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Maritz Mystery Shopping

From the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, I had an incredible job with American Airlines at a major airport. The wonderful job was made even more wonderful by the awesome employee recognition programs. One such program, which recognized exceptional customer service, was called “Run Through the Warehouse” and was held in a large building on the Maritz campus in Fenton, MO. The dazzling diamond stud earrings
you’re admiring are a fond reminder of that extraordinary experience.

Maritz is one of the most highly discussed MSCs on the Mystery Shop Forum. A day without a post about Maritz is a rare day indeed. A lot of the discussions center on their archaic technology and old-fashioned business practices. For example, a paper check is the sole payment option, the uploading time for photos reportedly runs between very slow and slow and, until recently, phone calls were the primary mode of communication. Frequent complaints have also been posted about the frustrating lack of knowledge evident in those answering incoming phone calls as well as the irksome need to submit an invoice after every report.

On the flip side, members have posted positive comments about appreciating the ability to self-assign shops, the delicious bonuses offered at month’s end and the two-times-per-month pay cycle. Maritz has also been singled out as a good launching pad for newbie shoppers to get their feet wet with minimal fear of drowning. If you’re interested in getting started with Maritz, read our review of them.

Maritz was founded in 1894 by Edward Maritz as a wholesaler and manufacturer of fine jewelry and engraved watches. The devastating impact of the stock market crash in 1929 caused Maritz to reinvent itself. To do so, Maritz began selling their merchandise to large corporations to use as sales incentives and service awards for their employees.

Sons James and Lloyd co-managed the company together for about 20 years however, in 1950, they had a major falling out and opted to split the company in half. From that moment on, the James Maritz and Lloyd Maritz families ceased speaking to one another.

James Maritz’s company prospered and soon two of his sons, Jim and Bill, joined the business. However, Jim and Bill had differences, Bill was chosen by his father to run the company and Jim left. The two brothers never spoke again.

Over time, Bill’s three sons, Phillip, Steve and Peter, joined their father at Maritz. In 2001, Bill was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He named Steve as his successor and Phillip and Peter were ousted. Same song, different verse. A lawsuit, filed by Phillip and Peter against Steve, was finally settled in 2007. Steve, the current CEO, lives in the St Louis area with his wife, Jeanne, and (start the music) three young sons.

Despite the family discord, Maritz, under the leadership of Steve, has continued to adapt and solidify its global reputation in the performance improvement, travel and market research arenas.

Maritz Holdings, Inc. is a privately owned, multi-faceted company with worldwide operations. Its subsidiaries include Maritz Motivation Solutions, Maritz Research, Maritz Loyalty, the Maritz Institute and Maritz Travel. Further reading: Maritz History BookWSJ Article Reprint

Questions about this article? Email the editor: james@mysteryshoppermagazine.com

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