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2. Family Dollar Stores
Family Dollar Stores
Fortune 500 rank: 359
2008 revenue: $6.98 billion
2008 total shareholder return: 38.9%

There's nothing like a recession to draw customers into a dollar store. Family Dollar raked in $6.9 billion in sales last year, and its stock soared nearly 40%. An expanding assortment of goods - including ready-to-serve soups and Hanes underwear - helped boost business. The average amount spent per customer: $10.

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Last updated April 20 2009: 1:34 PM ET
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