Retail consultant Bob Phibbs gives perspective on Main Street

Bob Phibbs, author of "The Retail Doctors Guide to Growing Your Business” and CEO of the Retail Doctor website, answers questions following his recent trip to Oklahoma City for the National Main Streets Conference.

Oklahoman Published: May 12, 2010
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Th
at interdependency is what spelled doom for so many downtowns in the 1970s and 1980s when they didn’t care what the other guy was doing. Now the best Main Street businesses understand, "if I close early, I could be hurting the very neighbors I depend on to make a living.” That’s what is so exciting about the Main Street program.

Q: Do you think retailers are less interested in having a presence on a city’s Main Street?

A: I think it is important to understand big-box retailers have no use in being on Main Street — they want to be out on the interstates due to their huge tractor-trailers of stuff from China and acres of parking. ... Smart retailers will find they can do with smaller footprints in this economy ... so expect to see more variety and selection as America rebuilds its core. It won’t happen easily or quickly, but clearly with over a thousand Main Street programs across the country, it is gaining steam.

JENNIFER PALMER, BUSINESS WRITER