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"Step into any Hot Topic store and you can easily see which fandoms are popular at any given time," said Steve Vranes, the CEO of Hot Topic.

We went to Hot Topic and saw how the chain is beating the odds amid record-low mall traffic by catering to every pop culture niche

We visited the store and saw its brilliant strategy for surviving amid declining mall traffic by becoming places where teens and others can geek out.
Trader Joe's sells a lot of delicious products through its own private label.

We shopped for groceries at Costco and Trader Joe’s and easily saw which store is better for the average shopper

Costco sells items in bulk, while Trader Joe's is catered to the average shopper. Both have their own in-house brand of products, but which is better?
The small-format Target store in Tribeca carried most of what Target traditionally has, but not everything.

We compared a small Target store in the city with a suburban-style Target. Here’s how they stacked up.

Target has been expanding its fleet of small-format stores in cities like New York and Los Angeles. Here's how they compare to a traditional Target.
A wall of baby Crocs makes a huge mural in a Manhattan Crocs store.

I hated Crocs more than anyone, but just one visit to its store helped me understand why the brand is doing so well

Crocs are back and the company is doing better than ever. I went to a Manhattan store to see why and came away with a new appreciation for the shoe.
A wall of baby Crocs makes a huge mural in a Manhattan Crocs store.

I hated Crocs more than anyone, but just one visit to its store helped me understand why the brand is doing so well

Crocs are back and the company is doing better than ever. I went to a Manhattan store to see why and came away with a new appreciation for the shoe.
Pineapple cider on display at Trader Joe's.

We went shopping at Walmart and Trader Joe’s and saw how the smaller chain could threaten the superstore’s dominance in grocery

Walmart might have the advantage of size, but Trader Joe's has a superior shopping experience for several reasons.
The North Face store in Soho, Manhattan.

We went shopping at The North Face’s new interactive store, complete with the scents of Yosemite, and saw how it could be the future of the bran...

The North Face is revamping its global physical store strategy, debuting a new aesthetic starting with its it store in Soho, Manhattan.
Vegan and gluten-free veggie straws at Trader Joe's

We shopped at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and the Amazon-owned chain was disappointing in comparison

Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both target the health-conscious consumer. But which is better? From prices to store branding, Trader Joe's dominates.
A Billabong display in the Paragon Sports in New York City.

Nike is reportedly considering selling off Hurley as shoppers abandon surf style. We found the brand is already hard to find in stores.

After searching multiple stores, we found a tiny selection of Hurley merchandise in Paragon Sports in New York City.
Lord & Taylor ran major clearance sales before it closed.

Amazon is reportedly eyeing the former Lord & Taylor flagship store as it looks for office space in New York City. Here’s what the iconic s...

Amazon is reportedly in talks to lease the former Lord & Taylor flagship store. This is what the iconic retail location once looked like.