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: 04/08/2019

    Will Alexa earbuds advance Amazon’s virtual assistant ambitions?

    In the not too distant future, we will all look like aliens with little things sticking out of our ears, at home, on the road, at the movies, in the office, in automobiles and sadly, even in restaurants. Technology will move from the device to the body. All our technology and communication will follow us, not caring where we are, even in the comfort of our living room.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2019

    Should uniform pricing be the norm for large chains?

    Dynamic pricing works for airlines and hotels and is a great model for profitability. But it is easier when you are selling one seat or hotel room rather than a myriad of goods. In today's connected world, where a large national chain has a national website with prices, local prices should reflect the online price, which negates the "local" pricing.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2019

    Trump’s China tariff dispute leaves retail and consumer brands in limbo

    Sadly, the changes that companies are instituting will not be reversed. As companies and countries adjust they will not re-adjust when the "trade war" is finished. Trump has already won the "trade war" but he doesn't seem to know it or care. The Chinese have already made changes for foreign companies not requiring a Chinese partner, FDI, IP, and any requirements for sharing technology (granted, enforcement is always an issue). These concessions are in China's interest and they understand it. These changes were determined by the Congress, not just a trade negotiator. My fear is that the administration will always find a reason not to lift the tariffs. So retailers better be prepared for the long haul. China can play the long game. 82 percent of China's exports go to countries other than the U.S.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    McDonald’s reverses positions, won’t actively oppose minimum wage hikes

    While increasing wages for employees is great for employees, I am not sure that the public responds to that. However, when a company vocally opposes minimum wage, the public will respond negatively and it will hurt business. I would recommend to these companies, stay out of the controversy and do what you need to do with your employees. While studies on changes in minimum wage have been mixed, the reality in the hamburger business is that you are talking about a minor increase in price of the items. And let's face it, we will think nothing of that burger costing 10 cents more tomorrow.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    Okay Google, how can you help grow Walmart’s online grocery business?

    Voice ordering will pick up next year and the year after and continue to grow. I am not sure when it will reach the tipping point, but the tipping point may be something entirely different. The ordering system of the future may not even be terribly interactive with the shopper. The Samsung refrigerator makes a list of what in the refrigator needs to be replenished. Will the kitchen cabinets do the same? The development and understanding of these technologies all revolve around one word -- "convenience." Anything that makes the process more convenient (after the learning curve) for the shopper will win in the end.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

    The Apple Card is the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPhone

    Several of my colleagues referenced WeChat. This is not WeChat. This is largely a pay system. WeChat is an everything system that includes pay. That is a big difference.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

    Has wearable tech already gone out of style?

    If wearable tech means clothing and fashion, it is a fool's errand. If wearable technology means replacing technology that I have to use my hands for, then we are just seeing the beginning. I haven't worn a watch in over five years. I never had to, I always had a phone to tell me the time. If I could totally replace my phone for EVERYTHING I use it for, I may go back to a watch. But, better yet, if I could do that with glasses, I am golden. I would have to lose the typing and have it all voice interactive. We aren't far away. Perfection will come.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

    Will AI transform Ahold Delhaize’s fresh food supply chain?

    AI is becoming more a part of everyone's supply chain every day. A ship carrying a key competent in manufacturing an item is delayed by a storm. The system knows it and automatically changes the schedule at the plant to manufacture something else. No human is involved. AI in the grocery supply chain will deal with more variables than are humanly possibly can The efficiencies will be huge, until... That is, until you get to the shelf. The retailer will have to change the process of shelving items in the store. When you have a system that is perfect in getting the right product at the right time to the store, you better be ready to execute to get that product out to the shopper in a scheme that will change everyday. We often have talked about "the last mile." In this case, we must took at "the last 10 feet."
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Will brands shine in a new online platform for shopping outlets?

    This is great. Now I can go online and buy the outlet brands and won't have to go to the outlet.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2019

    Wait … did Whole Foods just open a bodega on Manhattan’s Westside?

    I agree with most of my colleagues -- the perfect idea. More and more the importance of convenience to today's lives is being understood by retailers. Unfortunately, many supermarkets still put milk at the back of the store so people must walk through the entire length of the store to get a container. No convenience there. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about Target's convenience efforts, without much enthusiasm. This beats it by a mile and more. And finally, the price perception goes in favor of Whole Foods as bodegas are ridiculously high priced, 50 percent to 100 percent higher than the conventional NYC supermarket. (Yes, people pay a lot for convenience.) And the likelihood of finding anything healthy in a bodega is almost nil.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Target plans to speed grab-and-go purchases with ‘Snack Bar’

    The location features Pizza Hut products, self-serve Icees, popcorn, beef jerky and the like. Really? At Target? Wouldn't 7-Eleven be easier? Is that the way Target sees itself?
  • Posted on: 03/18/2019

    Burger King launches $5-a-month coffee subscription service

    My first reaction was, what a great idea! People will stop off on their way to work for their cup of coffee and get something else. Then I read further: "the subscription provides members one small hot coffee." I don't know how small, small is, but now the question comes to my mind, is it worth the effort? I think not.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2019

    Will 5G bring the tech benefits that consumers and marketers expect?

    When we first interact with 5G we will say "way cool" and be impressed by the speed. Within days, it will be ho-hum and we will never think about it again. Of course, the speeds that impress us today will quickly become unacceptable. But people won't be embracing 5G benefits mainly as consumers. It is in every other aspect of our lives that things will change -- things that we will have little control over. Self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, trains and planes, supply chain, 3D printing, entertainment, data feedback and the list goes on.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2019

    Will Walmart’s new tablet burn into Amazon Fire’s market share?

    If this just about tablets, it really isn't a concern for Amazon. As we continue to meld our personal devices together, tablets as such won't be a category. The concern should be focused on all electronics manufacturers. Is this the first (and easiest) step for Walmart to test its way into their own electronics products? Each of us could go to an electronics manufacturer and market our own private label tablet. Phones, laptops and interactive devices are more complex. Is Walmart simply starting with something easy to determine if they have the resources and talents to play organically in this field?
  • Posted on: 03/12/2019

    What will it take to make department stores relevant again?

    What will department stores look like in 10 years? The only thing we may recognize is the banner over the store. In 10 years there will be nothing resembling the traditional department store. (To Art's comment: ...they are no longer department stores and have not been for a long time.) My question is, why do we keep talking about this?

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