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    Hope For Retail: Martin Lawrence Galleries

    Hey, it's Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc, today with Hope For Retail, with Martin Lawrence Galleries. So you can see behind me, I have the sculpture of Cowboys and Indians, and I was on vacation in Hawaii like 1989 I think. And I saw this as I walked down and I was so taken with it, it was kinetic sculpture and I have a lot of art, and I'd never seen anything like that before.

    And so, I thought, "Well, I don't know if I want to buy it. You know, it's kind of heavy,"and the person was very nice, "We could ship it to you,"  et cetera. And, I said, "Well, you know, I'll think about it." She goes, "Well, you know, we have a store in Costa Mesa as well." And I said, "Oh, I didn't know that."

    So, I worked at South Coast Plaza and I went into the shop and I explained that I had seen it, and this one said, "Oh, that's gotta be Cowboys and Indians." So she took me back, we had a nice story about the artist, Prescott, and how great he was. And so I bought it and I loved it. And I've had it for an awful long time.

    My goodness, I've had it 30 years. And, about a year later, she went through and she called me and she said, "You know, Mr. Prescott is actually going to be here in the gallery. Would you like to come down and meet him?" And I said, "Well, sure I would." And I came down and he actually signed it on the bottom.

    Now the reason I share that story is, one: I only found that by going into a brick and mortar gallery that yes, it's an interesting sculpture. But you know, without the whimsy and the emotion and the fun, it's just another piece of metal art. And number two: How those two galleries worked together to make a sale.

    Ultimately, that's what it was about. That she had gone through, and then more importantly, that that associate, that salesperson went through and she kept me in contact with their gallery by giving me something special that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else and the chance to meet the artist. And then Prescott himself is, "Let me sign it for you." And he's like, "What do you want me to say?" And I said, "I don't want you to say anything. It's your art dude." And he's like, "No, it's good." And I just am always surprised when people say that oh, everyone's going to be online. And it's all digital. And the reality is that wonder and discovery just doesn't happen unless we get out there in the world and we see it.

    Now, I am just saying, Martin Lawrence Galleries, you guys do a great job. I've gotten several pieces from you and I know you're closed now. But we are looking forward to rediscovering the world of art that you have brought to so many, and to remember that when we do come out to make sure that you have your heart open, full and with hope, because that's what we're going to want to meet is people who are hopeful and who are able to encourage us to treat ourselves.

    You know, if I was a brick and mortar retailer, I'd probably say, "Come in and escape the news," and that would be the way I would be looking at it. So you can do this too, find a brand that you have done business with. Share it with a hashtag Hope For Retail, and let's make sure that we refocus our energies from "Oh my God. It could. It would. What's worse, even waiting down the way?" to realizing that most of us have a connection, not just to a store, in this case, a gallery, but to the purchase, but also the story of buying it.
    And that's what you get at brick and mortar. So I hope you'll join me. I hope you'll share this. You know, I also have compounded all of these now onto my website, and you can go to and you can click Videos, and you'll see all of these, all the brands that I've done, whether it was Saks or Nordstrom, we are all trying to find some hope in this time of unprecedented change. So if you support that, give me some comments, give me some shares and I'll see you tomorrow with yet another brand or retailer.

    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 Armani
    • Customer Story Harry Rosen
    • Customer Story Pottery Barn
    • Customer Story Saks
    • 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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