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01. Aaron’s Sales and Lease

Aaron’s operates both company-owned and franchise stores across 48 U.S. states and Canada. The company provides lease-to-own payment plans on a variety of durable retail products, such as furniture, appliances, televisions, and video game systems. Customers have the option of choosing from 6-, 12-, 18-, or 24-month payment plans.

The company has already announced plans to hire 1,000 new workers in 2011. As the economy begins to improve, it’s hoped that consumers will start spending at rent-to-own furniture retailers before shopping at more traditional retailers, due to lower up-front costs. If this strategy pans out, companies like Aaron’s could be in an excellent position to benefit from an economic upswing.

Employee Review: Aaron’s was and continues to be a financially growing company that is growing despite the economy. They offer decent pay, good benefits and the POTENTIAL to make a lot of money …*

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02. AMC Entertainment

The company operates 361 theaters, housing 5,203 screens across the United States and Canada. Of these screens, 810 have 3D capability and 107 are of the large-screen IMAX format. AMC Entertainment currently employs around 16,800 full and part-time staff.

AMC recently announced a partnership with Chinese film production company China Lion. The arrangement will allow many of China Lion’s films to be shown at AMC theaters. The idea behind the deal is to allow both companies greater access into the Chinese-American market as well as the ability to reach other American fans of Chinese cinema.

Already, China Lion has begun making films designed to be released in both countries. They have been tweaking their films’ content to make them more appealing to the new broader target market.

Employee Review: Working at AMC has its benefits including free movies, a good work life balance, and the enjoyment of working in a fun industry. There’s lots of work to do, so you’ll never bored …*

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03. Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark is a giant in the field of personal hygiene products. The company’s brands include Kleenex tissues, Scott paper towels, and both Huggies and Pull-Ups diapers among others.

Kimberly-Clark recently began testing the sale of their new Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the northeastern United States. If sales figures are positive, the new product could be rolled out across the country in no time.

Kimberly-Clark has announced plans to sell several of their pulp manufacturing plants. The cash generated from the sales of these facilities could help fuel job growth at the company, depending on how the reinvestment is structured.

Employee Review: A global company with a strong career growth potential. Opportunity to gain knowledge, and work with some of the best individuals in their respective fields.*

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04. Hewlett Packard (HP)

Hewlett Packard, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., currently ranks 10th on the Fortune 500. The company ships around 48 million PCs each year, making it the largest supplier of PCs worldwide. With revenues of $126 billion for their 2010 fiscal year, the company is also the largest IT company in the world. HP currently operates in 170 countries worldwide and has over 300,000 employees.

Hewlett Packard recently announced that starting sometime next year, all their PCs will ship with both Microsoft Windows and WebOS loaded. The new operating system is HP’s foray into the world of tablet-style operating systems, and is their attempt to compete with Apple’s iPad and Android-based tablets.

Employee Review: The new CEO seems to want to reinvigorate a culture of innovation, bringing products to market faster and truly recognizing, valuing and developing employees …*

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05. Furniture Row Companies

The Denver-based company is one of the largest family-owned retail furniture companies in the United States. The company operates 330 stores in 31 states along with 4 U.S.-based manufacturing centers.

The company is know for its Furniture Row Outlets, which provide several individually focused furniture store outlets, side-by-side, in a strip-mall-like setting. The idea behind the design is to allow customers to quickly find the type of merchandise they are looking for, instead of having to navigate through a large department store-style layout.

The company has been experimenting with only having its stores open for three days each week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). At the test locations, the staff spends their “off days” restocking the store for the following weekend. The idea is to present customers with significantly different product offerings each week.

Employee Review: Working at the company offers opportunities for growth. Overall there are lots of good people in the company. The organization is willing to spend money on training, and working there offers a chance to travel and see new places.*

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06. LexisNexis

LexisNexis employs over 15,000 worldwide and has customers in over 100 countries. Through their database, the company provides legal, news, and business information complied from over 45,000 sources. A household name in the legal field, LexisNexis revolutionized legal research beginning in the late ’60s with the advent of electronically searchable legal records.

The company recently hosted a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) conference in Shanghai, China, to bring together companies working in China’s growing M&A field. LexisNexis’s presence in this emerging market could provide the company with significant growth over the next few years.

Employee Review: Working at LexisNexis allows you to gain experience using cutting edge technologies. You get to work with very smart people. I was fortunate enough to have friendly co-workers during my time there.*

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07. PepsiCo

As one of the largest beverage brands in the world, Pepsi is a household name just about anywhere you go. The company is also involved in the food industry with subsidiaries Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods in the United States, as well as Sabritas and Gamesa in Mexico.

PepsiCo recently announced the development of a 100 percent recyclable bottle made from bio-based raw materials. Right now the new bottles are being derived from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks, and other sources. In the future the company hopes to be able to create the bottles from sources such as orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other byproducts from its food businesses.

Employee Review: PepsiCo is a great place to work! The thing that makes it different than other companies is the PEOPLE. The environment is very innovation driven and fast paced.*

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08. CarMax

Beginning with a single store in Richmond, Va., in 1993, the company has grown to its present size of over 100 stores across the country. To date the company has sold over 2 million cars and appraised over 5 million. CarMax is currently a member of the Fortune 500, and has also been included in Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The company had a good year last year due to the fact that new and used auto sales were up 20 percent from 2009.

The company has begun building a new superstore in Escondido, Calif. The new location is expected to open in mid-2011 and will create 50 to 75 new jobs. The superstore will be the company’s second location in the Greater San Diego area.

Employee Review: CarMax is an associate focused company. There are some employees that struggle with working retail hours, but management does its best to facilitate scheduling. CarMax is a growing company, so if you are willing to move, you can be promoted. Loved working there and I would go back if possible.*

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09. Arby’s

The company was founded in 1964, by brothers Leroy and Forest Raffel with an innovative idea, to provide a fast-food alternative to the omnipresent hamburger. From a single store, the company has grown to its present size of around 3,600 locations.

In 2005 Triarc acquired RTM Restaurant Group, which is Arby’s largest franchisee. Triarc went on to merge with Wendy’s International Inc., and the combined company is now the third largest fast-food company in the United States.

Currently, the company is actively promoting their new Angus Three Cheese & Bacon sandwich. Coming in at a whopping 660 calories, with 33 grams of fat, the sandwich does not cater to the health-food crowd. Instead, it seems the plan is to get customers through the door based on the new offering’s taste and presentation.

Employee Review: Arby’s allows employees to work flexible hours, especially when working around school schedules. When working enough hours to get a lunch break, you are allowed to pick items from a ‘free food list’…*

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10. Walmart

With over 2 million employees worldwide, Walmart Inc. is the largest private employer in the United States. The company has steadily grown since founder Sam Walton opened the first Walmart-branded store in 1962.

Starting as a discount retail operation, the company has grown to include a line of supercenters and a significant grocery operation. The company is now so prevalent that over 170 million customers visit Walmart stores around the world each week. In addition to its Walmart-branded activities, the company owns and operates the Sam’s Club wholesale centers.

Employee Review: They were very flexible with my school schedule and when I left the company, the people in my department actually threw a party for me. It was shocking! Wal-Mart seemed to be very concerned about making sure employees took their breaks (not something I was used to)… *

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