Retail Superstars: Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America

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Penguin, May 28, 2009 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
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How small, one-of-a-kind businesses can break through among giants

Megachains like Walmart, Starbucks, Home Depot, and The Gap attract Americans to thousands of outlets by offering a large selection of goods and services. But this doesn't mean that independent stores can't compete with the big guys-and win. Retail expert George Whalin identifies and explores twenty-five highly popular and profitable independent stores from around the country. Unlike the mom-and-pops of yesteryear, these businesses embrace technology and innovation, generate word of mouth, and turn their size into an advantage. They include:

? ABC Carpet and Home in New York City
? Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon
? The Junkman's Daughter in Atlanta
? Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio

Readers will be inspired by how these independent stores are thriving and take away lessons they can apply to their own businesses.
 

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Contents

SERVING ALL CONSUMERS
ALWAYS A SURPRISE
WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE RESTROOMS
EXCEEDING RETAIL METRICS
CHARITY AND PROMOTIONS
INSPIRATION TO YOUNG AND OLD
THE BEGINNING
ELEGANT AND STYLISH

FOODS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
VISUAL DYNAMICS LIKE NO OTHER
AN EXCEPTIONAL GROCERY STORE
THE CHALLENGE FOR GROCERS
A HISTORY LIKE NO OTHER
A TOUR OF GUMPS
AN EXPERIENCED RETAIL PROFESSIONAL
CREATING AN ICON
WHO WAS ARCHIE MCPHEE?
AN AMAZING SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
THE POWER OF MEDIA RELATIONSHIPS
USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND AN INTERESTING WEB SITE TO ENGAGE CUSTOMERS
SUCCESS FROM BIZARRE MERCHANDISE A FUN SHOPPING EXPERIENCE AND WORD OF MOUTH
A REALLY BIG BOOKSTORE
CHICAGO ROOTS
MICHAEL POWELLS SECRET TO SUCCESS
CREATING A DESTINATION
BEST BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD
THE PHILOSOPHY
EXTRAORDINARY CUSTOMER CARE
A DIFFERENT WAY TO SERVE CUSTOMERS
NOT THE TYPICAL BIGBOX STORE
CLASSES FOR CUSTOMERS
TESTING NEW PRODUCTS
GOING GREEN
DEFINING SUCCESS
YEARS AND YEARS OF CONSISTENT CAPABLE MANAGEMENT
THE SELECTION
AN UNUSUAL APPROACH TO MANAGING PEOPLE
BATTLING THE BIG GUY
FROM SIGN PAINTING TO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
LIKE NO OTHER STORE IN THE WORLD
CHRISTMASBIG BUSINESS AT BRONNERS
A BIG STORE NEEDS LOTS OF PEOPLE
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING THE BIGGEST AND THE BEST
IT ALL STARTED WITH A SURFBOARD
MARKETING WITH BILLBOARDS
SPECIAL EVENTS
A TRAVELING MAN
WHY FOOD? WHY NOT?
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL
COOKING SCHOOL AND SPECIAL EVENTS
THE BIG ONCEAYEAR SALE
UNCONVENTIONAL MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
A VISUAL AND GUSTATORY DELIGHT
BEGINNING AS A PUSHCART
LETS TAKE A TOUR
A TRUE DESTINATION
LONGTERM SUCCESS
A UNIQUE RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
REDEFINING A TIRED RETAIL SEGMENT
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
MATTRESS MACK
A WELLKNOWN RETAILER AND HIS TWO FAMOUS FRIENDS
RECOGNITION FROM THE FASHION COMMUNITY
RETAILING IS IN HER BLOOD
FRESH AND INTERESTING
CHRISTMAS AT NELL HILLS
ONE OF THE HOTTEST RETAILERS AROUND
EXPANDING INFLUENCE
A HISTORY RICH WITH SUCCESS
REMAKING A LEGENDARY STORE
ARCHITECTURALLY DYNAMIC
BUILDING AN ARK
TEDDY BEARS LIVE ON THE MAIN FLOOR
NOAHS ATTIC
THE BELLY OF THE SHIP
CUSTOMERFRIENDLY WEB SITE
IT STARTED WITH BIG G SURPLUS
JUNKMANS DAUGHTER
WHAT KIND OF STORE IS THIS?
AND COSTUMES
WHAT KIND OF STUFF DO THEY SELL?
HALLOWEEN
TWO STORES TO DELIGHT
A CONVERTED HOUSE
THE WORLDS LARGEST KNIFE SHOWPLACE
MORE THAN A MANS STORE
A POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATION
THE IMPORTANCE OF A STERLING REPUTATION
A LONG ROAD
A DIFFERENT KIND OF STORE
A WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE
HOW THIS CAME TO BE
VINTAGE WATCHES MODERN CLASSICS AND ANTIQUE DIAMOND RINGS
A TRULY MEMORABLE NAME
BIGGER IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER
THE CAKE LADY
THE BEGINNING
THE GIFT SHOP AND TEA ROOM
THE CAKE LADYS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AWARDS AND HONORS
ROWENA THE AUTHOR
FROM COINS TO FLATWARE
THE REPLACEMENT AND ADDON BUSINESS
A SPECTACULAR SHOWROOM
TRUE EXPERTISE
IT REALLY WAS A TOY HOUSE
A TREMENDOUS SELECTION
A CHALLENGING BUSINESS
A SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS FOR A SMALL TOWN
A QUICK HISTORY
TOOLS TOOLS AND MORE TOOLS
THE SEMIANNUAL TOOL SALE
ALWAYS THE PEOPLE
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