Since it was founded in 1984, Shoe Sensation has focused on bringing well-known, branded footwear and accessories to residents of small-town America who otherwise would have to drive up to 45 minutes for a simple shoe shopping excursion. The markets may be small, but there is still profit to be made while serving a real need. After all, residents of these small cities have to purchase their footwear from somewhere and Shoe Sensation wants to be their first choice. 

“Shoe Sensation was founded by an entrepreneur whose vision was to open stores in small-town America where the county seat was located typically somewhere between 30 to 45 miles away from a regional mall,” CEO Mike Zawoysky says. “He wanted to make it more convenient for the local community to come in and purchase branded high-quality footwear. At the time, many family-owned shoe stores in small-town America were closing.”

In the world of high-end fashion, the marketplace is constantly changing due to the nature of the industry and adjustments retailers must make to cater to the latest trends in consumer demands. 

For Patrick James, Purveyor to Gentlemen – an upscale men’s clothing retailer launched in Fresno, Calif., more than 50 years ago – evolving with styles as they come and go has been pertinent, but maintaining its workforce is what has made the company a success for this long, according to founder Patrick James Mon Pere.

Lots of companies sell merchandise, but only one promises to give consumers the “Magic of Macy’s.” Along with omnichannel retailing and a tradition of elegant, historic stores, Macy’s is synonymous in pop culture and up-to-date retailing with quality, value and exemplary customer service.

The company gets the most attention for events it creates and produces and for themes such as American Icons, which was an opportunity to celebrate the people and places that make America great. The spring campaign also included exclusive merchandise from American designers, in-store and community events, interactive digital content, patriotic advertising and a give-back program with “Got Your 6” to support America’s veterans.

When it comes to customers and their grocery stores, favorites no longer apply. Because of the wave of multi-state retailers, customers no longer see grocery stores as the friendly neighborhood location, despite the fact that some of them actually still are. The disconnection between customers and brands has created a competitive market in which grocery store operators know that every patron is fair game. 

“Competition is very tough,” explains Justin Hiller, vice president and third-generation owner of Hiller’s Market. He has been in the family business for a number of years in several departments. 

Change rarely comes easily, but how a company manages that change shows its true strength and value. Fairway Market – known as a high-quality, full-service grocery to New York City – has seen quite a bit of change in recent years, both planned and not. But the business continues to be profitable, serve its New York customers well and even expand into surrounding areas, bringing its unique brand of service and quality to a range of new customers. 

‘Making a good product, selling a good product and servicing that product properly, while treating customers and employees the way they should be treated” – those are the core principles behind Easy Rest Adjustable Sleep Systems, according to co-founder and Managing Partner Jeff Mowrey.

Mowrey, a 25-year veteran of the adjustable bed business, partnered with equally experienced Mo Maghari in 2006 to bring to market their vision of an adjustable bed, manufactured, sold and serviced by a new kind of company. Since the company took off in 2007, Easy Rest has doubled its employee base and grown its revenue by 40 percent. The key to the company’s success is focusing on quality every step of the way. “If you build a good-quality product, you will always win,” Maghari notes.

Burnstad’s Market’s owners, managers and staff all share a single philosophy when it comes to the store’s operation. “We have one belief and focus, and that is exceeding our guests’ expectations,” says Derek Burnstad, vice president and director of retail operations for the Tomah, Wis.-based grocery store.

 This focus – which the family owned company formalized 10 years ago as its official mission statement – influences every single aspect of Burnstad’s from hiring and staff development to recent investments in technology and renovations. Every management and staff meeting begins with a recitation of the mission, and all ongoing employee development programs have guest services as a main objective.

Art Van Furniture feels right at home in Michigan, and that’s fitting because the state’s largest furniture retailer has been helping customers feel at home for more than 50 years. Thanks to a reputation for quality products and top-notch customer service, the company has been growing consistently for more than five decades and shows no signs of slowing down. 

rmcover janfeb2016

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