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: 12/13/2017

    Will late deliveries mess up Christmas?

    I think I am in the minority here. Other than weather, with earlier ordering deadlines and the experience and increasing sophistication of FedEx and UPS (not to mention AMAZON) I see a significant improvement.But the challenge will be the expectation. What is an acceptable level? We can say 99.9 percent is acceptable, except for the 0.1 percent don't get the package. And that 0.1 percent could be a huge number.While I expect significant improvement, the issue won't go away for those caught on the wrong end.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    The new NYC Nike store will have a members-only floor

    If I were selling Mercedes-Benz sneakers, I might want to have an exclusive, members-only floor. But this is Nike -- as close to a mass brand as one gets. Why would you want to separate the customers into haves and have nots? Are you not dissing 99.9 percent of your customers with such a move?
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    Will last-minute pickup payoff for Walmart?

    There are two sides to this coin. It is a good idea and will make a lot of last-minute shoppers happy. But if Walmart doesn't handle their inventory properly and starts running out of stock at this this critical time, it will double down on customer disappointment.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Which off-price retailers will withstand the test of time?

    Once upon a time "off-price" was good stuff for less. But consumers have figured out that "off-price" has evolved into less than acceptable quality for less. One can only fool the consumer for so long.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Barnes & Noble wants to get smaller, more bookish

    Why would anybody go to a bookstore to buy a book? OK, of course there are many reasons. But to that point, let's adjust the question a bit: Why would anybody go to a bookstore to buy a toy or a greeting card or vinyl records?I believe the way to go is to downsize the stores, focus on the experience (yes, the coffee shops are extremely important), have more couches for people to sit and read on and sample a book. Make it a gathering place or a place to unwind or a place to escape.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Should marketers personalize products using consumers’ DNA?

    It is inevitable. We will be carrying around little chips (or maybe they will be on our phone) with DNA data and when it comes to health, wellness and beauty products we will scan a QR code on the package and it will tell us if the product is right for us. Or if at home, we will scan our QR code into the products' website and it will spit out what is the perfect match for our ills, mental health or simply the right color lipstick or hair.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Should marketers personalize products using consumers’ DNA?

    Sadly, I am guessing your guests had significant positions with retailers. “We’re sending you email to your personal email address, aren’t we?” unfortunately is what I have come to expect and highlights the biggest problem facing retail ... cluelessness.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Does Everlane need to open stores?

    Michael Preysman explains it perfectly, “It’s just all about how you use the medium that you have.” The key word is medium. The store is not opened to sell things, it is opened to connect a message to customers. It is no different than (and probably better than) straight advertising. As long as they don't lose focus and start thinking that the store is there to sell product they will be successful.Preysman understands that from a selling point of view the traditional brick-and-mortar business model will always be beat by online. And I am sure he doesn't care if no one ever buys one product in his "store" as long they become a loyal online customer.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    Target is the early star of Christmas – online

    While in the past I would always bet on Walmart and never bet on Target, it seems they may be losing that silver bullet mentality. If so, BRAVO. All the bright spots for the holiday season will revolve around retailers that wholeheartedly integrate the omnichannel philosophy.The only real growth retailers will see this holiday season will be online. Even if it represents as little as 5 percent of total revenue, if it is growing at 40 percent that adds a 2 percent increase to the total which is more than the other 95 percent will bring in.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    What is increased mobile holiday traffic doing for sales?

    Brandon's use of the word "digital" is perfect. Retailers too often try to silo communication devices -- the smartphone is different from the tablet is different from the laptop, etc. The user does not distinguish one device from another (the world is likely to move to a single device with the only difference being the size of the screens). Digital will be all-important. It will ultimately be the primary tool for purchasing anything any retailer who tries to hack the consumer's mind will be disappointed.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    Will click & collect finally compel retailers to remodel stores?

    In a supermarket there is a reason why the milk is often in the farthest part of the store and it isn't to keep the milk cold. It is to make the shopper go through other parts of the store in hopes they will buy something else when all they want is some milk.My fear is that many retailers will look at the pickup as an opportunity to make people navigate the store rather than jump in and out. Imagine the CEO asking "How can we sell more?" rather than asking "How can we make this fast and easy for OUR customers?"In reality "fast and easy" will encourage more BOPIS, while "sell more" will send the customer to Amazon.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2017

    Are staff shortages affecting retail sales?

    As Cathy says, "Customers who go online can pay immediately." To the discussion regarding parking, customers who go online don't have to deal with parking. How many issues like these cause friction about going to the mall or the store. I think there is a message here!
  • Posted on: 11/28/2017

    Will early out-of-stocks throw off Walmart’s holiday momentum?

    If one is randomly shopping, it's no big deal. If one is looking for something specific, an online out-of-stock sends them right to Amazon, and that hurts. Will they ever come back? Amazon has set consumer expectations so high that few can meet them. Unless online competitors understand that, few will succeed.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2017

    Encouraging signs for department stores as holiday season kicks off

    Kohl's "is gaining traction with its buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) service with about 40 percent more orders fulfilled on Black Friday this year compared to 2016 ... J.C. Penney reported increased traffic to with visits to the site reaching their highest single-day level on Thanksgiving ... [at Macy's] consumers went online and visited stores to buy winter clothing." Enough said.Without online the ugly trend will continue.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2017

    Did Macy’s Black Friday credit card fail cost it the holidays?

    This is a hiccup on the trail of the demise of Macy's.

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