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: 08/15/2019

    Will thredUP make Macy’s more thrifty?

    This is the first good idea I have seen a department store execute in some time. I really like it. It is all positive. Positive in attracting a new consumer. Positive for utilizing ROI on real estate. And positive in re-defining what a department store is for.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Have emojis become digital’s ice breaker for consumers?

    I think I am too old for this discussion.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2019

    Can Victoria’s Secret recover from its founder’s past relationship with Jeffrey Epstein?

    VS has been out of step with the fashion trends of younger buyers. The annual VS special will not be broadcast this year. The ratings over the last 10 years have plummeted. Their story is no longer one that anyone is buying. And I am not talking about style. I am taking about message. Unfortunately, the Wexler/Epstein scandal just confirms the mindset (true or not) of a company that is out of step with the times. Lingerie is an image thing. This is no longer a successful image.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2019

    Is it a stretch for Target to carry Levi’s pricier red tab jeans?

    This is a no-brainer! These are not $500 jeans. The red tab fits nicely with the Target brand. (Gee, I am finally agreeing with something Target is doing.) Let Walmart focus on the $20 Levis, it fits their brand image. But I will continue to buy my 511s online. It is just plain easier.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2019

    Has Christmas arrived too early at Selfridges?

    This isn't about Christmas, It is about Selfridges. No other retailer could pull this off. This is the history and personality of this great retailer. Forgive me and correct me if I get the story wrong but, as I watched the Masterpiece series, the Christmas in summer at Selfridges was introduced at the darkest point of World War I as a lift to the population. It has been a tradition ever since. With this summer's heat in London, it again sounds appropriate.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2019

    Walmart trains quarterly for active shooter events

    Sad, sad, sad. I am not sure what "prepare" means. It certainly doesn't mean stop it. Focus on the aftermath. That is where the retailer can do the most good.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    It is hard to cull this list. It is a perfect analysis. Patricia sums it up best, "All these symptoms point to the same root cause – disconnected leadership at the top!"
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    CVS subscription program goes big to outdo Amazon Prime

    Why do we always have to talk about going against Amazon? This is a good program in itself. Easy peasy! It is customer-oriented and that is where all programs should start. It either makes sense for CVS customers and CVS or it doesn't. Amazon should not be part of the equation.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    The Container Store debuts new custom closet store concept

    I love those pictures of an organized closet. Why don't mine ever look that way?
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    Does Etsy need free shipping?

    Prime aside, even on Amazon free shipping isn't free. The shopper is paying for shipping. You may not see it as a separate charge, but it is in the price. That being said, free shipping is the ante to play the game.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    Will outsourcing jobs help Lowe’s associates better serve customers in stores?

    I think the BrainTrust team nailed it. This is a convoluted explanation for what is ultimately layoffs and a cost reduction.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Should Simon Property Group bail out (invest in) more retail tenants?

    I know a couple of billionaires who made their money by taking equity in Silicon Valley start-ups rather than rent. I am not sure this is the same issue. If the mall property owners have an opportunity to get a better return though an investment (cutting rent) than by the rent itself, then, by all means do it. And, make sure the "investment" is in the company and not related to the the success of individual stores in any mall, or no mall at all. But if the retailer is struggling, stay away and find a better use for your property. Retail malls as we know them are not coming back. Hopefully the property owners will rejuvenate their property, but not with down trending retailers.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2019

    Kroger to make customers pay for cash-back debit card payments

    Does this idea come out of the "How Can We Annoy Our Customer" department?
  • Posted on: 07/30/2019

    The clock is ticking for J.C. Penney

    Here is the question: "Why would any customer go back to J.C. Penney? Can they offer something more than the former customer has already found somewhere else?" Nothing else matters. J.C. Penney is dead, they just don't know it yet. At this point, the best strategy would be determining how to maximize value in a wind-down.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2019

    Is private equity ownership killing retail?


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