PROFILE

Gene Detroyer

Professor, International Business, Guizhou University of Finance & Economics and University of Sanya, China.
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.
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  • Posted on: 07/01/2022

    Where robots fit into the online grocery store ops equation

    I normally do not make comments when I come to the discussions this late. But this topic annoys my sensibilities on two counts. The first is the pickers in the aisles competing for aisles and products with the shoppers. It is simple. They make the shopping experience exasperating. The second is the entire idea of filling from the shelves. I have had operations reporting to me for most of my working career. The system most retailers use breaks everything in Operations 101. It is expensive, labor-intensive, and convoluted. I understand why it was initially started this way as a necessity. But now, two years later, there is no reason it remains a Ruben Goldberg project. The first step is to eliminate shelf picking. If necessary, add on backroom space to shelve and pick in an efficient manner. The better idea is to have a completely separate facility to handle this complex task. If you gave this to an operations or systems class as a case study, it would be laughable. All that being said, grocery retailers should by all means rate higher than Amazon in the various measures of customer satisfaction and cost. Despite the size of the Amazon business, grocery is far from their forte.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Marketers are still trying to figure out women’s sports 50 years after Title IX

    WOW! You are really old if you remember bowling. But at least your mind is young and modern, "the whole notion of 'Men’s' and 'Women’s' sports a little too 19th century."
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Marketers are still trying to figure out women’s sports 50 years after Title IX

    I actually think the ROI will be better because those who initially sponsor women's sports will pay a substantially lower fee than for the same men's sport. The second highest paid female athlete only made $11 million in endorsements and sponsorships.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Should investors be worried after RH lowered its forecast for the second time this month?

    This discussion relates to today's discussion on the frugal consumer. The question many more consumers will be asking themselves is, should I spend $5,000 for an RH sofa or spend $2,000 at West Elm and go on a nice vacation?
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Will consumers become even more frugal post-pandemic?

    "Thirty-one percent who have substantially or completely drained their savings." That is an entire discussion in itself. YIKES! One thing the pandemic taught many is the redefinition of the word "need." The discovery that we could get along without the next new thing or fashion helped consumers look hard at what they thought they needed and what they really wanted to spend their money on. This rethinking will remain with a sizable portion of the population. It isn't a matter of being more "frugal." It is a matter of being more thoughtful and more satisfied with the use of their money.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Marketers are still trying to figure out women’s sports 50 years after Title IX

    I actually like the basketball played by the WNBA better than in the men's NBA. And who is not inclined to watch the women's USA soccer rather than the men? The top athletes in the world actually earn more money "off the field" than on. My question always is, are they worth it? My answer is always "no way." Fifty percent of the population is women, 44 percent of collegiate athletes are women. It seems those that do not take advantage of the numbers are missing something big. They should dip their toe in the participation. It won't be expensive and the payoff may be a lot greater than paying LeBron James $80 million annually in off-the-court earnings.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    Paying for it.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    We regularly have gun buy-backs in NYC. It is a great scheme. Bad guys turn in their guns, get cash, and get more guns. The winner is the manufacturers of guns. Is this the circular economy?
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    Culture, culture, culture!
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    Except for banks, I don't recall seeing security people in retailers 20 or 30 years ago.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    I am curious. BrainTrust, when was the first time you noticed any security personnel in a retail store?
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    A federal tax holiday is nice. State tax holidays would even be nicer. But the real question is, what happens after 90 days? I believe the only sustainable solution is to put a cap on what the oil companies can make per gallon. While all of us are experiencing the hurt, the oil companies will triple their bottom line in this windfall. Price controls are not a new idea. Price controls on fuel were last implemented in 1974. For retailers, the problem is greater than a dozen donuts. Prepare for continued pressure. Understand that prices will not retreat and plan for that.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    Exactly! Since 2008 the Fed has increased the money supply by $3 trillion. That is a more than a five-fold increase. Now we have an unsupportable flush of money chasing the same goods and services. Economics 101 says that kind of increase leads to inflation after inflation after inflation.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    What worked at Target didn’t work for Mark Tritton at Bed Bath & Beyond

    There is a big difference between the chief merchandising officer and the chief executive officer. It seems that Bed Bath & Beyond has been a one-trick pony for the last several years -- the trick being 20 percent-off coupons. As we have seen, the problems with Bed Bath & Beyond go much deeper than being fixed by their single trick. I suspect Mr. Tritton's experience at Target did not include the operating breadth that was needed. Ms. Gove's background in finance, operations, and strategy are what is needed at Bed Bath & Beyond. The big question is, "is it too late?"
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    This is dangerous but necessary. Judging what is a justifiable assault to respond to versus ultra-angry behavior is going to be very difficult. Are we going to experience a slippery slope? What has happened to the culture of this country is very disturbing. I believe that the only way to solve these issues is to change the culture, which in the short term is impossible. I am saddened by the way people react to everyday slights and less. Somehow, we as a population have made this kind of reaction acceptable. Yes, we wring our hands, but we do nothing about it. Aggressive behavior has become acceptable.

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