This retail chain has managed to thrive during the last few years, thanks to a string of investments and a lot of hard work. When Anthony DiPaolo purchased Work ’n Gear in 2002, he acquired the company’s inventory, leases, and employees; all other aspects of operation were built from the ground up. In addition to investing in updated IT systems, the new owner implemented fresh operational guidelines and re-organized the business’s infrastructure.

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A new CEO and a focused team have given this multi-channel specialty retailer the strength to succeed. Sheryl Clark came to Florida-based Boston Proper after spending years with retail giant Old Navy as head merchant. She joined the company in 2009 as president and spent the next year working with Boston Proper Founder Michael Tiernan, who now acts as chairman of the board. 

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As Walt Disney readies “Cars 2” for release, the consumer products division is revving up its engine. When Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures releases the animated Disney-Pixar film “Cars 2” in 2011, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will have a clear merchandising mandate: build on the stunning success of a brand that has surpassed all expectations.

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A strategy built on thrifty fashion and friendly service enabled this women’s fashion retailer to quickly expand in a short amount of time. Dots' first store opened in 1987. Within five years, there were 200 just like it. The women’s clothing closeout operation started by Bob Glick, which offered everything, everyday for $10 or less, was a wildly successful operation—but the Dots of today barely resembles that discount format. 

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This company has flourished by embracing a diverse array of services, from wholesale fuel delivery to operating convenience stores. Diversity is the key for the Tewksbury, Mass.-based Energy North Group. The company operates three divisions: retail, wholesale, and transportation. Energy North operates a dozen convenience stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire under the Fresh Express banner. These three divisions of allow the company to be well balanced.

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This West Virginia grocery store has only 13 stores, but its warehouse operation allows it to compete with much bigger chains. The 13-store Foodfair Markets grocery chain has one advantage that gives it a leg up over other smaller independent grocery store chains. By operating its own warehouse, the chain is able to serve its own stores as well as other independent grocery stores in the Huntington, W. Va. tri-state area.

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This Texas-based furniture store found a way to incorporate speed into its process without adding pressure to the customer. The most amazing part of the story behind Gallery Furniture isn’t just that the $100 million company was founded with only $5,000. It’s also not the fact that when the company’s main warehouse burnt down, its employees had the business up and running from a secondary location by morning. It’s that Jim McIngvale’s success is based on the fact that when he was younger, he was fired after college. 

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By offering high-quality appliances at the right price, this New Jersey retailer outcompetes many of its larger competitors. From it’s humble beginnings in 1941 with a single 1,800-square-foot store to its position today as one of the largest appliance retailers in the New York-Northern New Jersey area, Karl’s Appliance has continued to focus on providing the best prices on high-quality products to its customers. The Fairfield, NJ-based retailer now has eight stores with another one on the drawing board.

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