This week on Undercover Boss, Rick Forman, of Forman Mill went on a mission to see how his stores are being run and where improvements need to be made. Based in New Jersey, this discount clothing chain employs 2500 people.
His first undercover mission was at an underperforming store in Chicago. Mshinda is the sales associate Rick’s undercover identity of Brad worked with for the day. She started out by showing him the basics of working the floor in a clothing store, starting with keeping the racks organized. Mshinda told Brad he has to stay focused and then she taught him how to perform price checks and other forms of customer service. He then said that the price check system they use is antiquated and that is why the store is underperforming. He even admitted that it wasn’t the fault of the employees the store wasn’t doing the volume of business it should be. Mshinda then told Brad that while she works part time at Forman Mills she works another part time job at a hospital overnight. She admitted that she works two jobs to support her children.
The second undercover mission was at the distribution center for Forman Mill, also in New Jersey. He worked with Elizabeth to learn how to process incoming boxes of merchandise to be shipped to the stores’ many locations. Brad was then shown to how work a forklift, which Rick said he doesn’t have much experience with. Elizabeth then told Brad about the struggles she faces in her personal life.
His third undercover mission was as a customer service representative. Brad worked with Nikia to learn about the job. She first taught him how to ring up a sale on the cash register. Nikia said her first impression of Brad was that he was a joke. She then told Brad that the employees were trained not to greet customers at the register, but just to start ringing up their purchase immediately. Nikia then told Brad that she never received proper customer service training, which Brad blamed himself for. Brad then said the register system is so outdated it is difficult to ring up credit card sales. Nikia then said to Brad that they had to move through the line of customers trying to check out much faster. He then said working with Brad is like raising a child and that her four year old is more obedient. She went so far as to say that Brad is not right for the position and should never run his own business. Once Brad and Nikia took a break they talked about how hard it was to get everything done that needed to be done in the store on a typical day. Nikia then confessed she thought she was getting a new position at Walmart that would give her more hours and better pay. Brad then decided company morale had to be improved. Nikia confessed that one of her kids has special needs and caring for her is overwhelming as a result. Brad stated that though the company was taking care of its customers it wasn’t doing the same for its employees.
For his fourth undercover mission he went to a store in Philadelphia to work with Kurtis, whose responsibilities include cleaning the store’s bathrooms. Kurtis then taught Brad how to correctly clean them. After Brad complained about doing the job Kurtis said he needed to be a man and get over it. Brad and then Kurtis then went to work in the warehouse cutting up boxes for the compactor. Kurtis said that he is taking responsibility for tasks around the store that are not actually assigned to him. He then told Brad he felt like the company didn’t care about their employees and it would be nice if employees were recognized for their hard work. Kurtis then confessed to Brad that at one point in his life he was homeless. He also said that he now mentors the people who stay in homeless shelters. Kurtis then took Brad to the homeless shelter he volunteers at.
Brad then went back to his real identity as Rick Forman in order to meet with the employees he worked with. He then confessed to each of them that they were actually on Undercover Boss. When he talked to Elizabeth he told her he wished the company had more employees like her. He then announced he was paying off Elizabeth’s car and that he was giving her three kids $5,000 each to put into their college funds. Elizabeth then said that this will change her life and her children are her highest priority. They then talked about her store’s updated price check system. Rick announced he was updating the system for every store. He also gave Elizabeth a promotion and raise. Rick even said he would send Elizabeth and her kids to Disneyworld.
He then met with Nikia and said it was great working with her and that she was a fantastic employee. Rick said he was impressed with her job but expressed his displeasure that she wasn’t trained to be nicer to customers. He then promoted Nikia to front end manager, moved her from part time to full time and gave her a raise as well. Rick gave Nikia $15,000 to use for her children’s expenses, including her child with special needs.
Rick met with Kurtis and told him that he was touched and that Kurtis was an inspiration to him. He then announced he was starting an outreach community and he was going to double Kurtis’s salary to run it. He also told Kurtis he would buy him a house for as much as $250,000.
The show ended with Rick speaking to hundreds of his employees at once. He then announced a profit sharing agreement was going to be put in place with each employee. He also announced his new community outreach program that he was going to start as a company project.