Geoscape1 ThumbFifty percent of the recent population growth in the US is due to growth of the Hispanic population. Hispanics and Latinos comprise approximately 16% of the total US population, coming in second only to non-Hispanic White Americans. Facts such as these make it clear that companies can no longer ignore this important consumer demographic, which is where Geoscape comes into play. 

Sanrio1 ThumbSanrio has the kind of relationship with its customers that is the envy of consumer brands everywhere. With its motto of “small gift, big smile,” the company is celebrating its 50th year of marketing gifts, stationery, fashion accessories, and lifestyle products featuring a host of internationally popular characters, including Hello Kitty.

Tandus1 ThumbOne of the reasons Glen Hussmann, LEED AP, was so excited to join Tandus two and a half years ago was the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Now consider this: Tandus is a commercial carpeting company with a focus on soft flooring. Although much of the focus in the retail world is on how CPG companies develop customer satisfaction, it’s just as important in the world of flooring. When Retail Merchandiser talked to Hussmann, president and CEO of Tandus, he was at the Greenbuild 2009 conference in Phoenix, Ariz. and discussed the importance of paying attention to what customers want in regard to construction materials.

Rickeroil1 ThumbConvenience stores can make life easy on consumers, but it is a tough business for the owners. Fortunately for Indiana’s Ricker Oil and its chain of Ricker’s convenience stores, owners Jay and Nancy Ricker have found many ways to stay ahead of the competition. Founded in 1979, Ricker Oil has changed greatly since the early days. Jay previously worked for Shell Oil and started supplying dealers around the Middletown, Ind. area, driving a tank wagon while Nancy managed the books. Ten years later, Ricker Oil purchased its first convenience store in Middletown, and since that time the company has grown to include 49 company-operated stores. 

Family2 ThumbWhen Lynn A. Morris, R.Ph., M.S., and his wife first opened the doors to Family Pharmacy, Inc. in 1977, they filled 12 scripts. Today, with 27 locations, they fill roughly 8,500 scripts per day. Times have changed, and most of the processes Morris and his employees used to manually fill prescriptions and manage inventory are now automated. But the family-focused atmosphere and business platform Morris has developed to serve the entire family, from the youngest member to the eldest, is still in place. 

Richards1 ThumbWithin two years of acquiring Richard’s Whole Foods chain in the late ’90s, John Rorer and his two partners doubled the company’s sales. They started by retrofitting the chain and putting in credit card machines, telephones, additional refrigerators, and more grocery options than the Sarasota, Fla.-based specialty food chain had in the past. Today, John Rorer is the sole owner of the chain, which now goes under the name Richard’s Foodporium. The chain has grown to 11 locations across Southern Florida, but Rorer sees significant growth ahead. 

Mandee1 ThumbWhat lights up Ken Mandelbaum, chairman, CEO, and principal of clothing brand Mandee, is creating products that help people flourish. Although this might not be the philosophical approach of many clothiers, as a member of the third generation of the Mandelbaum family to run Mandee, which operates under the umbrella of Big M, Inc., going at the business without this personal philosophy is not an option. 

Scolaris1 ThumbTo compete with national corporations, independently owned and locally operated retail organizations often have to rely on subjective variants, like exceptional customer service and instinct-based decisionmaking, because from a strictly financial standpoint, the two don’t measure up. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly more important for independent operators to focus their attention to objective factors, like pricing.

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