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6. Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Industry rank: 3

Despite its position in the hard-hit luxury retail sector, Nordstrom never posted a quarterly loss during the downturn -- a testament to its exceptional customer service and trendy wares (just ask anyone who's obsessed with its legendary shoe department).

Now Nordstrom is fighting for market share in the hyper-competitive department-store industry. But its bedrock principle of customer service -- customers say it will refund items at any time -- has driven its stock performance past that of Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue by a wide margin over the past five years.

NEXT: Altria Group

Last updated March 04 2010: 7:58 AM ET
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