For the past 37 years, Greg Parker has done more than build a thriving convenience store business – he’s established lasting relationships with both employees and customers. “Our success is because of the incredible team of people I work with,” says Parker, founder, president and CEO of the Parker Cos. “We’ve literally all grown up together, so we’re all wicked smart and incredibly hard-working. Everyone treats the company like it’s their own.”

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On Sundays, brothers Randal and Marcy LeBlanc, the owners of LeBlanc’s Food Stores, like to unwind by going into their stores, talking to employees and customers, stocking the shelves and working the cash registers. “They don’t fish. They don’t hunt,” daughter of Randal and Communications Director Brooke LeBlanc Knight says. “They just sell groceries.”

Although it may be uncommon for chain stores to have their CEO and COO working a cash register, it’s not at all unusual for the down-to-earth LeBlanc brothers. The two have expanded LeBlanc’s Food Stores from two to eight grocery stores in 15 years, serving the rural bedroom communities on the outskirts of Baton Rogue, La.

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Licensing for Europe is significantly different from licensing in other areas of the world. “What’s really different about Europe is it’s a much more complex market in the way that it consists of a large number of unique countries,” the Coca-Cola Co.’s Global Licensing Manager Marsha Schroeder points out. “Each country has their own language, as well as their own government and different terms for importing and exporting products. There are very specific retailers by country, and also there are some specific trends by country. For example, something that may work really well in the United Kingdom may not work well in France, and vice-versa.”

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For Casey’s General Store, the key to success is not always sales. Instead, the relationships the company forms are most important, Chairman and CEO Robert J. Myers says. “Our business is always about people,” he declares.

“That’s our total focus,” he says, noting that this is reflected in Casey’s relationships with customers, employees and the other firms it partners with. “[It translates] into the great performance of the company.”

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Working for the company his father founded in 1989 in Fair Lawn, N.J., Warren Zysman, president of All-Rite Construction Inc., and his brothers learned the importance of knowing the right person to get a project done. 

“For example, you need a particular expediter who has experience pulling permits in the city, who has a relationship,” Zysman emphasizes. “Otherwise, it could take months to get a permit. We work with the right local architects who pull permits all the time.”

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Self-help is not a way of saving labor in IKEA’s style of warehouse stores. The concept of customers helping themselves to their merchandise reflects the retailer’s southern Swedish roots of team effort in order to reduce the costs, self-reliance and reduction of unnecessary frills.

The global home furnishings retailer founded by 87-year-old Ingvar Kamprad has united disparate cultures worldwide with one cleanly designed aesthetic for furniture. This aesthetic also is applied to the multitude of other accessories that the company produces for itself or under exclusive arrangements with other companies that it may own. The only brand sold by IKEA is IKEA.

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Mandalay Bay is known around the world as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, and that is thanks in large part to the all-encompassing treatment it provides for its guests. More than mere guests, Mandalay Bay considers its customers “resortists” who are given the five-star treatment from check-in to check-out. Whether it’s in their hotel room, on the sand of the resort’s beach or in one of its many entertainment and dining venues, Mandalay Bay wants its resortists to have a complete experience.

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In recent years, the licensing of major food and beverage brands such as Kellogg, Pepsi and Entenmann’s has grown beyond the grocery aisle and into the lifestyle space, as well, across North America and the rest of the world. It takes industry expertise and leadership to leverage the world’s most-recognized brands. That’s why these household names turn to The Joester Loria Group (JLG) to identify opportunities for new areas of growth that will engage consumers, create brand buzz and drive revenue.

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