Julian1 ThumbJulian Gold founded the eponymous luxury retail chain in San Antonio, Texas in 1945, the first suburban speciality store in the city. Back then, all sales and accounting data was computed by hand or with a mechanical adding machine. When Bob Gurwitz, current co-owner and president, joined     the company in 1963, he had a lot to learn about retail.

Magnolia1 ThumbSince its inception, Magnolia Audio Video has been known to offer only the highest quality products. Founded 54 years ago as a stationary store in Seattle’s Magnolia district, there are 13 stand-alone locations the company calls experiential centers in Southern and Northern California, Beaverton, Ore., and several in the Seattle area. But the company also found new opportunities thanks to its purchase by Best Buy in 2000. 

Smoker1 ThumbThe Colorado-based Smoker Friendly chain has become a full-fledged tobacconist with the addition of a premium cigar offering at 90 of its 100 corporate stores, a move that has been 10 years in the making. As prices rose after the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the 48 State Attorney’s General and the major cigarette companies, Terry Gallagher, president, and his brother Dan Gallagher, VP of operations, saw an opportunity.

Tsg1 ThumbTSG Consumer Partners is a private equity firm that refuses to work by the books. But for all its “wrongdoings,” the company has been very successful, averaging approximately 60% returns throughout its 20-year history. 

Viva1 ThumbYou might be tempted to think that a company celebrating its 30th anniversary by restructuring leadership was bracing for hard times. But for Viva International Group, a global leader in ophthalmic frames and sunglass distribution and manufacturing, it was all about making a strong company even stronger. This corporate transition began last March.

Wrays1 ThumbWhen Wray’s grocery store opened in 1955, it sold the same products that every other local store sold. At the time, there weren’t any food stores that catered to specific populations. Today, Wray’s has three locations throughout Yakima, Wash., and each of them targets a different breed of customers. 

Brstores2 ThumbAfter 46 successful years, this supermarket chain meets its customers’ needs by continually going back to basics. Since its founding in 1962, B&R Stores has maintained a high level of success by keeping it simple. “We meet our customers’ needs to increase our sales,” said Larry Elias, director of sales and merchandising. “We’re very sales focused, and we’re very customer focused. Those two things go hand in hand.”

Brookshire1 ThumbAfter 80 years in the business of selling groceries, the team at Brookshire’s Grocery Company has learned how to look at the big picture and take change in stride. Carefully in-tune with the communities it serves, this company shows how to succeed and grow even in the face of rising prices and a weak economy.

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