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Chain Store Age announces winners of first-ever Breakout Retailer Awards

BY Marianne Wilson

Chain Store Age on Thursday announced the winners of its first annual Breakout Retailer Awards, which honors emerging retail/restaurant concepts that are innovative in their segment and show strong potential for growth.

Selected by the editorial board of Chain Store Age, the winning lineup include a hardgoods retailer with a new twist on games, a specialty merchant whose stores combine the best of online and offline shopping, a farmer’s market-styled grocer with mass appeal, and a fast-casual restaurant operator that’s bringing food customization to a new level.

“Retailers have to go the extra mile to stand out and succeed in today’s disrupted marketplace,” said Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief, Chain Store Age. “In their own unique way, each of the winning brands has done just that. While the concepts are widely diverse, they are alike in their ability to engage and delight shoppers, whether it’s online, in store or both.”

Here are the winners (in alphabetical order):

Fabletics: Co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, Fabletics is positioned in the white-hot “athleisure” market, with stylish activewear that works in the gym, yoga studio — and beyond. After establishing and honing its brand online, the retailer has expanded to the physical space with stores that blend the best of both worlds.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market: A small grocer with big ambitions, Fresh Thyme combines the spirit of a farmers market with the convenience of a neighborhood store. The fast-growing chain specializes in fresh and organic foods at value prices in a fun, easy-to-shop environment.

Marbles: The Brain Store: Specializing in games, puzzles, books and software that stimulate the brain and challenge all ages, Marbles offers a dynamic, hands-on shopping experience that allows customers to try out product and watch how-to-play videos.

PizzaRev: A build-your-own fast casual concept, PizzaRev allows customers to customize their own pizza, selecting everything from crust to sauce to more than 30 artisanal toppings, with everything on display. Pizza is cooked and delivered to the table in just three minutes.

The winning companies will be honored at Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS Conference (March 13-15, 2016, at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas). For more information about SPECS and to register, click here.

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