iStore provides the accessories for the technology that people depend on each and every day.

By Chris Petersen

Imagine if human beings woke up as a species one morning and discovered they had an extra set of arms. To say that this would have a disruptive effect on the apparel and accessories industries would be putting it lightly, and there would suddenly be new opportunities for companies that could provide accessories for these new appendages.

It sounds outlandish, but in a way it has already happened. Human beings have developed new appendages, but these are of the technological variety. iStore CEO Joel Teitelbaum says mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become so ingrained into their users’ lives that they have become like a new set of arms, and iStore was created to fill the growing need for accessories for these new artificial appendages.


Elan Polo has been growing its footwear business for more than 40 years by staying one step ahead.

By Eric Slack

Founded in the mid-1970s as a specific business importing footwear from Brazil and India, Elan Polo has grown into a global footwear company. A mid-sized operation in its industry, Elan Polo designs, sources and delivers millions of pairs of men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes to retailers big and small around the world. The company distributes 40 to 45 million pairs around the world annually.

“The backbone of our business has always been developing high-volume, private-label programs for some of the largest retailers around the world,” says Troy Quinn, general manager and senior vice president of the comfort division. “Over the past 15 years, we have been evolving our business model by starting, acquiring, licensing, and sourcing global brands.”

Compare Foods Produce 2

Offering a diverse selection of affordable, high-quality products has helped Compare Foods expand its supermarket chain throughout the East Coast.

By Eric Slack

A small independent supermarket chain, Compare Foods has come a long way since it launched its first location in 1989. Today, the company has grown to include dozens of stores in New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina and North Carolina.

“Compare Foods was a concept that Eligio Peña had since the mid-1980s,” Vice President of Operations Jenny Jorge says. “It was a venture by a family of immigrants that had a desire to attain the American dream and a concept that they felt could take them there.”

Tags: , ,


CANEX builds its online presence to reach more members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) community while maintaining long-lasting relationships with its partners.

By Stephanie Crets 

Retail outlets, convenience and grocery stores, kiosks and more allow the Canadian Forces Exchange System (CANEX) to provide goods and services directly to Canadian military members, their families and the CAF community. CANEX is the retail arm of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), an organization that strives to enhance morale and welfare of the military community, and in the case of CANEX, has done so for almost 50 years. Plus, when the CAF Community shops at CANEX or, proceeds from sales are returned to CFMWS in support of local grants to Bases/Wings for (their) morale and welfare programs and activities. Not only does CANEX give back to the military community monetarily, but CANEX also provides employment opportunities for spouses and children of the CAF members. CANEX’s priority is maintaining a strong focus on serving the unique needs of its members and their families.

With 39 retail locations, operational efficiency is one of CANEX’s four core strategies. Being right-sized and relevant to local CAF communities and providing an optimal mix of physical stores and online infrastructure continues to be its focus. This could be amalgamating store locations, adding services or concessions or opening new CANEX facilities. As an example, CANEX is building a CANEX Supermart that will encompass retail, grocery, a SISIP Financial office and other concessions in a 40,000-square-foot mall on Garrison Petawawa in Petawawa, Ontario.

With 57 stores – and two more due before the end of the year – Z Gallerie still has a lot of potential for growth, especially in the Northeast. With this expansion, Z Gallerie is investing in new technologies to improve its supply chain and is exploring an East Coast distribution facility to support new stores. “In the next five years we plan to hit the 100-store mark or greater,” says Vice President of Operations Victor Navarrette.

Siblings Joe Zeiden, Carole Malfatti and Mike Zeiden opened the first Z Gallerie in 1979 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The store started as a poster shop, but more merchandise was added and it soon became a place where customers could furnish their home. Although the store has evolved in the past 36 years, it has kept its roots. About half of the art sold in Z Gallerie locations is still made in-house, according to Navarrette.

Wockenfuss Candies is a staple of Baltimore as one of the oldest and finest candy makers in the area. This year, Wockenfuss celebrates 100 years of business and five generations of candy making. 

Herman Charles Wockenfuss came to America from Prussia, Germany, in 1887. After arriving, he learned how to make jelly candy and candy canes and opened the Wockenfuss Candy Company in 1915. He successfully ran the business until his son, Herman Lee Wockenfuss, returned from World War II, and he and his wife took over in 1945. 

rmcover janfeb2016

Check out our latest Edition!

nn novdec2015


Contact Us

Retail Merchandiser Magazine
79 West Monroe St., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603


Click here for a full list of contacts.

Latest Edition

Spread The Love

Back To Top