Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/16/15

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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 Luther Florist, Primark, Shantell Martin, Walmart, and Theranos.

From Cindy Hoedel: KC’s Luther Florist has spent more than a century serving the inner city

“Bonnie Luther-Hayes is the fourth-generation owner of Luther Florist. Her great-grandfather, August Luther, an immigrant from Baden-Baden, Germany, opened the store at 27th Street and College in 1912.”

From Robin Lewis: Primark – Luck of the Irish? or a Unique Value Proposition

“Primark’s value proposition sets the pricing bar so low that it will be almost impossible for competitors to crawl under it. And, they’ve set the experience and trendy merchandise bar so high, relative to their pricing, that competitors will find it an enormous challenge to simply match it, much less beat it. They own this space.”

From Sarah Lawson: Business Models For A Modern Artist

“Shantell Martin—known for her sprawling black-and-white drawings on everything from walls to skin to Adidas sneakers—began her career as a visual artist like she begins her drawings: without a plan. But over the past two decades, she’s carved out a revenue model to keep up with her vast portfolio.”

From Phil Wahba: Walmart takes aim at higher end shoppers to spur sales growth

“The discount retailer is looking to win over more middle class consumers to spark anemic sales growth.”

From John Carreyrou: Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology

“The company offers more than 240 tests, ranging from cholesterol to cancer. It claims its technology can work with just a finger prick. Investors have poured more than $400 million into Theranos, valuing it at $9 billion and her majority stake at more than half that. The 31-year-old Ms. Holmes’s bold talk and black turtlenecks draw comparisons to Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Jobs. But Theranos has struggled behind the scenes to turn the excitement over its technology into reality. At the end of 2014, the lab instrument developed as the linchpin of its strategy handled just a small fraction of the tests then sold to consumers, according to four former employees.”

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