Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 12/2/16

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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 TE Connectivity, Build-A-Bear, South Florida Tissue Paper, L.L. Bean, and Nike.

From Joseph N. DiStefano: Sensors, switches, perilous places are the job at TE Connectivity

“TE Connectivity builds parts for hazardous environments – engines, battlefields, high altitudes, ocean floors, your guts.”

From Lisa Brown: Build-A-Bear pursuing growth in smaller spaces, licensing deals

“As it nears the 20th anniversary of its first store at the St. Louis Galleria, Build-A-Bear Workshop is navigating a new course that marks a departure from its mall origins with smaller locations and more licensing deals.”

From Joseph A, Mann: A look at fast-growing South Florida Tissue Paper Co. in Miami Gardens

“The company and its products: South Florida Tissue Paper Co. makes bathroom tissue, paper towels and industrial napkins for the wholesale market. The firm, located in Miami Gardens, sells three of its own brands, SOFT, EXCELLENCE and ELITE, and makes private label brands for some of its customers.”

From David Sharp: Nostalgic customers still seeking out LL Bean’s ol’ boots

“L.L. Bean is kicking it up a notch as demand continues to surge for its iconic boot. The Maine-based outdoors retailer has leased a larger, 110,000-square-foot building and plans to install a third injection-molding machine to manufacture the rubber soles. It’s also hiring 100 more workers in the new year to make the boots.”

From Jeff Manning: Nike still in the lead, but losing ground to Adidas, Under Armour

“The Beaverton-area juggernaut’s sales would explode, he predicted, pushing annual revenue from $30 billion to $50 billion by 2020. Having built a seemingly impregnable position atop the athletic footwear and apparel industry, few questioned that Nike could make it happen. Today, however, $50 billion seems a long way off. Nike’s archrival Adidas has become the story of 2016. Hitting a sweet spot at the crossroads of sports and pop culture, Adidas is posting sustained double-digit sales gains, particularly in the key North American market where it was dead in the water just two years ago.”

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