For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
With lube and service centers spread across America, Valvoline Instant Oil Change ensures that roads from coast to coast teem with automotive vigor. Certified technicians perform a roster of services, including drive-thru oil changes that allow motorists to arrive without an appointment and remain in their car while Valvoline oils forge a truce between metal parts.
The wireless provider industry changes quickly, but Arch Telecom keeps up by giving both technicians and front-line employees continual training. The extra effort shows: enthusiastic testimonials from clients cite employees' patient technical support for two seniors who were far from tech-savvy, as well as a staffer staying well beyond closing time to ensure a business's new phone lines were set up properly.
TigerDirect.com's vast virtual warehouse distributes computer parts, software, and gadgetry around the world, backed by their brick-and-mortar stores around the nation. Home to PC and computing experts, the stores dole out repair and advice in equal sums, answering questions about virus issues such as pop-ups or nasty computer-sneezing fits. Founded on the principles of putting the consumer first, TigerDirect offers same-day shipping and business-to-business sales, and they boast a spyware-tight website security guarantee that will cover customer liability up to $50.
As one of the largest authorized retailers for AT&T, Mobile Communications Systems equips conversers with phones, accessories, and services to fit various lifestyles. Requiring a two-year agreement for activation and upgrades, the plethora of impressive phones—including GoPhones, data phones, smart phones, and 4G phones—assures that talk meets its technological match. Smart phones, including the Samsung Captivate ($99), impersonate small computers with 16 GB of memory, a keyboard touch screen, and that new microprocessor smell. Built from recycled plastics, the Samsung Evergreen ($69.99) supports mp3 files and graces fingertips with a QWERTY keyboard. For more advanced technophiles, the 4G Motorola Atrix's ($199.99) 4" screen displays crisp videos powered by a dual core 1GHz processor, and the 4G HTC Inspire ($99.99) runs on Android 2.2 OS and records videos in 720 HD.
There's no end of things to do at Dover Downs. Head to one part of the hotel and entertainment complex to find table games; elsewhere, there's a relaxing spa and live harness racing. But on the hotel's second floor?overlooking the main lobby?the entertainment is edible. Michele's dining room hosts a collage of fine wines and cuisine from around the world, including sushi that's flown in daily and lobster tails sourced from South Africa, otherwise known as the lobster-tail of the continent. On some tables you'll find volcanic stones, which keep rib eye steaks and other meats the perfect temperature.
As for drinks, the selection changes constantly, with wines rotating in from the likes of Italy, France, and California. Although there are dozens of reds, whites, and sparklings, diners shouldn't have too hard a time making a selection. Most entrees come with a suggested pairing?for instance, a California cabernet sauvignon from Sebastiani helps bring out the flavors of the house-smoked prime rib.