Mitchell Modell, the CEO of sporting goods chain Modell’s, learned the art of disguise from the wizards of television. In 2012, he appeared on the CBS show “Undercover Boss,” posing as one of his own employees. Now, he’s being accused of using those skills to spy on his competitor, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In a lawsuit filed by in State Superior Court in New Jersey, Dick’s claims that Modell came to one of its stores in early February and said he was a Dick’s executive. He allegedly toured the store’s employee-only areas, asked questions about store operations, and said he had a meeting with Dick’s CEO Edward Stack.
The suit aims to bar Modell and Modell’s employees from entering employee areas in Dick’s stores and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for civil conspiracy and trespass.
Dick’s told The Record
it “takes seriously the protection of its confidential and proprietary information,” but wouldn’t answer specific questions about the case. Modell’s didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Retail analyst Howard Davidowitz told the Record
that in his 40-year career, he’s never heard of a CEO donning a disguise to spy on a competitor.
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One of the commenters on the article said the story reminds him of when Mr. Spacely would spy on Cogswell Cogs on “The Jetsons.”