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: 06/30/2022

    Should investors be worried after RH lowered its forecast for the second time this month?

    This is temporary. People are indulging. Their stocks might be down but RH is still a gold-standard brand. I'm more concerned about their margins.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Will consumers become even more frugal post-pandemic?

    We're tired. We want to treat ourselves. I just spent three weeks going down the California coast. I didn't see frugality. I saw hedonism still going strong. I'm not saying everyone is feeling flush *cough 401k* but the media is trying to make a recession story. Take for example the much-shared line about Walmart selling more half-gallons of milk. The story was that people have to save. What is more likely is people don't need as much milk at home as people who are out and about. And buying half-gallons is actually more expensive. There's always another side to predictions - especially citing off-price retailers as a source.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    What worked at Target didn’t work for Mark Tritton at Bed Bath & Beyond

    Weaning customers off promotions is risky. This is the second high-profile attempt that failed. It does raise the question, if you only court discounters, who will make up the difference? And if you limit them, will they leave you weaker than if you never offered them? There are several brands with a constant supply of discounts including Gap. I wish Mr. Tritton had not come aboard with the added weight of a pandemic on him, to see where his vision could take it.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    ThredUP asks consumers to boycott Shein’s pop-up shop

    ThredUp stock is down by -89.65 percent over the last 12 months. InvestorsObserver’s proprietary ranking system, gives TDUP stock a score of 30 out of a possible 100. To the casual observer, this is PR for a company in trouble. I'd bet more people found about about Shein as a result. Trying to take a moral high road of sustainability with all the reverse logistics needed for resale seems disingenuous.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    Mall operators are hungry to get a piece of the e-commerce business and show value and I applaud them for effort. But like any app, it can be implying a reality that just isn't there. The merchandise could be on someone's back in a fitting room, not put back in the right space, etc. And opening a mall app before a brand app, well I just don't know who would do that. E-commerce is e-commerce, trying to shoehorn the availability found online into stores just seems like a fool's errand if it is not 100 percent accurate to the consumer.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

    Will a new rewards program prove Bed Bath & Beyond’s critics wrong?

    Of course 80 percent said they would be excited by a loyalty program! That’s like asking dogs if you want more dog food. A loyalty program is just another discount. So retailers struggle yet I never hear a word about training employees to do better and looking at the classic analysis of what’s really going on in the floor. Until retailers do that, they’ll grasp at straws.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

    Is Franchise Group’s plan for Kohl’s a retail disaster in the making?

    This will not end well.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2022

    Are consumers stumped by percent-off promos?

    Shoppers still have trouble figuring out what 10 percent off is. Make it idiot proof. The days of the 10 percent off with asterisks and another 10 percent off with asterisks are over.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2022

    Will $22 starting pay squelch unionization efforts at Apple?

    You have to do something with that $200+ billion cash reserve to maintain appearances of fairness to employees. The problem is Apple is an employer of choice already so it isn't a hot job market. I think the movement to unionize is gathering steam and anything Apple or others can do to squelch it will be helpful.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2022

    Nordstrom is staffed, stocked and ready to serve as store traffic increases

    I’m sure there will be naysayers saying “yeah, but…“ But this is extraordinary news at just the right time. Yes there will always be headwinds. For all we know we’re headed towards World War III but in this moment what we needed to hear was that the specialty retailers were able to recapture the customer in a big way. Hats off to Nordstrom and all they’ve done to make this happen.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2022

    Does virtual selling make for lonely salespeople?

    While most of the retail workforce has moved back to in-person, this study is valuable in showcasing how much support salespeople need and get from working with people, not screens. The other problem highlighted is how transactional the experience is. Great salespeople know it is the return customer that brings loyalty and that only happens if they have a chance to develop a relationship.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2022

    ‘Babe’ star makes dramatic gesture over Starbucks’ upcharge for non-dairy milk

    Multi-millionaires have a problem with 80 cent surcharges. Is it the 80 cents or is it the sustainability, or that it pertains to vegan milk? Smaller portions that are outside the normal routine in a coffee house cause friction. Any retailer should understand that. I can’t believe we’re talking about this here.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2022

    Can Starbucks replicate the ‘third place’ in the metaverse?

    The breathlessness with which people speak about all things deemed metaverse is astonishing. So people will go into a computer program where you can't eat or drink and buy things they can exchange for the real thing? Right.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    Macy’s goes small outside the mall

    I'm not sure how much Macy's is a destination store. The mall is the destination and traffic is up. These are great experiments but other than in Manhattan, I don't see the draw.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    How should retail companies best navigate the abortion controversy?

    Men shouldn't be weighing in on this sorry. I support any company that listens to the women in their workforce on the issue.

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