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Talking Shop

Wonder what makes shoppers tick? 5 retail superstars reveal how to please customers and, more important, how to keep them coming back for more.

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Is it a trend or a fad? Will it sell or wind up on the clearance rack? Will it turn my customers on or off? These are questions retailers face every day. Make the wrong decision, and witness a sales dive. Make the right decision, and become a retail hero.

Assembled here are a diverse group of retailers: ESPN Zone, Hot Topic, Starbucks, Anthropologieand Build-A-Bear Workshop. Each one is succeeding because it has discovered an innovative solution to a unique retail problem. Read closely to find out how to target a fickle customer, develop an enduring brand, create a destination, sell a lifestyle and build a relationship with your clientele.

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