Despite the current economic climate, Canastota, NY-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes continues to expand its footprint. The company has 82 freestanding convenience store locations in Upstate New York, 46 of which are owned and operated by franchisees; the remaining 36 are corporate run. John MacDougall, the organization’s founder and president, said that, to date, his business has not been significantly affected by the volatile economy. During a time when many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, Nice N Easy continues to grow.

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This summer, 7 For All Mankind launched a new retail campaign on Boston’s Newbury Street with its Wash House pop-up shop. The 2,000-square-foot “deconstructed” retail store is not only taking advantage of the many empty store-fronts on one of the city’s most glamorous streets, it’s also taking the opportunity to break into the Boston market without breaking the bank. 

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With nearly 1,000 retail locations, one strong and interactive e-commerce site, and annual revenues of more than $1 billion, PacSun is clearly a force to be reckoned with as an apparel and accessories retailer. What’s shocking is that the company started as a small surf shop in Newport Beach in 1980 and is now one of the top names in the teen fashion world.

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First Data is a leading provider in electronic payment processing, with more than 26,000 employees worldwide and a client base of more than 5.3 million brick and mortar merchants. In addition, the company supports more than 600,000 online merchants, streamlining payment capabilities from the point of sale all the way through processing and product acquisition. 

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When Anne Kelly returned from going to school in London in the early ’90s, she noticed a couple of trends: the plus-sized female demographic had increased, and more people were beginning to understand the importance of activity at every size. She also noticed there was no clothing to support either of these trends, so she started researching the apparel industry. 

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Alan Homewood started 2Checkout.com in his house in 1999. In 2001, he added his first employee, and by the end of that year, he and his staff of five moved into their first office. By the end of 2002, they were in their second office, and by 2003, the company had expanded across the entire building. 

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Founded in 1987 as a Christian-themed T-shirt company, Kerusso has since emerged as the leader in apparel, gifts, and toys focused on spreading the word of Jesus. In the past few years, the company has seen average annual growth of 21%. Vic Kennett, president and CEO, believes a part of this growth comes from the company’s inherent need to continually push the bar higher to bring consumers what they want. 

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When Ted Cohen launched Hillside Candy’s brand of GoLightly sugar-free hard candies in 1980, he created an alternative to the candy diabetics or health-conscious customers couldn’t eat and the less-than-tasty existing sugar-free brand. Nearly 30 years later, Hillside is one of the industry leaders around the world for high quality, delicious, sugar-free candy, and Cohen and his team are replicating their success with the launch of the GoNaturally organic candy line.

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