Eatzis1 ThumbIn the past two years, Dallas-based EatZi’s has more than doubled its weekly sales. And although owner Philip Romano was in charge of the change, he credits a customer service philosophy he has used since he founded the restaurant-style market and bakery in 1996: always create a meaningful customer experience. 

Hatch1 ThumbPreschool is no longer just about finger-painting and nap time. New research is fueling the creation of more benchmarks and expectations for younger children, and as technology becomes a larger part of everyone’s life, the difference between children who grow up with a computer in their home and those who do not is striking. 

Kohlls1 ThumbMultiple divisions haven’t weakened the vision of this Nebraska pharmacy. If you’re looking for a growth strategy that’s off the beaten path, you’ll be interested in this 60-year-old pharmacy: it adds divisions, ranging from hormone-replacement drug therapy to general contracting, rather than adding locations. 

Vonmaur1 ThumbMore than a century of experience and a willingness to implement unique, customer-centered features help this department store chain thrive. After 136 years of business, it will take more than the current economic slump to bring down Von Maur, an Iowa-based 22-location department store chain that prides itself on unique brands and services to pamper its customers.

Shoe1 ThumbTerry’s son Brent Barkin became vice president about a year ago, but he’s been working for his father for most of this life, in every position from stocking to buying merchandise. He said his latest promotion is more of a title than a role change because he is still doing what he does best. “I’ve been helping the company see itself as a larger entity in need of more efficient and structured procedures than a start-up needs,” he explained.

Pace1 ThumbA unique business structure enables this retail pharmacy buying group to keep its costs low while saving its members money. How does a retail pharmacy buying group that covers 1,700 independent pharmacies across 19 states manage to work with only one full-time employee? It’s simple: a unique business structure. Rather than spending money on overhead, Pace Alliance, Inc. puts the marketing power in the hands of the 19 state pharmacy organizations that own it while staying true to the values that have been with the company since 1985.

Rickys1 ThumbRick Barber knows a thing or two about children’s retail: before founding Ricky’s Candy, Cones, and Chaos ice cream, candy, and toy store chain, he worked for the biggest children’s retailer of all, FAO Schwarz. After its bankruptcy, Barber was part of a team developing a new platform for it to grow from: ice cream, the hottest growth sector of the fast food industry. But FAO Schwarz passed on the idea, so Barber took it with him and struck out on his own.

Roomful1 ThumbFifty years after opening its doors as a wholesaler of sewing machines, Pittsburgh’s largest purveyor of room furniture packages is asking for a favor. Because of the success the company has seen as it’s evolved throughout the years, Roomful Express is asking its customers to write in and nominate someone they know who needs furniture, and they’re giving it away for free.

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