BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- As Brown & Cole Stores here moves to polish its collection of acquisitions, the company believes it has a sustainable advantage over its national chain competition. That advantage is a closeness to the customers and the communities it serves, Craig Cole, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the 35-store company, told SN -- a closeness the chains cannot hope to duplicate, he pointed out. "It's not hard understanding consumers on an individual level and ...

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