When shoppers make decisions about where to buy groceries, they are confronted with different options, even in rural areas. For a small, independent operation like County Fair Food Stores to prosper against the competition, there needs to be a compelling competitive difference. According to Vice President of Operations Jim Stewart, County Fair Food Stores has staked its past, present and future on providing better service than the rest.
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Founded in Kirkland, Wash., in 1983 Costco has become one of the largest retailers and membership warehouse club chains because it sticks to its low-price/high-volume business model. The company’s model has clearly proven to be successful, as it currently has nearly 600 locations in the United States and abroad in countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
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Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet is finding success and growth in a market dominated by big-box stores through two simple focuses: product knowledge and customer service.
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With a business model that empowers thousands of entrepreneurs to succeed in a marketplace increasingly impacted by consolidation, CCA Global Partners’ Chairman and co-CEO shares the core principles that have helped CCA Global find success.
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In the movie industry, bigger is usually better, and that’s true of Carmike Cinemas Inc.’s BigD large-screens. They have screens measuring up to 78 feet wide by 3 stories tall, provide luxury seating and stunning surround sound and are being rolled out nationwide. BigD theaters – the ‘D’ stands for dimensional sight, dynamic sound and deluxe seating – are in 14 markets, but in terms of the regions in which Carmike locates its cinemas, small to mid-size is typically better.
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Since 1985, John Plainos has owned and operated an electrical contracting company, A-1 Service Group. In 1994, he identified the counting of people in retail locations as a possible niche market. His firm installed a few systems that were typically used at the time to count the number of customers in stores and malls so he could learn how they worked. He learned that they did not work very well.
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Many say every ship needs a strong captain, and for Vallarta Supermarkets Inc., a store is nothing without the skills of a competent manager to guide it through the rocky waves of daily business. “[We believe] that all the success we may enjoy is 100 percent attributable to [our] ability to attract and develop high-performing management and supervisors,” COO Kurt Erickson says.
Based in Sylmar, Calif., Vallarta Supermarkets operates 41 stores in its home state that specialize in traditional and Hispanic food items, including fresh-made tortillas, salsas and Latin-style cheeses. Founder Enrique Gonzalez Sr. started Vallarta Supermarkets in 1985.
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Already the largest independently owned wine, beer and spirits retailer in the United States, Total Wine & More has big plans for 2012. Vice President of Customer Experience Steve Faith says the company plans to enter three big new markets this year: Dallas; Seattle; and Spokane, Wash. Combined with the 78 stores the company already has in 11 states, Faith says Total Wine & More expects its new locations to carry it to the next level after it reached a pair of monumental milestones in 2011.
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