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    Hope For Retail: Armani


    Hey, it's Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc. Thanks for joining me today on my Hope For Retail series where every day I highlight a different brand, a retail brand, and give them some encouragement because frankly, in the time of Covid-19, we could use it. And today I'm going to be talking about Armani. They have 165 Armani stores around the world, and 2 billion in sales across several brands.

    And I walked into an Armani store, I don't know, 10 years now. And I had walked in and I was just looking around. And I just happened to look at this navy blazer and I thought, "Yeah, maybe I could use a navy blazer." You know, I'm a public speaker, so I need something basic. And I looked at the price tag and then I looked at the young woman who came over to help me, and she goes, "You should just try it on."

    I said, "Okay." So I tried it on, I looked great. I don't know if you could see it in this, but it's a great fitting jacket for me. And, I said, "Yeah, but you know, I really don't need a navy jacket and Armani, I just think of high style and everything else." She goes, "No, Armani is about fit." And I have to tell you, I wear this jacket more often than not in most of my speeches because it goes well with pretty much any shirt.

    But I can pack this and be gone for two weeks, and it still comes out looking a winner. And every time I put it on, I just remember her as I was getting ready to buy it. And she goes, "You look good in this. You deserve it." And exactly. And so many people love to say, "Oh, it's the death of brands and no one's buying."

    But at the end of the day, what I think we're going to discover is people are going to buy brands again and they're going to buy quality. That's the promise of fast fashion, which is cheap goods that are basically disposable, are going to be more of a problem for landfill and a lot of other places and we are going to return to quality and we're going to return to your stores Armani because you have amazing, impeccable fit and great materials that are certainly worth it.

    And to you that are working in Armani boutiques around the world, and are carrying Armani in your stores, just remember that when we come in, we are filled with hope. We are curious and we want to know what's new and we want to be able to treat ourselves.

    You know, what the Nordstrom brothers said yesterday was quoted widely in a story, you know, "We don't sell needs. We sell wants." And some people use that as like, "That's the problem with retail." That's not the problem with retail. That's the secret of retail. That's why we go into a store to discover something we didn't even know we wanted.

    But when we purchase it, we not only have a story about the brand, we have a story about the purchase. And I still remember that young woman who just said, "Try it on," and that's what we get in a brick and mortar store. And they would have never made that sale online because I can guarantee you a navy blazer just isn't that exciting.

    And if all you're going to look at is price, when you go into a brick and mortar store, you realize, "Wow, I get what I'm paying for," and the experience and how I feel every time I go on a stage is in part due to that young woman at an Armani boutique and their product that makes me feel 10-feet tall. And from that, I can go and spread hope and encouragement to other retailers all around the world.

    So thanks today to you, Armani, for the great job you and your team do. And to those of you who are out there, who are reading the incessant news stories of doom and gloom, and let's play the whack-a-mole game of who's going to die in the future, enough, call them out and say change the damn lens, because you know what?

    Retail is going to get through this. And the shoppers are going to return, and brands do matter. And more importantly, people who make you feel you matter in a store are going to get the sale. So let's get out there. Let's do our best in retail and look for the day everybody reopens, and we can go through and put on clothing that makes you feel 10-feet tall.

    I'm Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc. You know, you can do this too. Pick a brand that you love, put a hashtag of Hope for Retail, share it on social media around, and let's try to change the dialogue instead of who's going to die to "Wow. Look at the great brands and what they're doing to bring shoppers back," so we can go through and feel hopeful again.

    I'm counting on you out there that's watching this. Tune in again tomorrow when I pick another brand and do the same thing again. Thanks so much for joining me and thanks today for Armani. 

    You can hear and read all of my customer stories in my Hope For Retail project below:

    * Retail Is Not Dead – Sharing True Stories of Hope For Retail Stores

    • Customer Story Macy's
    Customer Story Neiman Marcus
    • Customer Story Hugo Boss
    • Customer Story JC Penney
    • Customer Story Ted Baker
    • Customer Story Nordstrom
    • Customer Story Allen Edmonds
    • Customer Story Williams-Sonoma
    • Customer Story Harry Rosen
    • Customer Story Pottery Barn
    • Customer Story Saks
    • Customer Story Martin Lawrence Galleries
    • Customer Story Wilkes Bashford
    • Customer Story Ralph Lauren
    • Customer Story Robert Graham
    • Customer Story Levi's
    • Customer Story Pedego
    • Customer Story Garden Centers
    • Customer Story Lutron


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