When a retail company switches ownership, there’s an array of situations that might occur. In terms of both internal operations and what the customers see, it’s possible that little may change. But this isn’t always the case, and it wasn’t for Work ’n Gear.

Read more: Work ’n Gear

This all-natural food maker is going the extra mile in health and wellness by offering its own brand of gluten-free soups. For years, Jerry Shafir made gluten-free soups for his daughter, who suffers from celiac disease. Shafir, the president of Boston-based soup maker Kettle Cuisine, didn’t give much thought to the specialty soups until his daughter, now away at college, called.

Read more: Kettle Cuisine

Shoe polish is not a complicated product, and Kiwi Shoe Care believes simplicity is the key to success. The company’s product quality allowed the brand to reach all four corners of the globe. Now Kiwi’s quality, combined with a simple approach to retail merchandising, is helping retailers make this small category a profit center in their stores. 

Read more: Kiwi Shoe Care

Kids II is a toy and gear manufacturer that creates products targeted toward infants and toddlers. Located just north of Atlanta, in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Read more: Kids II

After spending years working for a national chain as a pharmacist, Dennis Crawford had a burning desire to do something more. He enjoyed working with customers but didn’t feel he was actually making a difference in their lives.

Read more: Crawford Pharmacies

Mark, Ed, and Brett Stinebrink opened their first grocery store in 1974 with the help of a silent partner. Located in Lake Geneva, Wis., the 10,400-square-foot facility operated as a branch of the Super Valu chain.

Read more: Stinebrink's Piggly Wiggly

In the past year, database marketing agency Merkle Inc. has seen a slight shift in what its clients want due to the economy. Some of the companies have become more focused on their customers, spending more time trying to understand exactly who their most valuable customers are. Others have accelerated their shift to digital media, looking for more out of every dollar they spend.

Read more: Merkle Inc.

Michael Roellinghoff, president and CEO of The Bargain Shop (TBS), doesn’t celebrate the economic trouble families and businesses are experiencing. But tough times allow bargain stores to attract more customers and find deals to provide better value. In fact, the company is making sure the economic downturn doesn’t reach its doors by providing solutions for consumers who are looking to moderate spending while maintaining their standard of living.

Read more: The Bargain Shop

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