, we were told AI would solve specifically managing merchandise. It's a few years into COVID-19 -- how could so many algorithms have been so wrong? Too many silos not speaking with each other? Trying to keep factories going even when there was not enough demand? Sheer boneheadedness at not managing better? I don't know, but this is not the death of anyone -- even those in the always-maligned "mushy middle."
  • Posted on: 12/13/2022

    Holiday shoppers have a need for speed

    I don’t buy that almost 90 percent of shoppers want self checkout. I’d love to see the wording of that survey. There’s an easy way to speed check out - stop the bean counters from having two people covering five or six departments like I saw at Macy’s the other day. So much money is being lost by poor customer service leading customers to consider the checkout in stores as something to put up with -- not something to enjoy. Adding more well-trained staff reduces theft and adds margin.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2022

    Are ads causing shoppers to lose faith in Amazon search results?

    They're doing this in e-commerce and social media - imagine what it will look like in the metaverse. This is the same problem Facebook and Instagram should be addressing. I didn't sign on to get two ads for stuff for every post I really want see.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2022

    Was the high-traffic Thanksgiving weekend a promise of things to come?

    Yes. No doubt about it. Consumers wanted to shop and stores were well stocked. If they had more people working they probably could’ve made even more. No matter how much people want to talk us into the recession or say "yeah but if inflation is at 11 percent." The reality is shoppers are out in droves and retailers should be thrilled at the abundance since one in four jobs depends on it.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Do digital coupons discriminate against those who can least afford it?

    I doubt the findings that 25 percent of seniors don't use the internet. They might answer that but use their phone's wireless. They are on social media, use email, etc. And where does the other study get consumers paying $445 more in groceries per month than last year? Inflation is running about 11 percent YOY. If you didn't read the newspaper in the '50s you didn't get the deals either. Nothing here. Move along.

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