The Retail Doctor's Blog


Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

7 Cringe-Inducing Behaviors That Push Retail Customers Away

Bob Phibbs

There’s a boom of shiny objects out there for retailers to play with, from iBeacons that will deliver coupons to shoppers' smartphones when they stand in front of a display to virtual mirrors that dispense generic compliments when you try something on. 

All over, retailers are struggling with lower footfall, with consumers waiting for the deal, and with the elephant in the room, the relentless push of Amazon. For you, it can feel like a no-win scenario.

Read More

Topics: Customer Service, Retail Sales Training

Increase Retail Sales with Laughter

Bob Phibbs

Trying to increase retail sales in a quiet retail store is impossible...

I can tell a great retail store just by listening. Can't you?

One of the outcomes we find when conditions are right in a retail store is that people are:

  • Relaxed.
  • Open.
  • Confident.

And laughter ensues.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales

What Can This Small Business #Fail Teach Retailers?

Bob Phibbs

When I was looking to move away from the crowded, noisy, dusty freeways of Los Angeles, I checked out the green Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. While there were no Westins in that part of the world, I did discover a great off-the-beaten-path alternative, the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY.

A large, spacious suite was outfitted just right. Their location was superb for walking and the excellent local restaurants kept me from having to use the fully functional kitchen in my suite.

Over the years, I’ve recommended that place to many visitors, and I even posted a review on TripAdvisor in 2008.

So imagine my surprise when I read that the establishment mentioned in this headline, “Hotel fines $500 for every bad review posted online” was indeed, the Union Street Guest House. 

Read More

Topics: Marketing, Customer Service, Social Media, Attract customers, online reputation

Why You Hate To Fire An Employee, And How To Deal With It

Bob Phibbs

My parents divorced when I was 11. For a long time I felt there was something I could have done to have prevented it.

That I had some magical power to change the circumstances.  I guess it is common in children of divorce. 

The feeling that the past could somehow have been different.

Life has taught me that letting go and acknowledging what is leads to a more productive life.

Read More

Topics: Retail, Employee Management

Why I Had To Trash My Website Design – And You Should Too

Bob Phibbs

Websites have progressed to become the most important marketing tool for any retailer, small or large.  

Read More

Topics: Marketing, Attract customers, webdesign

Take These 9 Actions In Summer For Successful Winter Holiday Sales

Bob Phibbs

Christmas in July...or August. We’ve all heard the phrase.

It’s summer and a lot of retailers are thinking about what they will do differently for the upcoming holidays.

In a media world itching to say how expectations are soft for retail sales this shopping season, you might be worried, and that’s definitely understandable. You can easily drown in a sea of worry.

But you’re reading this post so take heart!

Here are my top nine actions you need to take to have a successful holiday season in 2014.

Read More

Topics: Retail Holiday Sales, Retail, Attract customers

5 Warning Signs For Retailers from Dick’s Sporting Goods’ PGA Firings

Bob Phibbs


Back in 2009, I sat next to a golf sales representative while flying to Chicago. He told me the golf industry was in trouble. It had lost something like 30% of sales representatives, and many of those who were still there were aggressively unloading stock on unaware merchants.

I thought about that conversation today as I read that Dick’s Sporting Goods was cutting almost 500 PGA in-store golf pros due to lower sales.  It seems fewer customers are upgrading their clubs and even fewer are taking up the sport.

Heck, even the CEO said, "We don't know where the bottom is in golf. We may be at the bottom, we're not sure."

While you may not be a golf merchant, a shifting market holds valuable insights.

Read More

Topics: Management, Retail Sales

How Can Retailers Stop Creating Angry Employees?

Bob Phibbs

Retail traffic is slowing.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales, Employee Management

Can You Pay A Living Wage To Your Retail Employees?

Bob Phibbs

Recently, Gap raised their minimum wage for their retail employees to $9 an hour for all of their brands; next June, they will raise it to $10.

IKEA too has just announced that on Jan.1, their rate will jump to $10.76 an hour.

To put that in perspective, that is 48% higher than the federal minimum.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales, Retail Hiring, Minimum wage

How To Choose The Right Retail Sales Training For Your Store

Bob Phibbs


Congratulations for reading this – it means you don’t have to be convinced that training your retail crew how to sell is necessary.  

You understand that training is something you do – ongoing – like an athlete working to perfect their form, not something you did – once –  like visiting the City of Mermaids in Florida.

Good. Most retailers know they have to train new hires at some level. The best know they have to constantly train their entire staff.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales Training, online retail training

Subscribe to Email Updates

blog-image-seperator.png