Gene Detroyer

Professor, International Business, Guizhou University of Finance & Economics; Executive Director, Global Commerce Education
Most simply, Gene Detroyer makes things happen. He has been a business builder his entire career. He started two companies which were later sold. Today he is advising, consulting and motivating a range of clients both in the U.S. and internationally. Unable to stay away from start-ups, he is currently involved in building and launching an innovative experiential executive education program for US-based enterprises entering global markets, the G2 Experience, with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Commerce.
His traditional experience includes 17 years marketing consumer products through food, mass and drug channels. He is credited with building new businesses now worth over $400 million. A traditional career went out the window with his first start-up; putting TVs in supermarket aisles and putting advertising on them, which was merged into NBC. He has had consulting gigs with Coca Cola, companies like HSN wishing to bring their products to retail and start-ups. His second entrepreneurial venture brought the Today® Contraceptive Sponge back to market in the U.S.  That company was sold in 2007.
Beyond consumer products, he is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy at The European School of Economics.  He also teaches at the Weller International Business School in Paris, France.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?

    No matter how "near me" the retailer is, it is still more convenient just to order on the phone.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    Will same-day delivery make for a merry Old Navy Christmas?

    I think the timing is perfect. Now I know if I need a present and I need it today, I go to Old Navy. What I don't know is if I will really get it today.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Chipotle asks sick employees to call the nurse

    This certainly is a welcome change in mindset from the historical employer-employee relationship.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Did Aviation Gin just make lemonade from Peloton’s lemons?

    After reading the objections to the Peloton commercial my wife and I watched it. After the first view, we could not find any objection. So we watched again, and again, and again. Still no objection. I can understand why I might not get it, but my wife is a health care professional that regularly deals with women and body image challenges. I must surmise, if she didn't see anything, there wasn't any implication by Peloton along the lines of what was alleged in the tweets and the news.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Will female-led pop-ups add pop to Macy’s Christmas?

    These pop-ups may generate some incremental sales. But will they generate a shopping trip to Macy's that would not have otherwise happened? I doubt it.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    How has the retail seasonal hiring playbook changed?

    The biggest challenge is demographics. The size of the U.S. labor force for those 65 and under is stagnant and projections through 2024 show no growth. Beyond that the size may actually decline. As the labor force remains level or contracts, more people end up in full time jobs and less are available for seasonal positions.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    I am not sure why anyone would not sign up for a retailer's loyalty program. You don't have to do anything and if you get lucky you get a few discounts. For me, the best loyalty programs are the airlines and hotels. In those cases it is not about the miles or points, it is all about the perks that go along with your level, including upgraded rooms, free lounge access, special check-in lines, 4 p.m. check out for hotels; for airlines upgraded seating or class, special check-in lines, club access, expedited luggage handling, early boarding and expedited security lines.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    Paid loyalty programs have worked well for one large retailer, too. Amazon Prime accomplishes exactly what loyalty programs are designed to accomplish. People pay for it and it has 101 million members.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2019

    Will Kroger’s dark kitchens cook up something good?

    Unless you are Wegmans, why would a supermarket want to prepare meals for delivery in every store? That is far from their core competence. The "dark kitchen" solves that problem. Having someone else do what they do better than you is a basic business principle. The challenge is quality. Will the program get so big that Kroger can no longer control the quality of the product (if it matters)? The long term impact may be that these dark kitchens become consumer businesses themselves. But if they do, there really is no downside to Kroger or any others who use them.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Can Barnes & Noble afford to take it easy over the holidays?

    This holiday season is not going to make or break Barnes & Noble. Their challenge is much bigger than that. They are caught in "no man's land." Not cozy, not convenient. The question Barnes & Noble has to ask to determine a long term strategy is "Why should anyone go to Barnes & Noble?" And don't speculate. The answer lies with the customers who are actually going to the stores.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Why is Allbirds asking Amazon to do a better job ripping it off?

    The one thing I know now is that the $45 Amazon knock-off is not the same as the $95 Allbirds shoe.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Mobile jumps out as retailers get a mixed start to the holiday season

    It is still about "location, location, location." It wasn't that long ago that the location moved from the store to the desktop. Now it is moving from the desk to the hand. It is all about convenience. As smartphones become more and more of an extension of our lives, more and more ordering will move to mobile. In China, four out of five e-commerce dollars are generated through mobile purchases. It is worth repeating, "location, location, location." And you can't get a closer purchasing location than in one's hand.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Will its ‘culture of recognition’ be a game winner for Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    The key comment in the article is "momentum breeds momentum.” And it should should be noted that it works in both directions. When praise and rewards have a high profile, it not only affects those getting the recognition, but those who see that the company appreciates people and good contributions. Similarly, when a company ignores contributions, even by the lowest level employees, it sends a message to every employee that they are regarded only as robots here to do a job. Unfortunately, too many retail operations see those working in the stores as those robots and not as long term contributors to the success of the company.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2019

    Amazon wants to take the lead on regulating facial recognition tech

    I don't trust the American government. I don't trust corporate America. Maybe we can let the EU design the regulations.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2019

    Can grocery shopping make people less lonely?

    This is a nice idea with no downside. Our grocery store has a little corner that people share. There are always people there. The Whole Foods area for food isn't as much for visiting as for eating. Starbucks built a business on this concept, surely it will work in grocery stores.

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