Bob Fisch became a retailer at birth. He understands that “retail is detail” and has been a sensational resource for me personally. He “listens,” we “talk,” and then he “challenges!” I have truly been able to benefit from our relationship in navigating the private equity world as well as an IPO and becoming a publicly traded company in 2015. Bob has “been there, done that!” He’s been invaluable to my success. Bob’s business and life successes enable him to help make the Fisch Tales book an important read for Millennials and Baby Boomers!
On his first day of work out of college, Bob Fisch was one of 100 new hires who heard the CEO of Abraham & Straus (A&S) New York identify ambitious milestones in career advancement. The new employees were told that only one of them would have what it takes to attain each of the milestones.
That employee turned out to be Bob Fisch. A mere dozen or so years later, true to the CEO’s prediction, Bob was the one who rose to the rank of president—at Casual Corner, a division of U.S. Shoe. While learning his trade at A&S, Bob had the good fortune to work alongside future retail legends like Mickey Drexler (The Gap, J. Crew) and Michael Jeffries (Abercrombie & Fitch).
Bob himself is recognized as a pioneering merchant for his bold and successful innovations in value-priced, fast-fashion retailing, notably at rue21. He took the company from bankruptcy to a fast-track winning streak that included a hot-stock IPO, building a national network of 1,200 stores, and a billion-dollar-plus valuation.
Prestigious retail magazine Chain Store Age named Bob one of “10 CEOs to Watch in 2010.” The criteria for making the very short list, wrote the magazine, was “the influence they wield in their respective categories—and because they are willing to shake things up a bit.”
That describes Bob perfectly in his role as disruptor who always is searching for better ways to inspire people and to ignite excitement in his stores, among customers and staff.
His latest foray into disruption has been in the form of what Bob calls “generation splicing.” It sounds technical, but more than anything it’s about reframing your outlook on life and opening yourself up to finding wisdom from unexpected sources. A self-described Baby Boomer Millennial, Bob Fisch’s life has been uplifted by his dedication to mutual mentorship with Millennials. He teaches them business, and they teach him life.
More than that, he wants everyone to know, regardless of age, that their best is yet to come. With a “whatever it takes” attitude and an excitement to help others reach their fullest potential, Bob’s wisdom, knowledge, experience, and practical methodologies have the power to transform lives and put people on trajectories that they could have only imagined.
Bob’s keen awareness of the human condition laid the groundwork for what would become his book, Fisch Tales. Focused on concepts like “Mutual Mentoring” and inspiring mantras like “We Will Win Together” Bob has fostered a cross-generational understanding among his friends and colleagues that is unprecedented, and now he’s determined to take his message global.