From the way it designs its locations to the way it handles its customers, this family-owned furniture retailer marches to the beat of its own drum. The Albert family lends credence to the notion that business intelligence is inherited. Mike Albert took over as president of Pilgrim Furniture City in 1984 after his father, Jay, retired. Jay was the third generation of his family to work in the furniture business, starting with his great grandfather, who opened Albert’s Furniture in 1909. 

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This Western apparel retailer is fine with having the customer guide the way it stocks and sells its merchandise. Employees at any of RCC Western Stores’ locations aren’t there to sell their customers Western apparel. They’re there to help them buy items that meet their needs. It’s an important distinction that Bob Hoover, CEO, says makes coming to work enjoyable for him and his employees. 

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Learn how this Western-wear retailer uses Facebook to better meet the needs of its customers. Change is hard. Throw in the complexities associated with social media, and it’s easy to find yourself swimming in a sea of fan pages and tweets. Yet despite the hesitation to turn from traditional marketing to more modern forms of media, Sheplers has streamlined new endeavors to better serve its customers, while maintaining its heritage as a one-stop-shop for all things Western.

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As a manufacturer and retailer of wood furniture, this family-owned company knows what matters most to its customers. Talk about belly of the beast. When scouting for all of the six locations it now operates, Colorado-based Woodley’s Fine Furniture looked for a spot closest to the competition. Paul Woodley, director of marketing and the second generation of the Woodley family to work in the business, said locating showrooms this way simply makes the most sense. 

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By keeping its customer base at top of mind, this independent grocery store chain makes the right decisions to strengthen its business. As part of an independent grocery chain, the 25 stores under the KV Mart Co. umbrella are at an advantage: there isn’t a lot of downtime between making a decision and implementing it. This fast-paced approval process works particularly well because each KV Mart location is tailored specifically for its community.

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More than two decades of experience and a focus on 100% customer satisfaction keeps this mattress company ahead of the game. One of the difficult truths we learn as we transition into adulthood is that in life, there are no guarantees. That is, until now. 

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This Pennsylvania retailer was advised not to make renovations during hard times but did so anyway, in hopes a sleeker store would bring in more customers. When the owners of John Reyer Company, Inc. decided to revamp large sections of the selling floor at their Sharon, Pa. shoe store this past year, people told them they were crazy. It didn’t matter, they said, that the store has been around since 1886, that it carries the world’s largest selection of hard-to-find sizes, or that its 36,000-square-foot selling floor could well be a tourist attraction for its sheer size.

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This young fuel retailer is racing toward the future of the industry, and with a smart rebranding campaign, it’s well on its way to be the first one there. After just 13 years, the privately held fuel retailer and c-store chain Road Ranger is fast approaching $1 billion in sales, hasn’t lost nearly as many gallon sales as its competitors in the Midwest during the recession, and is enjoying three times the industry average in same-store gallons sold.

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