George Whalin’s retail superstars

The stores profiled by Mr. Whalin (in a recent Wall Street Journal article) show such variety that it’s hard to point to one “secret formula” for their success. Some of them depend on intense customer service, others on unique store design or location strategies, still others on clever marketing. You can make a case that all of these are important for the store that wants to stand out as relevant to its target customer; these principles apply equally to small and large stores. The one common element is merchandising: Each of the stores highlighted appears to focus sharply on unique product offerings (Archie McPhee), breadth and depth of assortment (Powell’s Books) or some other content-related strategy.

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