The success of this independent retail chain proves that a show of appreciation can go a long way with customers, employees, and vendors. The volatile economic climate has affected businesses across every industry throughout the last 12 to 18 months, both in the US and abroad. And although no business or market has really shown immunity, some have certainly been hit harder than others. With unemployment at a staggering high, many people have adapted to the situation by curtailing their spending, which, of course, has had a significant impact on the retail world, making it one of the hardest hit. 

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Giving customers the most for their money has helped this 35-store chain stay a step ahead in the dollar store industry. New York-based dollar store chain Just-A-Buck rose to prominence in a busy industry by offering its customers products that are inexpensive, but not cheap. “When we opened our first close-out store in 1988, we decided that we would sell at the dollar price point, and customers couldn’t believe the value they were getting,” said Steve Bakst, president and CEO.

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A service culture, bolstered by the best fashions, fine tuned stores, and technology investments, helped this Texas specialty clothing chain reach 65 years in business. Since 1945, Julian Gold has carved out a name for itself in Texas as a specialty store providing women with top fashions at competitive prices. Founded in San Antonio, the company now has locations in Austin, Corpus Christi, and Midland. The stores offer whatever a women could want, from designer brands, sportswear, contemporary, bridal, and casual clothes to eveningwear, shoes, lingerie, accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, and handbags.

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This grocery store chain may not be the largest around, but it takes the time to find out how it can help its customers. With nine grocery stores in Virginia and North Carolina, Farmer’s Foods is a small chain that is looking to grow without losing sight of the needs of its customers. “We think we really know our customer base and really cater to it,” said Pedro Carrasco, the director of marketing and procurement. “We provide the goods and items our customers want; we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.”

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This C-store chain is known for its fresh-from-the-cow dairy products as well as its dedication to its employees and the communities it serves. Long before eat-local supporters began sprouting up across the country, Lochmead Dairy of Junction City, Ore. was selling fresh milk and dairy products directly to consumers. After managing the Lochmead Dairy farm for 25 years, Gladys and Howard Gibson opened the first Dari Mart convenience store in 1965.

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This organization has achieved significant growth since its inception, establishing itself as an industry leader. Builders Carpet Design Center was founded in 1990 in Saint Michael, Minn. With a 55-employee staff and 50-person contract installation team, the organization has been able to achieve significant growth in the last two decades, establishing itself as a regional leader in the floor-covering world in and around the Twin Cities. 

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This third-generation, family-owned supermarket chain has always been dedicated to serving the need of its local communities. Breaux Mart Supermarkets is a family-owned grocery chain that, since its inception, has been wholly dedicated to meeting the needs of those living in and around its community. Based in Louisiana, the organization has five stores in total, including one in New Orleans’ Garden District and four that operate just outside the city in the towns of Metairie, River Ridge, Chalmette, and Gretna. 

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This family owned business pioneered direct retail in the plumbing supply industry and continues to raise the bar in service. Increased competition from big-box and Internet retailers sends many family-owned brick-and-mortar stores into a panic, but the team at Best Plumbing Tile & Stone of Somers, NY welcomes the challenge.

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