Doug Fleener

President and Managing Partner, Sixth Star Consulting

Doug Fleener is a veteran retailer with over 25 years of hands-on experience with world-class retailers, including Bose Corporation and The Sharper Image. Doug is now president and managing partner of Dynamic Experiences Group, a retail consulting firm dedicated to creating unique retail experiences that allow retailers to stand out from the competition, resulting in higher sales and profits.

In his ten years at Bose, Doug grew the Retail Direct Group from four to 100 stores and was instrumental in developing Bose’s unique and engaging retail methods including the interactive Bose Music Theater.

Doug is a consultant, keynote speaker and author. As a consultant, Doug works with retailers of all sizes throughout the country. As a keynote speaker, Doug turns any meeting into an Experience. His audience interactive speaking programs are designed to teach retailers, small and large, how to deliver the kinds of extraordinary shopping experiences that differentiate retailers from their competition. Doug is the author of the book, The Profitable Retailer: 56 Surprisingly Simple and Effective Lessons to Boost Your Sales and Profits. He also publishes two monthly newsletters, The Retail Experience and The Profitable Retailer.

Doug lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife and two young daughters, where in his free time he barbecues while listening to Jimmy Buffet music.

  • Posted on: 03/29/2017

    Sam’s says it’s scoring with club pickup

    Extremely smart. I'd be interested to know how much incremental business is generated by the click-and-collect, and the impact of the additional labor costs on such low margin items. Clearly it works with them expanding the number of stores doing it.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2017

    How can retailers foster staff enthusiasm for better customer experiences?

    This is what I absolutely love about this community. We start with a premise from one of us or an article, and then a lot of really smart people with incredible experience builds on it. Thanks everyone for taking a topic that I'm enthusiastic about (pun intended), and making it that much better.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Will adding Spanish give Amazon an edge over rival sites?

    I'm really surprised they didn't do this years ago. They can't help but sell more.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Will being more like Home Depot work for J.C. Penney?

    I think it is extremely smart of them. Although with the high female customer base I see them as more like Lowe's than Home Depot. They've got a product that's not usually bought online, and they can create a sales experience that caters to their core customer. I don't see them neglecting clothing. You only need a new appliance every few years, if that. There's no reason they can't balance multiple categories. Remember, Sears failed because of their leadership, not because they sold appliances, tools and clothing.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    What does it take to drive a top-down plan for customer-centricity?

    Good stuff. This is great in theory, but most companies don't bring it down very well from the clouds to the ground level. That's why I believe one of the biggest areas of focus needs to be turning customer-centricity into specific behaviors and actions for frontline employees created by frontline employees. It's more than a training. It's a new way to engage, serve, and likely sell the customer.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    What will Walmart gain from its Moosejaw acquisition?

    But will Walmart executives really be able to not want to play and tinker with their new shiny retail chain? Smart purchase if they can. If not, look for Moosejaw executives and customers to flee ... maybe even together. I also think many of the brands on Moosejaw aren't happy about this. Sure it opens up new distribution channel, but most of them didn't need Moosejaw to get in them. Another story to review in 18-months to see what really happened!
  • Posted on: 02/02/2017

    Is omnichannel cannibalization retail’s biggest challenge?

    If this was the case I don't think those that started out online would be opening brick-and-mortar stores like they are. People don't shop online or in stores. They shop online AND in stores. So yes you're going to move sales from one channel to another. But that same customer will move the other direction as well. We definitely know that many retailers need to reduce the number of stores they have, but that's cannibalization. That's called making it more profitable.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2017

    Will online sales redeem struggling brick and mortar retailers?

    The fact is there are just a lot more people taking a slice of the consumer pie, so most older established stores are getting a smaller slice. The really smart retailer will not only get some share of the online sales, but focus on growing their share of in-store sales. There is still a lot of customers out there shopping on a daily basis. The problem is, most stores aren't giving a really good reason to shop with them.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2016

    How can the retail job market survive the AI revolution?

    AI is just another element of the vortex of change in the retail marketplace. Like others, it is understanding how to use it differently that adds value to the customer's experience and enables profitability for the company. This type of innovation will continue to be a challenge ... especially for the independent retailer.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2016

    Amazon considers floating warehouses

    Didn't I see this in an episode of the Jetsons? (Younger readers, YouTube it.) I think this is absurd if you think of it from a 2016/2017 mindset. Ten or twenty years from now I think it could be a real possibility, which is what I think Amazon smartly patents -- possibilities.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2016

    Does Alexa need a screen?

    I don't think it needs a screen, but why wouldn't you offer one if it would include early adoption? Talking is still easier and faster than typing. Changing that habit is much different. After adding Siri to my laptop I have used it maybe six times. And half of those consisted of me talking to the laptop and nothing happening.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2016

    A small retailer makes a bold move against big chains

    I don't see any bashing or anything like that. I see a simple ad where someone asked the listeners to shop local. I agree with others it would be better if they gave a reason on why they're better. But here's what's interesting. I'm not sure there are many or any chain liquor stores here in the Boston area. (Disclaimer: I do live in Great Boston, but I don't shop in liquor stores.) I know every liquor store in my community is locally owned, and liquor and beer isn't sold in the grocery stores. So kudos for a unique shop local message, but I'm not sure who they're telling the customers not to shop with.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2016

    Will Starbucks be the same without Howard Schultz as CEO?

    I think Starbucks is going to be just fine with Kevin Johnson. He's handpicked by Howard, and could be an even better operator than Howard. He also understands how critical the culture is to Starbucks, but I don't think he'll shy away from trying new things. I don't think it will be any less or more with Mr. Johnson. That's an example of how well it will work. They won't miss a beat.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2016

    How badly will Macy’s be hurt by its Black Friday outages?

    You miss those day's sales, but the consumer will come back if the deal/incentive is there. But can Macy's afford to lose any sales this holiday? I would think the Chief Technology Officer felt the most pain.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2016

    What does a record Cyber Monday foretell for the remaining holiday season?

    I think it is too early to say what the overall holiday sales impact will be, but there's no doubt that more online deep discounting and cost to facilitate the sale is going to impact retailers' bottom line. I think you're going to see a number of retailers who had a strong weekend will not be happy at the end of December. Win the battle but lose the war. Amazon and Walmart can absorb those low margins ... can others?
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