The great thing about having a full line of services is that it provides companies with a diverse portfolio, giving them the ability to weather storms. When one product or service is in low demand, the others can provide such a steady revenue stream that a change in one service may not even be noticed. But that also means there are more trends to stay abreast of and more competitors to contend with, which creates its own organizational conundrum.

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In the beginning, there was no Walmart in town. Lynn Morris and his wife, Janet Morris, established Family Pharmacy’s first store in 1977 in a shopping center in Ozark, Mo. “Back then, that was what there were – just independents,” President Lynn Morris recalls. “Then shortly after that – about 12 to 18 months after we opened up – there was a Walmart that appeared. Then they started appearing everywhere, just like a case of the measles.”

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The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with several new initiatives that will enable it to continue to provide military families and other authorized patrons with a safe, secure shopping environment. DeCA allows its customers to obtain brand-name groceries and household products at reduced prices. 

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By carefully helping its clients understand the ins and outs of purchasing precious metals, this company has seen steady growth. Goldline International wants to let individuals looking to diversify their portfolios know they don’t need to wait for a 50th anniversary to own gold. Considering gold prices’ consecutive gains in the past 10 years, Goldline’s message that people should consider gold is one investors should pay attention to. 

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By focusing on environmental safety, customer service, and four-star quality, this Northwestern car wash chain has what it needs to succeed. In 1990, a city of Seattle inspector came out to a Brown Bear Car Wash location to make sure the business was following the rules and threatened to fine an employee for hosing down the dirt that had collected in the vacuum area. Rather than protesting the attention, the company decided to take action and has since become a major educational force in alerting businesses and private citizens about the importance of water sanitation. 

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The business structure behind this developmental toy store franchise makes sure children and parents walk away happy with their purchase. Plenty of evidence abounds about just how much the retail industry suffered through the recession. But for Karl’s TV, Audio, Appliances and Furniture, the ability to navigate through a difficult time period comes down to the same things that have carried it since it was founded in 1956: the quality products, personal attention, and value that big box chain stores simply can’t provide. 

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With a portfolio that includes the latest fashions for the urban consumer and school uniforms for Detroit and suburban public schools, the tie that binds this retailer’s approach is customer service. Mr. Alan’s Shoes and Sportswear The story of Mr. Alan’s Shoes and Sportswear started in 1974 when 19-year-old Alan Bishop decided to take on the world of retail rather than work for his father. The senior Bishop owned a women’s shoe store chain, one of which was located in an open-air mall. When a vacant space opened across the way, Alan decided to open up a men’s store. The only problem: he had no employees. 

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By taking a local approach and working with category-leading vendors, this retailer offers its customers exactly what they need. Sportman’s Warehouse began as a single-location Salt Lake City distributor in 1986. Over the next few years, the company morphed into more of a retailer than distributor, and by the early 2000s, the company had 12 locations. 

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