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.
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.
Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up an all-star lineup across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding and lacrosse. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear?including bicycles?and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
For more than 15 years, Heads Up Sports has equipped fans for game day with its roster of team gear, apparel, and memorabilia. The independently owned shop keeps its shelves stocked with treasures from various sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and hockey?with a special focus on teams in the Bay Area. Though it proudly displays its West Coast roots, Heads Up maintains a selection of gear for other teams, too, meaning out-of-towners don't have to paint their chests every time they leave their hotel.