WEATHER: Might rain, might not – hard to say. Chance of sun and/or clouds, temps between -46 and 120℉
TRAFFIC: Bad where you are, also other places. Stay home
HOROSCOPE: Chance favors the prepared. Don’t buy into vague generalities. Reject platitudes and forge your own path. We’ve been over this.
SPORTS: Local major league franchise scores more points than other local franchise. Losing coach: “We should have scored more points.”
EVENTS: Your friend’s band that you have no intention of ever seeing is playing tonight. There’s some kind of loud festival going on this weekend and you won’t be able to park anywhere near the farmer’s market
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POLITICS: Holy crap, how does this keep getting worse
SCIENCE: Revolutionary medical breakthrough still ten to twenty years away

Every customer in local store a secret shopper

RICHMOND, VA – Each of the seven customers currently browsing at the Grab ‘N’ Spend grocery store on North Cary Street is a secret shopper, according to in-store loss prevention manager Todd Balto. He has been watching events unfold from the store office on closed circuit television.

“They’ve been in here, some of them, for 45 minutes, just trailing each other around,” said Balto. “They’re not buying anything, and it looks like none of them has caught on.”

Secret shoppers are persons employed by various companies to visit stores as anonymous customers, sometimes conducting market research, customer service evaluations, or loss prevention.

The Grab ‘N’ Spend grocery chain employs three different agencies to curtail shoplifting, assess associate performance and gain insights into which products appeal to consumer tastes.

The assortment of secret shoppers in the store today are attempting to perform all these tasks, unaware that the other customers they’re observing are also secret shoppers. They are also unaware that the entire staff is also alerted to their presence.

“Every once in a while one of them comes up and asks a tricky question, and the cashiers are on it,” said Balto. “I’m just glad we’ve got tape running for when an actual customer walks in here. Can’t wait to see that.”

At press time the majority of secret shoppers were apparently reading every ingredient list in the cereal aisle and exchanging suspicious glances.

Muligan Stewart

Muligan Stewart

Mulligan types neatly and is punctual. He graduated summa cum dolus from William Gaines School of Journalism. Do not ever touch his stereo.

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