It's hard to find a comfort zone when you're in retail, especially these days. With a nervous eye always trained on the looming shadows of the big-box stores, retailers now have to stay alert to new competitors that might silently appear on the e-commerce front. And the uncertain economic climate doesn't make things any easier. Are those customers spending less because times are tight? Or are their tastes changing in a more enduring way?
Despite the odds, the retailers profiled here have found their "zone" by standing out from the crowd, making a special connection with their customers or finding new and inventive ways to access their target markets.
A world of difference exists between the retail segments in which they do business, but these retailers themselves have a few key things in common. They all share a passion for what they do and a dedication to quality and customer service. They're not afraid to take risks to do things differently. Most important, they have a clear vision of what they want their business to be—and they've found a way to sell customers on that value proposition.
Outdoor Adventure, Vancouver
Girl's Clothing, Calgary
Online Pharmacy, Guelph, Ont.
Specialty Grocery Chain, Halifax
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