A tightened operational strategy, sustainable building practices, and innovative maintenance capabilities give this pool and spa retailer a leg up in a shrinking industry. Bruce Bagin is the first to admit that pools are an unnecessary luxury. That doesn’t mean he or his brothers, all of whom founded B&B Pool and Spa Center in 1972, approach their business with a frivolous mindset. So in late 2007 and early 2008 when the bottom started to drop out of the economy, the brothers tightened their belts, made adjustments, and successfully guided their business through the murky waters of the retail world. 

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From work wear to farm equipment, power tools, and multi-fuel stores, this retailer sells what its customers want and is improving its business practices to better service their needs. No matter your target audience, without a strategic plan, your business will not realize its full potential. When a group of farmers and ranchers decided to purchase six Quality and Country General stores in 2002 under the name of Bassco, LLC, later adding five more stores, they did it because as customers themselves, they understood the need to have such services in small, rural communities. 

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This locally owned specialty supermarket does more than deliver tasty treats to customers; it also delivers a quality experience with high-level, old-fashioned service. When you pull into the parking lot at Henry’s Foods of Beverly in Massachusetts, chances are you’re going to see one of the male clerks at the store carrying a customer’s groceries to the car. You might at first think this is a rare occurrence, but for those who frequent the single-site specialty grocer, it’s understood that this is  common and even expected. 

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An entrepreneurial business venture that started in 1995 has turned into a Midwestern C-store success story. Across the Midwest, there’s one name that people associate with quality and convenience: Gas Mart USA. Founded in 1995 by a group of entrepreneurs looking to acquire, develop, construct, and operate convenience stores across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska, the company now boasts annual revenue of $375 million and employs more than 400 individuals, and its team hasn’t stopped looking for ways to grow and improve. 

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This mall-based franchise handles its customers’ valuables with the utmost care while also supporting its franchisees with the same gentle touch. In the past 25 years, malls have sprung up, gained popularity, and are now seemingly in their twilight. But within these retail meccas, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs has flourished, and unlike many other mall-based stores, this franchised business is seeing strong growth and increased popularity even as the traffic to malls slows down.

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This convenience retailer has implemented a wide range of upgrades to improve the lives of its associates and its customers. Whether it’s installing cash acceptors at its gasoline pumps, installing a multi-million-dollar POS system to ease the flow of business and simplify associates’ jobs, or segregating its various business segments into more logical and manageable pieces, the goal of The Spinx Company, Inc. is the same: making life easier. 

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This Canadian-based creative director blends the best of healthy and happy feet with high-fashion shoe designs. In 1993, Ron White was a young man in his 20s living in a basement apartment and using Visa cash advances and small family loans to get his business off the ground. Today, the name Ron White resonates with Canadians and Americans alike as the place to go and the person to see if you want your feet to feel fashionably wonderful. 

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This Canadian cooperative retailer and developer of outdoor gear maintains its strength by keeping a secure hold on what its members want while not losing sight of its founding purpose. This Canadian cooperative retailer and developer of outdoor gear maintains its strength by keeping a secure hold on what its members want while not losing sight of its founding purpose.

Read more: Mountain Equipment Co-op