SPENCERSFor more than 40 years, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has emphasized one-on-one interaction with customers to give them the best service and meet their needs. By Bianca Herron

Nick Spencer founded Spencer’s TV & Appliance in 1973 in Mesa, Ariz. The following year, Spencer sold the company to Dick Biederbeck because business was not going well. For the first year under Biederbeck’s leadership, Spencer’s TV & Appliance reached nearly $350,000 in sales. In the more than 40 years since then, the Tempe, Ariz.-based company has seen tremendous growth, says owner Rick Biederbeck.

“We do more in sales every day than we did the first year my dad owned the company,” he says. “So we have had about 100 times growth in the last 40 years. Because of that, I would say the purchase has been a pretty good deal.”

westernhillHibbett Sports brings premier athletic brands to customers in neglected markets. By Tim O’Connor

Most retailers want to be where the majority of shoppers are. Major brands place their flagship stores in big cities where they can pull customers from the large surrounding population. But Hibbett Sports has found success in the past 40 years by taking the opposite approach. Instead of chasing population-packed metropolises, the sporting goods retailer found success by being the go-to store for small markets.

Hibbett Sports stores are typically found in county seat-type markets with few major retailers. Places where without Hibbett Sports residents would have to drive a long way to purchase well-known brands such as Nike and Under Armour or settle for discount products. “We like to go to markets where we’re needed,” says Jeff Gray, vice president of real estate. “We have a pretty specific focus we’ve done for 40 years. It really gives us an advantage in those type markets.”

coldersColder’s Furniture, Appliances and Mattresses continues to focus on customer service by being one of the first retailers to offer The Serta Connection and continuously improving its locations. By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Colder’s Furniture, Appliances and Mattresses has been southeastern Wisconsin’s go-to retailer for household items for 75 years. Colder’s has continually offered a great value, selection and service. “I think the overall success has been that it’s a family owned and operated local company.” owner Tom Balistreri says. “In addition to that, we offer a great value for the products we sell and that contributes to our reputation and of course, contributes to more customers and repeat business.”

Henry Felker founded the Milwaukee-based company in 1942 as the Henry Cooler Co. The future namesake was created after an advertising sign misspelled the name as Henry’s Colder Co. Colder’s began as a refrigeration service company and in 1946, when Felker’s brother Harry Felker joined the company, it branched out into refrigerator and freezer sales.

Product Consultant LCBO develops technology to enhance the customer experience and solidify its position as the premier destination for alcohol sales in Ontario. By Tim O’Connor

What’s a bar without alcohol? For the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), it’s a demonstration of social responsibility. The organization opened Bar Zero in November, a pop-up bar in Toronto specializing in 0 percent alcohol cocktails. “We try to show people having a good time and a safe time are one and the same,” says Keeley Rogers, LCBO senior communications consultant.

Bar Zero is just the latest in LCBO’s 90-year history of responsible stewardship of Ontario’s alcohol industry. The organization, which is one of the world’s largest buyers and retailers of alcohol, lessens its carbon footprint by transporting product on waterways such as the St. Lawrence Seaway, utilizes lighter-weight, recyclable glass bottles and chemically tests all of the products it sells.

Its responsibility extends to consumer education. LCBO works with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and launched its own website, www.alwaystakingcare.ca, to promote moderate consumption and safe drinking practices.

Verlo Verlo Mattress leverages technology and a unique franchise model to attain success. By Chris Kelsch

Verlo Mattress’ new president and COO is serious about her sleep, and she is not the only one. Currently, the United States finds itself in a sleep revolution. Pundits such as Arianna Huffington are writing books about the importance of sleep, and numerous TED Talks are given on the subject every year.

“One of the things I’m passionate about is my sleep,” Kathy Thornton-Bias says. “If you think about it, so much depends on a good night’s sleep: your ability to function at a high level, plus your overall health, are both at stake. If anything, we don’t pay enough attention to it.”

And that is just one of the reasons Kathy Thornton-Bias decided to come aboard Verlo Mattress in September 2016. She is no stranger to brands with a strong retail store presences, having previously served as the president of Bang & Olufsen North America, and having held leadership positions for other companies such as Target, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. But given the high growth potential with Verlo, she leaped at the opportunity.

MM KitchenerM&M Food Market is overhauling the look and product mix of its more than 340 stores in Canada while planning potential expansion. By Jim Harris

For more than 35 years, M&M Food Market’s customers have looked to it for high-quality food, personalized service and convenience. Those three qualities remain at the heart of the Mississauga, Ontario-based company’s operations, even as practically everything else about M&M has changed for the better.

Since 2015, the company has been actively rebranding its roughly 340 stores, located in towns and cities across Canada. The rebranding was a high priority for CEO Andy O’Brien, who set about remaking the veteran brand soon after Searchlight, the private equity company he represents, acquired the chain the previous year. “Searchlight was looking at businesses that had strong consumer appeal and trust, but were considered a bit dated,” he says.

Page 1 of 81

Latest issue

Check Out Our Latest Edition!

New & Notable

Latest New & Notable Products

Contact Us

Retail Merchandiser Magazine
150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60601


Click here for a full list of contacts.

Latest Edition

Spread The Love

Back To Top