Noted Retail Consultant Bob Phibbs to Present Winter Institute Keynote

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Bob Phibbs, a nationally recognized expert on business strategy, customer service, sales, and marketing – and the author of The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business: A Step-by-Step Approach to Quickly Diagnose, Treat, and Cure (Wiley) – will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, January 20, at the upcoming ABA Winter Institute.

With more than 30 years of retail experience, Phibbs has helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses in a wide range of major industries, including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and service. Kathleen McHugh, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), has noted that Phibbs “is a one-of-kind presenter who understands the challenges retailers are facing, [and] has the expertise to offer real-time solutions.”

In 1994, Phibbs started his own consulting company, The Retail Doctor, to provide training and inspiration to independent businesses so they could successfully compete in a challenging retail environment.

Among his successes is an independent coffee house where sales had slipped after two Starbucks opened nearby. Phibbs worked with the coffee house owner to overhaul the operation, and sales rose 50 percent in a year and an additional 40 percent the following year.

Phibbs served as COO, then CMO, for the startup It’s a Grind Coffee, which grew to more than125 franchise locations nationwide and was the second-fastest growing company in Los Angeles County two years running. He has also been a partner in growing the Hunter Douglas elite Gallery dealers program across the U.S.

As a member of the National Speaker’s Association (NSA), Phibbs regularly addresses business organizations, corporations, and business conferences. He has been a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Your Business, and his work has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, the Wall Street Journal,and the New York Times. Phibbs has also provided business makeovers for the Los Angeles Times, and his book You Can Compete is featured in Do It Best hardware’s How-to-Beat-the-Big-Box kit for 4,100 independently owned hardware and home improvement retailers.

The Phibbs keynote is part of an array of 31 Winter Institute education sessions covering a wide range of topics, including adding a café to your bookstore, strategic thinking to create new business models, using the political process to create the change you want to see, creating killer events, understanding the drivers of the children’s book market, and more.

The Winter Institute will be held from Wednesday, January 19, through Friday, January 21, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. This educational event – sponsored by the Ingram Content Group – is a member benefit exclusively for ABA bookstore and provisional members.

Registration for the Winter Institute, which is capped at 500, is already more than half full. Since previous Winter Institutes have been sell-outs, ABA is encouraging members to register as early as possible. The Wi6 event registration deadline is December 15. (Register now.)

ABA has reserved a block of rooms at Wi6's host hotel, the Crystal Gateway Marriott, for Tuesday, January 18, through Saturday, January 22, 2011. The special room rate of $119 a night for ABA bookseller and provisional members and participating publisher sponsors will only be available until January 5, 2011, or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. Registration is via the Crystal Gateway Marriott's dedicated Wi6 reservations page.

Questions regarding Wi6 hotel reservations should be addressed directly to the hotel at (800) 266-9432. To cancel a reservation prior to January 5, contact the hotel directly; on January 5 or later, e-mail Importantly, Reagan National Airport is the best airport to fly into for easy access to the Crystal Gateway Marriott. The hotel provides free shuttle service to and from Reagan National, and it is only one Metro stop from the airport.