Store visits: Good for the CEO, good for the company

A recent RetailWire discussion focused on Terry Lundgren, the CEO of Macy’s, and discussed the amount of time he spends visiting stores. This sort of “stealth visit” would be a good habit for middle managers to pick up, too, as my comment suggests:

While I doubt that Mr. Lundgren spends forty full weeks visiting stores — after all, he has a few other things to do — even forty trips to markets or individual branches are well worthwhile. And doing this without advance warning is a great idea; anybody who has worked in retail knows about the “state visit” syndrome when everyone knows that the boss is on his or her way.

If I were in a CEO’s chair, I would focus on three things: The merchandise content; the service standards; and, the presentation and housekeeping standards. That’s a pretty all-encompassing list but a stealth visit could be very eye-opening.

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