This ad will close in

Secret Service

Boost your business by doing a little shopping-undercover, of course.

Thomas Stemberg, the CEO and founder of Staples, is addicted to shopping. Despite the fact that he heads an $11 billion store chain, Stemberg continues to shop the competition in person, sometimes even enlisting family members to help-including his mother-in-law, who, he says, "was a regular shopper at Office Depot's delivery business to help me learn how it worked."

Shopping the competition is one method of stimulating growth and innovation for your retail operation. It's easy, do-it-yourself research that can help you find your marketing edge by monitoring service from the customer's perspective.


Mystery shopping is an early warning system for any business that relies on extensive public contact.

Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the September 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Secret Service.

Loading the player ...

How You Can Inspire the Best From Your Employees

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.