By focusing on environmental safety, customer service, and four-star quality, this Northwestern car wash chain has what it needs to succeed. In 1990, a city of Seattle inspector came out to a Brown Bear Car Wash location to make sure the business was following the rules and threatened to fine an employee for hosing down the dirt that had collected in the vacuum area. Rather than protesting the attention, the company decided to take action and has since become a major educational force in alerting businesses and private citizens about the importance of water sanitation. 

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The business structure behind this developmental toy store franchise makes sure children and parents walk away happy with their purchase. Plenty of evidence abounds about just how much the retail industry suffered through the recession. But for Karl’s TV, Audio, Appliances and Furniture, the ability to navigate through a difficult time period comes down to the same things that have carried it since it was founded in 1956: the quality products, personal attention, and value that big box chain stores simply can’t provide. 

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With a portfolio that includes the latest fashions for the urban consumer and school uniforms for Detroit and suburban public schools, the tie that binds this retailer’s approach is customer service. Mr. Alan’s Shoes and Sportswear The story of Mr. Alan’s Shoes and Sportswear started in 1974 when 19-year-old Alan Bishop decided to take on the world of retail rather than work for his father. The senior Bishop owned a women’s shoe store chain, one of which was located in an open-air mall. When a vacant space opened across the way, Alan decided to open up a men’s store. The only problem: he had no employees. 

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By taking a local approach and working with category-leading vendors, this retailer offers its customers exactly what they need. Sportman’s Warehouse began as a single-location Salt Lake City distributor in 1986. Over the next few years, the company morphed into more of a retailer than distributor, and by the early 2000s, the company had 12 locations. 

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This local furniture retailer is expanding its service line by offering in-home design services. Belfort Furniture has focused on of providing quality furniture selection and service for more than 23 years. Although it’s already known for its expansive inventory and attractive showroom space, Dan Kennedy, president, said the retailer is expanding its business in a new direction by helping customers define their living spaces through its design services.

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By keeping its eye on its brand message, this retailer has successfully expanded its global presence. Most retailers wouldn’t use the words light and airy to describe a denim lifestyle, but 7 For All Mankind isn’t most retailers. Founded in 2000, the Southern California-based company functioned as a wholesale denim manufacturer until three years ago, when it decided to try out a direct-to-retail approach.

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A new restaurant brings the delectable delights found at this high-end specialty grocer to life. It’s a simple enough name, and it aptly describes where people should place its quality compared to other restaurants in the Tri-State area: Above. The first restaurant of high-end specialty market chain Garden of Eden Gourmet Garden of Eden Gourmet opened its doors to much fanfare in late 2009. According to reviews, the quality at the restaurant is just as high as each of the company’s specialty food and grocery stores. 

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From the way it designs its locations to the way it handles its customers, this family-owned furniture retailer marches to the beat of its own drum. The Albert family lends credence to the notion that business intelligence is inherited. Mike Albert took over as president of Pilgrim Furniture City in 1984 after his father, Jay, retired. Jay was the third generation of his family to work in the furniture business, starting with his great grandfather, who opened Albert’s Furniture in 1909. 

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