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    Hope For Retail: Harry Rosen


    Hey, it's Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc. Thanks for joining me today on my Hope For Retail broadcast. Every day I pick a different retailer that I've had an experience with, and then I try to give hope to those brands, for all the employees out there because it's kind of a tough time for major brands around the world.

    And I got called out the other day and said, "How come you only pick American brands?" Well, that's not quite true, but, I decided today I would choose Harry Rosen. It's a menswear retailer up in Canada. And I met them up in Toronto actually, and I was walking through the mall, you know, that's part of my business, well when malls are open, but I'll be back to that in a minute.

    I was walking through the mall and I went into this menswear store and I'd never seen a menswear store so well merchandised. And I actually saw this outfit. And, I will get into the shirt later because, that's another brand I'm going to call out.

    But I saw it and I met this young woman and she was so gracious and took the time to show me around so that I not only bought this outfit, but I bought two others. And then she said, "Oh, you know, we have another store, outside the mall." And I went to that one and I got another three or four outfits because I'd never seen a menswear merchandised so incredibly smart and easy to shop and curated. You know, this is many, many years ago. It's like, it's funny, when I opened my jacket this morning to put this on, I found it's an Armani jacket. I was talking about Armani the other day. So that's kind of it. And I know your 17 stores are closed up there in Canada.

    I just want to let you know that you have some amazing brands. The other thing that Harry Rosen has is a lot of smaller brands you wouldn't see anywhere else. Which is the goal of every retailer, right? That you can't be a warehouse and carry 80% of the same thing somebody else does, but their merchandising skills, that's what I wanted to call out in particular because of that, I bought an awful lot of clothing in Canada that I had no idea to do. And you know what? I felt better because of it. I didn't resent the fact that that was a upscale product that I was paying a lot of money for brands I hadn't heard of.

    In the end, I felt I mattered, starting with that young woman I met there and the shirt that she was able to find me in the right size. It's a totally cool shirt. It is a Robert Graham shirt, but I'm not about Robert Graham today. And, I ended up finding that this is my new retailer. And so I encourage all of you who think, "Oh, you know, it's all going to be online."

    I can guarantee you this jacket would never sell online. It is not a particularly, it's an unstructured jacket, which doesn't particularly bode well. But if you understand that when you try it on, you see, there's no lining, which makes it nice and light for a guy who's traveling in the summer on a plane, which I will be doing again.

    Then you understand that, "Oh, that's why somebody would buy this," and I don't care how much description you put under that. It's not going to be the same as seeing it, trying it on and saying, "Yeah, this is me," or "This is the new me," or "This is the me I've always wanted to be," because that's what you're selling.

    You're selling hope. Make no mistake retailers, that's what you sell is hope. So we don't have the time for bitter Betty, so I get it. Or bitter John or Stanley or whoever. I get it. Your store may be closed right now, Harry Rosen. But we are looking forward to the time when you are open again and we can treat ourselves and discover that, "Wow, when I go out to shop, I can walk home with something I didn't even know was out there that I wanted, not that I needed."

    Right? We have to get out of the idea that all retail somehow has to be essential. Most retail is not essential. Most retail is somebody saying, "I'm working like a dog. I want to be able to show my kids that I care for them, or I want to be able to buy something for myself. Or it's time that I get some new underwear."

    We go out, maybe, with a need, but what we are open to is discovering something new, and that's the secret of brick and mortar retail. That's what I want you to take today. Don't listen to so much of the doom and gloom. I get it. There's stuff out there, but you know what?

    We're going to get through this. And as long as you maintain hope, Harry Rosen, your employees, that when you come in to work you understand that we're not somebody to avoid - even if we have to wear a face mask - that we are somebody eager to discover the world your buyers have selected for us. So with that in mind, you remember you can do this yourself.

    Find a brand that you like really well. Make sure you tell the story of it, and then go through and use hashtag Hope for Retail. You know, that's the secret that we have a story of when we purchase something in a store as well as whatever we did with it. So I hope that helps. If you love what I'm saying, please give me some love.

    Give me some thumbs up. Give me some hand claps, whatever it is on the platform you're looking at. But more importantly, just remember, In hope, I am fearless. I'm Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc. I'll see you tomorrow with another retailer. In the meantime, let's maintain that positive attitude. A lot of people want to take it away from us.

    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 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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