As an independent bookseller, Joseph-Beth Booksellers has dealt with a great deal of change in recent years. But the company believes it has a strong foundation and offers a unique experience that can help it grow in the future.

“We’re one of largest independent booksellers in the United States,” President and CEO Mark Wilson says. “What makes us unique is our store-within-a-store concept.” 

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Success is difficult to achieve unless everyone involved feels fully invested in achieving that success, and Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker understands that. He says this is a major component of what makes the Midwestern supermarket chain one of the top-20 supermarket chains and one of Forbes’ top 50-private companies. 

“I think one of our key strengths that make us stand out is our commitment to employee ownership,” Edeker says. 

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Danny’s Family Car Wash goes far beyond its name in the services it offers to customers. The company, established in 1984 as a single location offering only car washing, today has evolved to become a one-stop shop for auto care and more.

The business’ 13 full-service locations in Gilbert, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Peoria, Ariz., offer automatic full-service, hand wash and express wash options. Danny’s washing process uses only soft cloths and no brushes and harsh chemicals. Danny’s cleaning services don’t stop at the outside of the vehicle, because it also offers interior services including seat cleaning; carpet and mat cleaning; door, dash and console cleaning; new carpets, mats and seats; and odor removal, the company says.

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The latest tablet and laptop computers, Ultra HDTVs with four times the resolution of HDTVs, gaming systems, home theater audio systems, digital cameras and camcorders along with all the necessary accessories – all can be found in the electronics departments of Conn’s 70-plus stores throughout the Southwest and on its website. 

The company’s concentration on the profitable portions of the electronics industry has enabled it to improve its profitability at a time when commoditization of the market is much too rampant for many retailers’ comfort. While some retailers are abandoning the electronics category and others went bankrupt during the last recession or survived it but are struggling now, Conn’s is committed to keeping electronics profitable in its product mix of appliances, furniture, mattresses and lawn equipment.

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When it comes to retail, consumers have several reasons why they choose one store over another. Builder Appliance Center (BAC) of Englewood, Colo., however, is very clear about why it is the only choice, and continuously works to ensure it meets the market’s needs in a variety of ways. Customer service, for example, always remains prominent in the company’s daily operations. 

“BAC has a strong commitment to customer service,” the company says. “We have an in-house customer service representative who has more than 10 years in the appliance business and is a single point of contact that will coordinate service calls on any unit. BAC is also the only appliance dealer that has an exclusive project management team. This is a great benefit to [customers] because they don’t have to depend on just one person having responsibility for their project.”

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A legacy of family ownership and a team of dedicated and experienced employees combine to make Bronson’s Marketplace a success. “Our base really comes from my parents Rich and Karen Bronson, who started the store in 1979,” says co-owner Kim Kessler. “They really worked to get the store to where it is today and built a strong business with great employees.”

Managers Russ Winkler, Kim Pachl, Suzeann Jankowski, Rick Miller and Connie Sailer, who started working in the store under Kessler’s parents, remain there. Several other employees are also long-tenured. “Our employees truly care about the store and are very dedicated,” Kessler says.

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At Wedge Community Co-op, a large percentage of its shoppers are not only customers, but also the store’s owners, CEO Josh Resnik says. “Seventy-eight percent of our sales are to people who are members of the co-op,” he says.

This has motivated the store’s employees to make sure they are providing its customers with top service. “They really help guide you through the shopping process,” Resnik continues. 

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Most convenience store chains focus all of their energies on little more than convenience, offering customers packaged snacks and sandwiches aimed at getting them in and out of the stores quickly. Tiger Fuel Company, on the other hand, had the notion of giving customers more than food made with speed in mind. The company introduced its Gourmet-to-Go program nearly 22 years ago at its Bellair Market location in Charlottesville, Va., and its selection of freshly-made deli sandwiches have earned it the distinction of being “America’s first gourmet gas station,” according to District Manager Gordon Sutton. 

Read more: Tiger Fuel Company

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