Tom Dougherty

President and CEO, Stealing Share
Tom Dougherty is President and CEO of brand company Stealing Share. He has developed brands across all industries positioning them to grow and steal market share. Tom's unique perspective and opinions are often sought and quoted by The New York Times, FOX Business and CNN as well as many industry journals.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Why is the U.S. so bad at airport retailing?

    There is a difference between international travelers and domestic travelers. (Note that I did not say airports -- I said travelers.)The U.S. domestic traveler has little time between domestic flights at hubs. Shopping is the last thing on their minds. The entire airline and airport experience is about hurry-up and get it over with.International travelers often have more time between connecting flights and are looking for different cultural offerings. So they shop. Americans just don't. Even duty free shops at U.S. airports are less busy than their OUS equivalents.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2017

    What could a new memes platform mean for retail?

    It's hard to see memes as threats. But they certainly add another, albeit inefficient, means of reaching customers and loyalists. Another social network to manage. Sounds like a nightmare to me.If the retailer's goal is to increase visibility by getting shoppers to create memes that support visitations then they need to rethink current old-school merchandising strategies.Controversial and outrageous merchandising to foster meme creation requires looking at our current models quite differently.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Will being more like Home Depot work for J.C. Penney?

    If you go see a surgeon they recommend surgery. Hire a home improvement guy and ... surprise! They suggest selling hardware and appliances.I'm hesitant to criticize any department store that is trying a new model. God knows they need a redefinition and a vision for the future. But selling major appliances is not the solution. These are destination purchases and are NOT something you discover you need while shopping.Sears hemorrhages market share because no one wants to shop for those things in malls. They want to buy them not look at them. It's a category that is driven by price, selection and installation. The convenience is in not having to go to a mall to buy them.
  • Posted on: 03/10/2017

    Has proven that online sales are going to the dogs?

    There is only upside potential to online EVERYTHING. Not just pet treats, food and supplies. This is still an immature market space but it is maturing at an incredible pace.Expect logistics to keep up with product offerings. When free delivery is augmented by same-day delivery most every category of goods will migrate to online sales. Traditional retailing will be the exception rather than the rule. Not even grocery stores will be exempt.This means that EVERYONE in traditional retail needs to be willing to redefine not only what they market but how they market.For many, it will be a bitter pill to swallow because the business operations must change. Shedding of real estate will be the news of the day. Until everyone does it.It is a sea change. No less pervasive than the shift from downtown shopping in the '40s and '50s to malls in the '70s and '80s. The downtown stores closed and malls replaced them. Online is doing the same to the market today.Those that make the transition will survive and they will be different. Those that try to stop the tidal change will drown. But markets inevitably seek economies and the genie will never go back into the bottle.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Can RadioShack come back from bankruptcy — again?

    RadioShack has a long history of putting lipstick on a pig. It's over.The chain lacked brand leadership and subsequent relevance. Ask them, they think they re-branded a few years back. A new logo mark and using the colloquial term "the Shack" is not re-branding.In my business (re-branding) we put the fear of God in clients by warning them to not become "the Shack."In brand terms, RadioShack is the movie equivalent of jumping the shark.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2017

    Will Dick’s Sporting Goods win by cutting SKUs?

    There are risks. But, I give Dick's cudos for trying a different approach. Retail needs change. Will Rogers once said, when FDR was elected for the first time ... "If the White House catches fire and burns to the ground we will say at least he got something started."If something even more dramatic is not at least tried, we will all become Macy's.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    Of course they are cannibalizing their in-store sales.But Steve Jobs once warned Sony that you needed to cannibalize your own before someone else eats you.Sony didn't see it with Sony records and the online sales of individual songs (like iTunes). They still wanted to sell albums.Steve said "[Sony] had the inventory and the distribution but they hung onto a failed model (selling entire albums). That ship had already sailed."Retailers need to be where the shopper is. They need to be willing to eat their own young if they are to survive and prosper.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2017

    Will Walmart’s price push pull customers away from Aldi?

    Aside from the Neighborhood Market stores Aldi has an advantage of convenience. But the no-frills and limited selection model of Aldi suffers if pricing is better at Walmart.I think Walmart wins this battle because they are essentially moving the battle line to their advantage.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2017

    Is McDonald’s backpedaling on fast casual with a low-price strategy?

    It's a business reality.Companies want and need to invest in the future but shareholders have the attention span of a gnat. Any slight drop in sales, no matter how temporary, is a debacle.Likewise, any bump in sales is a magic bullet (like all-day breakfast).These businesses need to invest in their brands. I'm not talking about the old models of corporate marks and brand associations. I'm speaking of a connection to an emotional customer self-definition.Will McDonald's recognize that the brand is not about hamburgers but an aspirational need by the target audience? It is about an experience and that experience is to believe a destination is emotionally "them." A whisper from an avatar-customer proclaiming, yes, I want to be that.Or will they think this is all about fast food or fast-casual dining? I'll bet we can guess.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2017

    Will a new TJX concept put more hurt on department stores?

    TJX understands the entertainment factor in retail -- the surprise of discovering something you wanted but never knew you needed.I can't think of too many things they have done wrong as a brand.If they bring that same discipline to the new concept they will succeed. At least until online takes everyone's business away.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2017

    Should L.L.Bean ditch its legendary return policy?

    No. No. No. Just as online retailing is being recognized as the future L.L. Bean CANNOT make returns more difficult.It has become table stakes and any limits on that policy will hurt the brand.What was at one time a differentiator is today simply a best practice.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2017

    Did President Trump go too far with his Nordstrom tweet?

    Nordstrom got a bigger boost from POTUS than they could from any advertising.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    Are vendors and stores headed for a fight over Amazon?

    Vendors do need to follow the consumer. Can they afford to only prize existing relationships at the expense of their own success?Consumer attitudes have changed and the changes are permanent. Traditional retailers are holding on to a failed model because of capital investment.Brick-and-mortar looks about as valuable today as the real brick-and-mortar in a castle's walls -- after the advent of the cannon.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2017

    Target shelves robot store and secret e-commerce start-up

    I have no confidence in Target's store leadership. I even hesitate to call it leadership.This is a sieve of a ship looking to plug holes as it tries to navigate troubled waters. Don't you think it's funny that you know about the SECRET e-commerce initiative?The only secret is how long current executives will keep their jobs.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2017

    Should Macy’s have never gone national?

    It is a department store problem. Look around. Who is doing well? Department stores NEED a new operating model.I hate to get off topic and confuse the problem. But, assuming that someone fixed my earlier point, a single brand makes sense.Local is not (according to research) enough of a powerful switching trigger to foster a store as a destination. The problem is that Federated does not understand BRAND as it is today.What is the Macy's promise? Can anyone tell me in a single sentence? Can anyone tell me how that statement it is different and better from ANY of the competitors? I rest my case.

Contact Tom