Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/27/15

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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 Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Unilever, Living Social, and Playboy.

From Adam Gale: Why did Urban Outfitters buy a pizza restaurant?

“I’ll have a pair of black leather ankle boots, some corduroy dungarees and a quattro formaggi please. The hipster clothing chain buys Pizzeria Vetri, but investors aren’t happy.”

From Farhad Manjoo: How Amazon’s Long Game Yielded a Retail Juggernaut

“Jeff Bezos bucked the trend of seeking short-term results to create an addictive shopping experience few can match. And his newer enterprise is a blockbuster, too.”

From David Gelles: Unilever Finds That Shrinking Its Footprint Is a Giant Task

“Unilever has pledged to cut its environmental impact in half while improving the health of one billion people, but sustainability is turning out to be complicated.”

From Mike Isaac and Katie Benner: LivingSocial Offers a Cautionary Tale to Today’s Unicorns

“A former darling of the start-up world, the company offers a glimpse of what some of today’s biggest start-ups might look like several years down the road.”

From Michael del Castillo: After ditching nude pics, Playboy embraces small batch manufacturers

“Shortly after Playboy announced it would no longer feature nude women in its U.S. publications, the company started to publicly rebrand itself as a men’s lifestyle magazine complete with edgy journalism, fun tech gadgets and independently made products.”

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