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...the music products business done outside of the United States. The group employed 20,430 and operated 1,639 locations. Although all of the retailers on the list reflect the local cultures and traditions of their native countries, the similarities between the businesses far outweigh the differences. Global trade has homogenized product offerings around the world: whether you’re shopping in São Paulo, San Francisco, Singapore, or Stockholm, you’re likely to encounter a very similar product assortment, with the same top selling brands. Merchandising is also strikingly similar from country to country—colors are brighter in Japan, stores in France have a more elegant look, but m.i. stores look pretty much the same from one country to the next. Another almost universal trait is a deeply ingrained entrepreneurial spirit. Behind every store on this list, is an ambitious individual who was convinced they could answer some unmet need in the marketplace.

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