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Customer Focused Companies

Smart companies focus on customers. They don't ask for government bailouts.

Whole Foods

Key economic metric: 9.3% same-store sales growth in Q1 2008

Why: "Our extensive selection of high-quality prepared foods," says CEO John Mackey, "attracts customers trading down from restaurants."

J.Crew

Key economic metric: 17% revenue growth in 2007

Why: "The winners will win not because they're cutting expenses long term," says CEO Mickey Drexler. "They're winning because they're innovating in their products."

HP

Key economic metric: 38% profit growth in Q1 2008 and a promise for even better results the rest of the year

Why: "While I realize that macroeconomic uncertainties exist," says CEO Mark Hurd, "it's important to note that we control many of the levers that drive our performance."

A version of this article appeared in the June 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.