The United FamilyThe number of The United Family stores has doubled in the past four years and continues to grow. By Kat Zeman

If its current growth rate continues, The United Family will soon open its 100th supermarket. Four years ago, the Lubbock, Texas-based chain operated 53 supermarkets and grocery stores in Texas. Today, that number has jumped to 92 and the company has expanded its operations into New Mexico.

“We’ve been onboarding stores from different companies over the last couple of years and we’ve been merging our cultures,” says Wes Jackson, the company’s chief merchandising officer. “That’s probably our No. 1 key to success.”

The United Family’s 92 supermarkets operate under four different brands: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos and Albertsons Market. In addition, the company operates more than 30 gas stations with convenience stores under its United Express brand.

Camtrade FootwearCamtrade proves it is in the women’s footwear business for the long-term with deliberate and methodical growth of its two shoe brands. By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Camtrade found a niche in women’s footwear with its Secret Celebrity® and Soft Comfort® brand shoes that are not only made for walkin’, but also look good and don’t break the bank. “We determined there was a white space in on-trend comfort footwear at an affordable price,” says President and CEO Frank Cammarata. “Once we launched Soft Comfort and Secret Celebrity, we believed we had lightning in a bottle. The concept just made so much sense.”

The Boxborough, Mass.-based company began in 2013 when Cammarata assembled a group of retail and wholesale executives and blended together their strengths to become a branded footwear company. “We started by creating high-quality shoes with great style at extremely compelling value. From there, we took the time to construct our brand image. Our goal was to design footwear that excited the consumer,” Cammarata says. “We stuck to our guns by delivering consistent fashion, quality and comfort.”

The PRIDE StoresAfter 50 years in the industry, The PRIDE Stores aims to grow its locations by exceeding its customers’ expectations. By Bianca Herron

The PRIDE Stores is more than a name – it is a mantra, according to CEO Mario Spina. “My father started this company about 50 years ago,” he says. “After I received my MBA from DePaul I joined the company and have been here for 15 years now. My dad started calling our stores The PRIDE a long time ago. We not only want the people who work for us to take PRIDE in our stores, but also ensure that the communities and customers who shop with us take PRIDE as well.”

PRIDE derives from the belief that the Warrenville, Ill.-based company always does things differently from its competitors. “Our slogan is ‘Not your typical convenience store,’” Spina notes. “So we try to do things differently than most people anticipate when they come into a gas station convenience store.”

The PRIDE owns and operates 12 convenience store gas stations in the Chicagoland market. Parent Petroleum Company, a wholesale supplier of fuel and lubricants, owns the retail division of the company, while CIMA Developers oversees its real estate. “Through Parent Petroleum we supply 350 stations with every major brand of fuel,” Spina explains. “I run the retail and the real estate sides of the company. Through CIMA we do all of our own property development and management, including maintenance. In addition we buy, sell and lease all of our own real estate.”

SionicSionic Mobile’s cloud-based technology powers the loyalty and mobile payment apps used by millions of consumers. By Jim Harris

Consumers and retailers in ever-increasing numbers look to smartphones to make shopping and marketing even easier. Developing and maintaining the apps that make these experiences so convenient, however, takes a great deal of knowledge and commitment.

Sionic Mobile works tirelessly to perfect the technology that many of its users might take for granted. Established in 2010, the company initially launched its mobile reward app engine – the ION Commerce Engine™ (ICE) – in shops and restaurants in 42 U.S. airports. After learning that the apps powered by the ICE were not being used or adopted in the way that it had hoped, the company sought to improve the technology.

“We initially underestimated what it took for the people behind the counter to process a mobile reward,” says Ronald Herman, CEO of the Atlanta-based company. “We regrouped and told ourselves that we had to make that part of the process better.

Arnolds Office FurnitureAfter 88 years, Arnold’s Office Furniture aims to double its growth in the next five years. By Bianca Herron

Although known as Arnold’s Office Furniture today, immigrants David and Rose Norman founded their company as Norman’s Stationery Company in 1929. Their son, Arnold, joined the family business and started selling office furniture in 1950. He took over in 1973, renamed the company, and ran it until 2005, when he sold it to Jay Berkowitz.

Twelve years later, Jay and his son, Jordan, have grown Arnold’s into a nationwide provider of new and used office furniture based out of Bridgeport, PA.

“We went from having all of our customers come from foot traffic, to having 75 percent from the internet, 20 percent past customers, and 5 percent walk-ins,” President Jordan Berkowitz says. “Arnold’s went from regional to national and increased sales more than 25 times than what they were in 2005.”

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