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SPECS/2017 to honor five growing retail brands


Meet the winners of Chain Store Age’s annual Breakout Retailer Awards at SPECS/2017.

The awards, sponsored by Paint Folks, honors innovative retail and restaurant brands that have crossed the “newbie” line and are well positioned for growth in the coming years.

Here’s a look at the winners, who will discuss their concepts at a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 14, at SPECS:

Altar’d State: With 73 stores throughout the Midwest, South, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, this women’s apparel retailer combines a bohemian fashion sensibility, distinctive store experience with an ambitious goal: to change the world for the better. Fifteen to 20 new stores are on tap in 2017, in both new and existing markets.

Bentley’s Pet Stuff: Dedicated to healthy nutrition for dogs and cats, Bentley’s Pet Stuff is positioned in the fastest-growing segment of the billion-dollar pet food industry: all natural foods. With a neighborhood store format, Bentley’s operates 65 stores, scattered throughout Georgia, Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. It plans to have a total of 90 to 100 stores by the end of 2017.

MOD Pizza: A pioneer of the fast-casual pizza trend, MOD has grown to some 200 locations in 20 states. It will open approximately 100 units this year.

Sugarfina: This luxury candy boutique offers gourmet sweets made by artisan candy makers from around the globe. It’s growing online and off, with 23 freestanding stores and also in-store shops at Nordstrom. It expects to open another 12 stores this year.

Warby Parker: A model of retail disruption, both online and off, Warby Parker has upended the eyewear market. Since debuting online in 2010, it has gone on to open 46 stores coast to coast, and reportedly plans to open a minimum of 25 more this year.

For more information and to register for SPECS, go to

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