To obtain personal career satisfaction, people strive to be involved in a business they love. And for the people at Fantastic Sams, the beauty industry happens to be “a passionate place to be,” President and CEO Scott L. Colabuono  declares. “The salons and stylists, through the consultation at the beginning of the service, give the guest the best possible look that matches the guest’s desire.”

Despite what its name suggests, the growth of charming CHARLIE is not attributable only to natural amiability. Rather, the success of this fast-growing fashion accessories retailer has been hard-won through a combination of business acumen and fortunate timing. These factors have carried the young company through the worst economy in decades.

Who doesn’t like a bargain – where fair prices and quality goods come to a happy junction – especially in the current market? Consumer spending may be down, but the demands on product performance have not diminished. In fact, one can argue, because dollars are scarce and more precious, people are more concerned today with getting their money’s worth than in the past.

If the ancient Chinese philosophy of “yin and yang” were embodied into a business entity, it might just take the form of Apricot Lane Boutique. Since 2007, the national retailer has quickly spread into wardrobes employing a strategy unheard of in the fashion world – a national retailer with a local boutique concept using a franchise model.

When Peter Tedeschi stepped in as president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops four years ago, complete unification was his first mission. The convenience store brand – with 190 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire – has family roots planted in a company that began in 1923. Angelo Tedeschi, Peter Tedeschi’s grandfather, built the business from his basement and then from the back of a delivery truck, selling imported Italian meats and cheeses. His sons joined in the trade and opened a string of supermarkets before selling the brand to Stop & Shop. But the entrepreneurial spirit remained.

It takes more than good customer service for a retail business to succeed, but a retail business surely cannot succeed without it. That is one of the keys to the success of the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission’s 77 stores throughout the state. “We have a lot of great people that work here, believe me,” Chairman Joseph Mollica emphasizes. “The liquor commission is indebted to the people currently that work here and to the legislatures past and present that have supported us. We’re not going to let anybody down. We’re here to sell a product responsibly and safely.”

The great thing about having a full line of services is that it provides companies with a diverse portfolio, giving them the ability to weather storms. When one product or service is in low demand, the others can provide such a steady revenue stream that a change in one service may not even be noticed. But that also means there are more trends to stay abreast of and more competitors to contend with, which creates its own organizational conundrum.

In the beginning, there was no Walmart in town. Lynn Morris and his wife, Janet Morris, established Family Pharmacy’s first store in 1977 in a shopping center in Ozark, Mo. “Back then, that was what there were – just independents,” President Lynn Morris recalls. “Then shortly after that – about 12 to 18 months after we opened up – there was a Walmart that appeared. Then they started appearing everywhere, just like a case of the measles.”

rmcover janfeb2016

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