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The Tile Shop opens new stores and plans for future growth.

By Kat Zeman

With more than 4,000 products from around the globe, Plymouth, Minn.-based The Tile Shop has something for everyone. The company is a specialty national retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials and related accessories.

It operates 133 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and plans to open five more stores by the end of the year. Its long-term goal is operate more than 400 stores. “We have invested significant resources to develop our proprietary brands and product sources and believe that we are a leading retailer of stone and ceramic tiles, accessories and related materials in the United States,” says Joyce Maruniak, senior vice president of supply chain, transportation and manufacturing operations. “We source from roughly 200 vendors in 18 countries.”

The Tile Shop’s products include an assortment of natural stone tiles such as those made of marble, granite, quartz, sandstone, travertine, slate and onyx. In addition, the company sells ceramic, porcelain, glass, cement, wood-looking and metal tiles. The majority of its tile products are sold under the proprietary Rush River and Fired Earth brand names. 

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Video Gaming Technologies hits the jackpot when it comes to perfecting its supply chain.

By Chris Kelsch

When Jerry Hale, vice president of supply chain for Video Game Technologies (VGT) started with the company in 2006, it was already on a fast track for growth. But now, more than a decade later, VGT has continued its ascent and has since been sold to Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., an Australian-based public company.

“VGT was very successful when I started,” Hale says. “And since that time we have optimized and standardized our methods within the supply chain to ensure continued success.”

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Footwear manufacturer Rocky Brands steps up its supply chain planning and distribution efforts to meet increased product demand.

By Jim Harris

Durability, innovation and quality have been hallmarks of Rocky Brands Inc.’s products for more than 80 years. The Nelsonville, Ohio-based footwear manufacturer prides itself on making highly durable footwear using advanced materials and features.

For the company, sourcing the materials used in its products and producing and distributing them in a timely and efficient fashion to consumers is a high priority. To do this, Rocky Brands closely aligns its supply chain planning, distribution, transportation and manufacturing efforts. Each of these departments is overseen by an executive who works closely with his counterparts as well as other company executives, giving the company a collaborative approach to its supply chain, Director of Supply Chain Planning Dewey Diamond Jr. says.

Diamond has been in his current role since 2013; he previously worked as director of product acquisition and manager of direct operations for the company’s distribution center in Logan, Ohio. Since assuming the role, Diamond has worked to improve the company’s demand forecasting process. This includes more frequent meetings with manufacturing and sales staff to plan out the amount of products the company needs to produce.

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Rent the Runway allows customers to affordably rent designer apparel and adds value by making it convenient.

By Bianca Herron 

Rent the Runway offers more than 250,000 designer dresses and accessories that can be rented for four or eight days at a fraction of their full retail cost. The New York City-based company also offers a subscription service, Unlimited, where subscribers can have a portion of their closet on constant rotation for a monthly fee. In today's world, rental is perfect for weddings, proms, black tie galas and other special events for women who do not want to spend a lot of money – or be seen in the same outfit twice. 

Two Harvard Business School classmates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, started the fashion technology company in 2009. The idea came about when Hyman's younger sister had a closet full of dresses, but splurged on a gown for a black-tie wedding that put her into credit card debt. That sparked the idea of a dress rental company that they would rent coveted designer dresses and gowns at an affordable price point. Rent the Runway took off and today has 6 million members, more than 1,000 employees and five retail locations, and has raised over $190 million in venture capital funding.

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REI sets the standard for one-touch omnichannel systems and environmentally sustainable distribution centers.

By Tim O’Connor

Building a supply chain nimble enough to handle an item as small as an energy bar or as large as a boat demands flexibility and efficiency. That’s the challenge facing Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), a Washington state-based retailer of outdoor gear and clothing.

REI adheres to a consumer co-op financial structure that differs from most retailers. Instead of working for shareholders, REI sells lifetime memberships for $20 and treats those members as its owners. This organization allows the company to put the members first.

Vice President of Supply Chain Rick Bingle says that everything the company creates, from the member experience to the products it sells, is in service to the outdoor experience and its members. As a result, REI returns as much as 70 percent of profits each year back to its members and the community.

mauriceEffective and agile sourcing systems and processes helped Maurice Sporting Goods become a leader in sporting goods. By Eric Slack

Founded in 1923, Maurice Sporting Goods has become the largest sporting goods distributor in North America. Today, the company sells to hundreds of retailers, and its products are used by millions of consumers in the United States, Canada and beyond.
    Maurice Sporting Goods specializes in outdoor sporting goods, as well as the sports license category and the outdoor gift category. The company is known for its ability to create comprehensive, customized solutions  that drive superior retail sales performance.
    “Our suite of value-added services is unique in the industry, and retailers and vendors alike look to us for expertise in diverse areas,” Vice President of Supply Chain Management Paul Baris says.

Havertys aims to become one of the best retail supply chains in the nation and have ‘perfect inventory.’ By Chris Petersen

As a leading furniture retailer with more than 120 showrooms in 16 states throughout the Southeast and Midwest, Haverty Furniture Companies Inc. already has a highly effective supply chain organization behind it. Keeping its Havertys furniture showroom locations stocked with the most popular furniture brands means the company has to be at the top of its game, but Vice President of Global Supply Chain Abir Thakurta says the company isn’t satisfied with simply being good at what it does – he says the company wants to be one of the best in the retail sector.


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