Carrie Rengers

Who sells services inside places like Costco and Sam's Club? Rising Stars

It's not only merchandise that Costco shoppers buy. Places such as Costco and Sam's Club also sell services through third-party providers such as the new Rising Stars Marketing Group, which is now open in the Centre Pointe building downtown.
It's not only merchandise that Costco shoppers buy. Places such as Costco and Sam's Club also sell services through third-party providers such as the new Rising Stars Marketing Group, which is now open in the Centre Pointe building downtown. File photo

Retailers such as Costco and Sam's Club regularly have people who sell products or services in its stores who aren't store employees.

Some of those people you're going to be seeing in the future will come from a new Wichita company called Rising Stars Marketing Group.

Starla Townsend is the franchisee who started the company after training through Smart Circle International, a company with about 400 offices nationally that trains people to sell and market for clients such as phone and cable companies within stores.

"It was just a new growth opportunity," says Townsend, who recently moved from Dayton, Ohio.

She chose Wichita because of three contracts with service providers, though Townsend says she can't say who they are.

"We're like a middle man," Townsend says.

She signed a lease at Center Point at 100 S. Main St. downtown.

Stephanie Wise of John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal.

Townsend says there's plenty of room to grow there and around the city, and she says she intends to. She's starting with a 10-person team. Townsend says her employees can grow and start their own companies to sell as well.

"We're looking to expand pretty much all over the Wichita area."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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