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: 08/17/2017

    Is Walmart on an unstoppable run?

    No surprise here. I have given big bravos to Walmart for all the things they are trying. Who knows which of their acquisitions will prove out to be beneficial but if you don't try them, you never know. Walmart has understood for a long time that the basic retail business has matured and their Supercenter business model has matured along with it. Now they are trying, trying, trying in the Bezos mode. There will be payouts down the road.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will military tech give Amazon an edge delivering packaged meals?

    This doesn't sound very appealing to me and a bit counter to the fresh and natural trend. But I have learned not to bet against Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will more promos fix Dick’s Sporting Goods pricing challenge?

    Consumer perception, no matter what the subject, is a long-term issue plus or minus. In this case, unfortunately, it is a minus. So to solve a long-term issue, you need a long-term solution.Promotion is a short-term solution. If pricing perception is a real problem, then everyday prices must be dropped. If pricing is a perceived problem, then added value must be shouted. Pricing is part of overall strategy, promotion is a tactic that doesn't solve this strategic issue.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Will Aldi upset the grocery home delivery cart?

    I am not sure I agree with the word "upset." The only thing that is going to "upset" grocery home delivery is if something stops it. Home delivery of groceries will continue to grow and grow and if a grocer is not seeing it, they will be left holding their grocery sack.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2017

    Will Amazon’s new return policy help or hurt its marketplace sellers?

    Unfortunately, some marketplace retailers tend to think of returns as something coming from the enemy. And I have found some of their policies a bit convoluted.As a result I avoid buying from all marketplace retailers, period. I don't even give them a chance. To their credit, however, I have never had a problem -- but why make it harder for me than it has to be?The marketplace retailers should join the 21st century.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2017

    Are the four Ps of marketing irrelevant for retailers?

    The four Ps are far from dead. They may be more relevant today than ever.Start with place -- instead of the store its my laptop and instead of going to the store to buy, the product is delivered to my home.Product is about delivering the unique selling features that a certain customer wants. How can that ever go away?Price is the dollars and cents of an item, it is the value of the item to the buyer.Promotion isn't just cents off, it is communication.To me it is impossible to operate in any selling world without dealing with the four Ps.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2017

    Are there too many grocery stores?

    Absolutely! And we will see closings in the future. Let's go back a generation or two and look at how people shopped at the supermarket. There was that once-a-week trip to stock up on everything. Mostly staples. The baskets would overflow.Without addressing niche markets, consider how many shoppers are getting their staples from other sources. Costco, online, Amazon. As they fill these needs there is less a demand for the center-store real estate of the supermarket. Now it becomes a place of fill-in and fresh.The trend will continue and the core real estate of the supermarket will not only become less valuable to the shopper but an albatross to the operator.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2017

    Should stores entertain bored tag-along shoppers?

    ... only if they want the shopping partner to stay in the store longer!
  • Posted on: 07/27/2017

    Are post-merger culture clashes inevitable?

    M&A fails 55 percent to 80 percent of the time, depending on the study. The single biggest reason is poor strategy in determining what companies to combine (often management hubris). The number two reason is culture clash, which most companies ignore. And those that see that it is going to be a problem do nothing about it. (Some great examples are Daimler/Chrysler and HP/Compaq.)What to do? Understand that there will be clashes and the lower one goes in the organization the harder to change the culture. Conduct culture assessment during the due diligence period. Be clear on what culture you want to see in the end. Be open and transparent. Focus on people's emotions.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2017

    Will ‘doubling down’ on tech help McD’s disrupt the fast food business?

    I am not sure we are talking about disruption here. To me, it is more like progress. I have visited fast food restaurants in China, Czech Republic and Austria (not just McDonald's) and found various operators, including McDonald's employing technology. In France, McDonald's has had kiosk ordering for at least five years.Bravo for McDonald's for moving forward, but they are not the only ones.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How will smaller rivals survive in an Amazon and Walmart world?

    Perfect: "It’s insane to think that almost all major retail innovations that are being implemented come from Amazon. This is simply a lack of caring about what’s in it for the customer. What will make their experience, whether online or offline, something so effortless and pleasant that they will come back again and again?"
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How will smaller rivals survive in an Amazon and Walmart world?

    Amazon and Walmart online are animals. Walmart is a retailer with no room for the small guy to participate. Amazon is a facilitator and the smart, small guys can utilize Amazon for their own means.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How will smaller rivals survive in an Amazon and Walmart world?

    I was with you Bob, until you got to the "faceless, nameless, cold online experience." While the "Cheers" experience has great value at a favorite bar, restaurant or Starbucks, I am not looking for that in a store. In a store (when I go) I want speed and efficiency. Where can I find it and how fast can I get through the checkout?I recently stopped into a retailer to buy some undershirts. Looking for three for $20. After all, this is a shirt that nobody sees. The sales guy tries to up-sell me on $25-each undershirts. I walked out and went to Amazon (three for $15).
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How should retailers reinvent the center store?

    Great comment Brandon. Unfortunately, the toxicity of the center store has become a cloud over the entire conventional supermarket. The center store in conventional supermarkets made Whole Foods possible.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    Will dropping prices on cosmetics drive traffic to department stores?

    I guess the question that one should ask is, is the price of cosmetics the reason we are losing traffic? If not, why is dropping the price of cosmetics the solution?

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