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Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, on the Effects of Retail Trends

Bob Phibbs smiling
Bob Phibbs smiling

Now more than ever, there are more factors for retailers to consider in order to ensure success. Mediaplanet sat down with Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, to gain some insight on the retail industry.


What’s the biggest retail trend so far in 2020?

I’m seeing a renewed focus on training front-line associates on exactly how to create a branded shopping experience, and new initiatives to understand their associates and deliver encouragement and advancement. This renewed look at how front-line associates contribute to or take away from the bottom line, is catching on. 

How will this affect small and large retailers?

Large retailers like Target and Walmart have invested billions in their store operations over the last two years and are reaping the benefits. Smaller retailers still seem to think training is a nice-to-have element, not a competitive advantage. 

How are evolving consumer preferences affecting the way brands interact with their customers, both in-store and online?

The customer has a new mantra: spoil me or else. Loyalty is no longer a given as direct-to-consumer brands are slicing up established brands’ customers. The overall goals should be making it easier for the shopper to do business with you in as few clicks as possible and getting them to buy more than just the promo item of the week.

With the rise of e-commerce, how has the role of physical retail changed?

The physical store is the hub everything comes from. This is a big change from a few years ago, when stores were seen as passé. Now the winners look at their stores as the focus of profitable operations and integrate them into their social media, website, app, and the rest.   

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