5/30/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Alice + Olivia, Lenovo, Kar’s Nuts, Urban Outfitters, and Wawa

From Wharton: Alice + Olivia: A Global Brand Spawned by a Need for the Perfect Pants

“Thirty-six-year-old Bendet is the founder and creative mind behind Alice + Olivia, a $150 million global women’s clothing company that is little more than a decade old. Bendet described the origin and rapid-growth of Alice + Olivia at the recent Retail and Consumer Goods Growth Summit, organized by Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Center and Momentum Event Group.”

From The Economist: Lenovo: The rise of the frugal innovator

“Having conquered the global market for personal computers, China’s Lenovo is setting its sights higher.”

From Frank Witsil: Madison Heights-based Kar’s aims to outsell Planters, boost profile

“Kar’s Nuts is a great name for a business in metro Detroit, except for one thing.”

From Chris Hepp: As its hip slips, Urban Outfitters refocuses

“With the flagship listing, it is all hands on deck over at Urban Outfitters Inc. Even the boss’ wife has joined the bucket brigade.”

From Wharton: Howard Stoeckel: Managing ‘The Wawa Way’

“Wawa, the convenience store beloved by many in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In conjunction with the anniversary, former CEO Howard Stoeckel has published a new book, The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name and Six Core Values Revolutionized Convenience, that explains where the business name came from (it’s the Ojibwe word for ‘Canada goose’ and the name of the Pennsylvania town where the headquarters is located); the history of the chain, and plans for the future. Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with Stoeckel about how the business model has evolved over time, Wawa’s recent expansion to Florida, the role that Wawa plays in consumers’ lives and why Wawa associates own a significant portion of the private company.”

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