Gene Detroyer

Professor, European School of Economics
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: 12/09/2016

    Study: Diversity works for retail stores

    I don't know if this issue is directly applicable to a retail store. But study after study in general business shows that the more diverse a company is, from top to bottom, the better its performance.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2016

    Will e-gifting replace gift cards?

    I am sure there will be occasions when a physical gift card is appropriate. (Funny, I think we had this discussion some years ago about gift cards replacing purchased presents.) But beyond those unique occasions, why would one not use e-gifting instead of a gift card? Everybody wins.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail?

    This made the news this morning and my wife reacted positively. "Positively" is an understatement. If this works, she is in. Her words, "I hate standing on the checkout line and I hate checking out. I have more important things to do."This is one of those technologies that if we can do it, why wouldn't we? With the caveat of it being as accurate as a human checker, it is a "no-brainer."
  • Posted on: 11/23/2016

    What will Trump’s TPP rejection mean for retail?

    Retail thrives when the economy thrives. Retail suffers when the economy suffers. TPP is full of new jobs for America. The countries represented in the agreement represent more potential customers of the economy than there are customers in the U.S. by itself. The withdrawal just hands the business to China who is waiting with open arms to take the U.S.'s place in the agreement.Prices will go up, as will the cost of living. But more importantly than that, we are closing significant opportunities of economic growth by cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world while they move ahead. As hard as it is to swallow, they don't need the United States.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2016

    Will table service be a difference-maker for McDonald’s?

    Touch ordering and table service is nice, but ordering and having food delivered that is below par doesn't help any experience.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2016

    Will Alexa-exclusive deals bring holiday cheer to Amazon?

    When I teach business development, I teach it as a game of dominoes. The next development must be connected in some way with the business you are already doing. It should be connected by brand or customers or technology or channels, etc. The operative word is "OR."Steve Jobs was brilliant at this and Apple continues in this development vein. Look where they started and look where they are today. GE is another company that has practiced it for over 100 years, adding and shedding domino tiles as appropriate, but always connected to something.Jeff Bezos may the absolute best at this. He is a systems thinker and uses every domino tile to enhance every other part of the business. (Does he still sell books?)The Alexa connection has little to do with holiday selling and everything to do with SELLING!
  • Posted on: 11/11/2016

    Will Donald Trump’s presidency be good for retailers?

    I don't dispute your comments. What I emphasize is that tariffs and perhaps trade wars will hurt the economy. It will increase the cost of living and will not produce new jobs. That is not speculation, that is based on decades of data.Today more than ever, tariffs will encourage global companies in the U.S. to move even more operations out of the U.S.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2016

    Will Donald Trump’s presidency be good for retailers?

    Over 85 percent of American manufacturing jobs have been lost to productivity. 2016 will be a record year for U.S. manufacturing. It has doubled since 2000 and increased sixfold since 1985. Yet, from 2000 until now, manufacturing jobs have declined by over 35 percent. If tariffs are put on imported goods, those tariffs are not paid by the companies, they are paid by the consumer. The cost of living will increase substantially. If U.S. companies decided to manufacture particular goods, they will use the tariffs as price protection. The price point will not go down.And why will they manufactur in the U.S., when 95 percent of their customers are outside the U.S.? General Motors' biggest investments are in China, not because they are going to bring the cars back to the U.S., but because the U.S. market pales by the size of the Asian markets.A bit over 50 percent of the revenue of the S&P 500 is out of the U.S. Close to 66 percent of the Dow Jones 30 revenue is outside the U.S. Some of the DJI companies have 80 percent and 90 percent of their revenue from outside the U.S.The manufacturing jobs are not returning. The microchip is the winner, not foreign countries.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2016

    Singles Day 2016 is setting new records

    The message here is the potential of internet retailing. China never had a brick-and-mortar retail infrastructure. Without that, this is how retail developed. It would be the same in the U.S. if we weren't slowed down by the brick-and-mortar infrastructure.This will be retailing in the U.S. in the distant future and closer than that in global marketplace. Maybe not Singles Day, but the majority of share of retail that is done online. U.S. retailers take note.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2016

    Will Samsung’s recall issues ruin Best Buy’s Christmas?

    Samsung is more than Galaxy 7 and Best Buy is more than Samsung. If Best Buy is on top of this they have already made adjustments for the Samsung problem. What Best Buy has going for it is that electronics are electronics and that demand will not go away.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2016

    Gillette suffers nicks from Harry’s/Target’s partnership

    So I walk into Target. I see the Harry's display. As a Gillette user for umpteen decades, I say, "Gee, let me try that." I do. I like it. Do I go back to Target to buy my refills? Never. Harry will send them to me forever. Target wins a little. Harry wins a lot. The other guys lose.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2016

    Now Amazon wants to clean your home

    It could not be said better!
  • Posted on: 11/07/2016

    Ode to retail: Death of the traditional mall

    I don't know how many of the BrainTrustees actually remember "Main Street." I do. Main Street was the center of town. It was a gathering place. Though there were many stores, it was not a retail center. It was a social center. You would go almost everyday, if just to buy an ice cream cone or a newspaper. You would meet friends as planned or by chance. The merchants knew you.Main Street disappeared because the mall moved retail to a central loction, killing the Main Street retailers. If you wanted to buy, go to the mall. The mall was driven by retail sales. Today, there are alternatives for the retail sales that don't require going to the mall. Online is taking away their reason for being. They must find a new structure or they will go the way of Main Street.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2016

    Ode to retail: Death of the traditional mall

    As you say, "Making destinations that are worth the drive, would seem to be the most appropriate strategy here." When one considers the total elapsed time to drive to the mall, find parking, walk the mall and drive home just to make a purchase, one is hard-pressed to justify that against opening the computer and ordering something that may even be here tomorrow. The mall must justify the time with alternative attraction. That, almost by definition, will cut down on the the traffic and the number of times the potential shopper will go and therefore the retail portion will shrink dramatically.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2016

    Will a national loyalty program yield rewards for Whole Foods?

    We have three supermarkets in our neighborhood. Two have loyalty programs. The other is Whole Foods. We shop at Whole Foods. We shop at Whole Foods because of the offerings. No loyalty program will influence that.We will likely benefit from a loyalty program if it gives us discounts on what we are already buying, but I don't see it benefiting Whole Foods, at least with this customer. Send me a coupon on a product I already buy and I will use it, maybe.For Whole Foods, when the luster wears off it will turn into a race to the bottom, just like every other loyalty program.

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