Ocean State Job Lot CEO Marc Perlman admits the experience of shopping in one of his stores can be confusing in terms of the types of items it stocks at any given time.

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The United States has exported many concepts to the rest of the world over the years: blue jeans, fast-food hamburger joints and now warehouse club stores. PriceSmart is a warehouse club based in San Diego but with no retail locations in the United States. This club concept has taken root in 13 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean and is seeing consistent and steady growth.

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Purple Cow Stores may be new to the convenience store scene, but the chain has already established itself as the Southeast’s upscale option. With five stores in the Slidell, La., area, eight in Montgomery, Ala., two on the Mississippi coast and one store in Mobile, Ala., and plans to expand, the one-and-a-half-year-old company has moved quickly to gain this foothold. Now it’s time to focus on the details.

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With the shadow of high unemployment rates permeating news reports, it’s hard to imagine that there is an area of the country with more jobs than people to fill them. At least, that is the impression John Phillips, owner of Regal Oil Inc., has of the economic situation in the region. “It’s strange to see how high the unemployment rate is everywhere, and here in West Texas it’s hard to find employees,” Phillips says.

Read more: Regal Oil inc.

One thing that has not changed for humanity over time is the need to provide food for itself. What has changed, however, is how we go about doing it – from hunting in ancient times to the every day markets of the middle ages, small specialty stores at the beginning of the century and large chain supermarkets nowadays. Even within mammoth supermarkets, the way we learn about our food options and make our choices has changed drastically in the last 10 years.

Read more: Wally’s Food Pride

The keys to building a successful fashion house are: step one – captivate the audience, and step two – always leave them wanting more. The concept itself is easy enough to understand, but the execution is an entirely different story. Many brands have gone the way of deep discounting – luring customers in with the promise of savings. The mode of thinking has become so standard in the marketplace that consumers rarely bat an eye at even modest discounts. A percentage-off sign is now expected rather than appreciated. But then there is the old-fashioned way of doing things. Unfortunately, it involves constant innovation, which can be tough on the psyche, but very rewarding when all the stitching comes together so seamlessly. 

Read more: Nicole Miller

The grocery business has changed a lot since the first Mourelatos Supermarket location opened in Montreal in 1956, but if anything has kept the company thriving for more than 50 years, it’s the fact that the company itself hasn’t changed much at all. According to CEO Efty Mourelatos, the company has kept its loyal base of customers and attracted new ones even in the face of increased big-box competition by holding true to the values that were there when his father founded the company. 

“I think that the retail landscape in Montreal is definitely changing,” Mourelatos says, adding that recent years have seen major chains such as Walmart and Target making their presence felt. “There are a lot of players that have come out here. I don’t think Montreal has ever been this competitive.” 

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Many of the toys topping kids’ wish lists for Christmas or their birthdays this year will turn out to be fads, but some have the potential to become classics that could join Barbie and G.I. Joe in the ranks of the industry’s greatest brands. MGA Entertainment believes it may have one of those soon-to-be classics in the form of its Lalaloopsy dolls, thanks in large part to the company’s new emphasis on its entertainment division. Executive Vice President of Sales and Licensing Bruce Morrison says the recent debut of an animated Lalaloopsy TV series on Nickelodeon is a glimpse into the future of how the company develops its brands. 

“You’re going to see some really interesting stuff from us,” Morrison predicts. 

Read more: MGA Entertainment Inc.

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