Not everybody always receives what they want for Christmas or their birthday, so when they don’t, they frequently treat themselves to what they wanted but did not receive. “I’ve tried to make The Paper Store so that it’s 50 percent buy-it-for-yourself and 50 percent you buy-it-for-a-gift,” CEO and Founder Bob Anderson notes. “We try to have the products that we bring in be able to fit both categories. Probably 80 percent of The Paper Store merchandise fits both categories, and 20 percent fits just the gift category.”

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Each region of the United States has its own style – the East is colonial and New England, the South pillared and plantationed, the West tiled and stuccoed and the Northwest wooded and rustic. Within these generalizations, finer regional classifications can emerge. South Florida – with its South Beach, motorboat lifestyle and Latin, nightclubbing vibe – is a category unto itself, as is the Fort Myers area on the Gulf of Mexico northwest of Miami.

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The leaders of Standard Furniture are well aware that although decisions happen in the corporate office, the real business occurs on the showroom floor. “We have a sign in the corporate office that reads, ‘Our Stores Are Our Customers,’” says Greg Tronacle, vice president of operations. “We realize that in our main office and our distribution center, our role is a support role and that we don’t sell out of these locations. We are here to support our stores because they are on the front line every day dealing with customers.”

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As a fourth-generation family owned grocery store chain, Winegars Supermarkets Inc. has had to adapt with the times to remain relevant in the grocery landscape. Over the years, Winegars Supermarkets has morphed from a convenience store with gas pumps outside and food inside, to a warehouse business model and then into today’s fresh-food format.

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As the grocery industry evolves, so do the grocery stores. Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) has reacted to the changes in the industry by creating different formats to meet customers’ differing needs. Besides its full-service Brookshire’s Food Stores, the company also has established its Super 1 Foods warehouse-style stores and is experimenting with its new FRESH by Brookshire’s concept store in its headquarters city of Tyler, Texas.

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Founded in 1981 and headquartered in New Paltz, N.Y., Chestnut Petroleum Distributors (CPD) Inc. has established a significant footprint of gas stations and convenience stores. Among the leading petroleum distributors and marketers in the Northeast, CPD’s portfolio has been built on several go-to-market methods, including company-operated and commission agent sites.

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Shopping at an IKEA is always a unique experience. The company strives to present its 10,000 exclusively designed home and office products in a manner that illustrates their practicality and aesthetic appeal to shoppers. However, IKEA’s uniqueness also is on display through the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices, and the company says it strives to be an example to the rest of the retail industry in that regard.

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Nowadays, just about any grocery store carries natural and organic foods, sometimes in a separate section or aisle. But when Mollie Stone’s Markets – which began selling only natural foods in the San Francisco Bay area in 1986 – first combined the two side-by-side, the biggest objections were from the natural vitamin and supplement industries.

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