Georgia Discount Department Store Featured on Undercover Boss

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Taking over the family business at age 27 can be overwhelming and humbling – especially when you grew up in the business and the same employees you worked with as a teen now look to you as their leader and CEO. In his 10-year stint as CEO of Shoppers World, Dushey has successfully grown the company from eight stores to 40 and up to $250 million in annual retail sales and now seeks to expand the company to 500 stores.

Shoppers World is a family-owned and -operated full-line discount department store chain headquartered in New York City with more than 1,900 employees working in 40 stores across 11 states.

To follow Dushey's Undercover Boss challenges as the CEO who returned to his roots in roles he had held as a teenager, tune in to the episode, Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:30–9:30 p.m. ET; 7:30–8:30 p.m. CT; 8–9 p.m. PT) on the CBS Television Network after the football doubleheader.

Dushey follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, who immigrated from Syria to the U.S. nearly 100 years ago to achieve the American dream and started Shoppers World. That store expanded from a small storefront to multiple locations as Dushey's father, uncle and cousin later added more stores to build on their own American dreams.

"Field intelligence is the best intelligence," said Dushey. "Undercover Boss is the best way to hear first-hand from the employees in the stores. I could never replicate this experience on my own."

"The show gave me an additional opportunity to demonstrate to our employees that we appreciate them, their hard work and that I'm dedicating our efforts to improving the Shoppers World brand as we expand into additional states."

While undercover, Dushey visited four Shoppers World stores: two in New York (Queens and Brooklyn); one in Cleveland, Ohio; and one in the Atlanta suburb of Morrow, Georgia.

The Brooklyn store on Pitkin Avenue featured in Dushey's Undercover Boss episode started as a small corner store and later expanded to cover a full city block. The Morrow, Georgia, store is one of the company's hottest markets, while the Cleveland, Ohio, location is another of the company's high-performing stores. Dushey previously worked at the Queen's store, which the Dushey family founded three generations ago.

"It was an eye-opening experience to observe the people behind the scenes who are running Shoppers World without them knowing it was me," Dushey said. "Going undercover was the best opportunity to look myself in the mirror and see how I can improve as a leader and provide our employees with greater success and to give back to some of them for all their hard work."

Now in its seventh season, Undercover Boss is a two-time Emmy Award-winning reality TV series that follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader will sacrifice the comfort of his or her corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of his or her operation.