Barnes & Noble sold - new CEO doesn't like mystery shoppers

I read an article in Sunday's NY Times about the new CEO of Barnes & Noble. He comes from a UK chain that is owned by the same company that just bought B&N. I found this piece of the article very interesting. If he does the same thing here, the low paying (reimbursement for drink only unless you wait for a bonus) could become a thing of the past. I'm quoting the relevant portion of the article here since the NYT requires a subscription to read their articles.


When Mr. Daunt took over Waterstones, he did away with so-called mystery shoppers, a common retail tactic in which undercover buyers report on a variety of performance metrics at stores, like speed of service and tidiness. Mr. Daunt considered this patronizing and bound to engender ill will between management and staff. He needed employees who relished their work, preferably book lovers who evangelized about their favorite reads.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 02:08AM by MisterBill.

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I don’t think I like being referred to as “so called” and part of a “retail tactic”. Seems demeaning by reporter.
"So called" doesn't bother me. I can see "tactic" being demeaning but given the "patronizing" description, it's likely the opinion of the new CEO.
Well, look at the MSC who does Barnes and Nobles who is well-known for the only requirement for their mystery shoppers is they are breathing. Who knows what kind of feedback as a whole was given Barnes and Nobles.

Kim
@kimmiemae wrote:

... is well-known for the only requirement for their mystery shoppers is they are breathing...

Crap. I may not qualify.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@kimmiemae wrote:

Well, look at the MSC who does Barnes and Nobles who is well-known for the only requirement for their mystery shoppers is they are breathing. Who knows what kind of feedback as a whole was given Barnes and Nobles.
Plus you have to be willing to work for nothing (or almost nothing)

At least their form has room for comments. A fast food chain they do has no comment sections. Makes up for the fact that it's reimbursement only.
Book lover here. Here's to a better future in which book people are heard, respected, and responded to by the people who seek to serve them well. There are plenty of other places for mystery shoppers to shop in which book-loving is not a requirement or even a preference for the job.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. - Peg Bracken
I frequent two bookstores in which the employees are book lovers, the customers (obviously) are book lovers, and we get to know each other. I have had employees of the bookstore call me when something they thought I would like happened to come in. And I have very offbeat tastes. I think your wish is already a reality in many places.


@Shop-et-al wrote:

Book lover here. Here's to a better future in which book people are heard, respected, and responded to by the people who seek to serve them well. There are plenty of other places for mystery shoppers to shop in which book-loving is not a requirement or even a preference for the job.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@kimmiemae wrote:

Well, look at the MSC who does Barnes and Nobles who is well-known for the only requirement for their mystery shoppers is they are breathing. Who knows what kind of feedback as a whole was given Barnes and Nobles.

I love how this has become basically a shorthand meme on this forum. smiling smiley

The quote I think you're referring to is from a small claims lawsuit that was aired on a TV show where an attorney attended to represent the MSC. The attorney was asked in an interview after the case what the requirements for mystery shopping were. When the attorney paused the reporter said something like "are there any requirements? Just a breathing human?" And the attorney agreed or at least didn't object.

It makes me laugh because people here got so offended by that even though the attorney that the MSC hired to attend a TV court case would likely not know what the requirements are for the shoppers. That's like asking your worker's comp attorney what kind of certification the plumbers you hired need. They could look it up, but they're not gonna know that kind of thing on the spot.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
Caligirl925. IIRC, it was a manager from the MSC that said this, or confirmed it, not an attorney.

Oops I’m wrong. Not sure if the attorney is employed by the MAC tho. Here is the thread:

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 09:58PM by kenasch.
@panama18 wrote:

Seriously? Judging by what that shop "paid", the old CEO didn't think much of shoppers either.
We don't really know what it cost them since I'm sure the MSC makes a hefty amount. And at least they thought enough of us to actually pay a significant amount for the service.
I need them to stick around for 1 more year - still have books to buy for the kiddo's HS English classes.
@KarenMSW wrote:

I need them to stick around for 1 more year - still have books to buy for the kiddo's HS English classes.
It's not a reimbursement shop so why bother buying them there? Although I guess if you need a book and were going to buy it at B&N it's easier than returning your purchase (assuming it isn't cheaper at Amazon).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 03:43AM by MisterBill.
I think there are at least two types of B & N shoppers... I surmise that many people did not find it bothersome or burdensome to report on observations that they typically make in the due course and process of being in a bookstore that they often visit. They probably figured that getting the extra five bucks or so was a gas rather than a career move.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. - Peg Bracken
@MisterBill wrote:

@KarenMSW wrote:

I need them to stick around for 1 more year - still have books to buy for the kiddo's HS English classes.
It's not a reimbursement shop so why bother buying them there? Although I guess if you need a book and were going to buy it at B&N it's easier than returning your purchase (assuming it isn't cheaper at Amazon).

I'm going there anyway, I might as well get paid for it. And it's usually cheaper and easier to pick them up at B&N, at least for what she needs.
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