Selected Press Release
Title Mystery Shopping Industry Estimated at Nearly $600 Million in United States, According to Market Size Report
Date Published 01/01/2005
Author Anonymous
Publication Business Wire

Mystery Shopping Industry Estimated at Nearly $600 Million in United States, According to Market Size Report

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2005--

More Than 8 Million Mystery Shops Conducted In 2004; Retail, Banking/Financial and Fast Food Account for Largest Percent of Mystery Shops

The Mystery Shopping industry had an estimated value of nearly $600 million in the United States in 2004, according to a recent market size report.

The 2005 Mystery Shopping Market Size Report was commissioned by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), the largest trade association dedicated to improving service quality through the use of mystery shoppers. The Report represents the first attempt to quantify the size of the mystery shopping industry.

"Almost everyone involved in the mystery shopping industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years," said John Swinburn, MSPA Executive Director. "As the flagship trade organization for the mystery shopping industry, the MSPA decided to quantify that growth. The results outline exactly what we expected - a large and growing industry with exciting prospects for the future."

Companies that participated in the Report experienced an average growth of 11.1 percent from 2003 to 2004 and the average growth in the number of shops during that period was 12.2 percent. The Report estimates more than 8.1 million mystery shops were conducted in 2004.

The Report revealed mystery shopping revenue by industry. The Retail industry was strongest (16.8 percent of total mystery shopping revenue), followed by Banking/Financial (14.2 percent), Fast Food (14 percent) and Gas Station/Convenience Store (11.8 percent).

The double-digit industry growth between 2003 and 2004 identified in the Report is expected to continue, according to a recent survey of mystery shopping executives. More than 50 percent of executives surveyed during the 2005 MSPA Annual North America Conference expect to see a year-over-year growth of 5 to 15 percent or more in the Retail, Restaurant and Financial Services industries from 2005 to 2006.

The research and preparation of the resulting report were conducted by Columbus, Ohio-based, Industry Insights, a professional survey research firm that has specialized in serving trade and professional associations and their members.

Mystery shopping is conducted in almost every industry, ranging from quick-service and high-end restaurants, hotels and resorts, banks and financial service providers, apartments, convenience stores, chain and specialty retailers, home builders, self-storage facilities, healthcare organizations and grocery stores. Mystery shopping providers help businesses design, implement and evaluate mystery shopping programs, as well as coordinate the assignment of mystery shoppers to conduct shops.

About the MSPA

With more than 180 member companies worldwide, the MSPA has a diverse membership, including marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Its goals are to establish professional standards and ethics for the industry, educate providers, clients and shoppers to improve quality of service, improve the image of the industry and promote the membership to other industry associations and prospect clients.



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