Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 1/23/15

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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 IKEA, IBM, Target, Sneaker Pawn, and Pocono Modern.

From Warren Shoulberg: Is IKEA the Most Influential Retailer of the Past 25 Years?

“Because say what you want about Walmart SuperCenters, H&M, Uniqlo, Restoration Hardware or even Amazon, none of them— not one—would exist in their present form if Ikea hadn’t come along to totally change the rules of retailing.”

From the Economist: Information technology: Computing, fast and slow

“IBM is not about to go down, but life in the cloud will be tough.”

From Theresa Tedesco: Pride took down a giant: How Target’s corporate hubris was its Canadian undoing

“Treat us like Americans — or else. That’s what Canadians kept telling U.S. retailer Target Corp., by staying away from its sparsely stocked and overpriced stores for almost two years. But the Minneapolis-based giant, which had staked its celebrated name on its first expansion foray outside the U.S., seemed determined to continue forging ahead with an ill-fated experiment that never gained traction in the diverse Canadian market.”

From Deepti Hajela: Getting his kicks: 16-year-old NY teen runs sneaker pawnshop

“A 16-year-old sneaker-loving teen is using the footwear to get a different kind of kick — he’s opened a pawnshop that uses high-end athletic shoes as collateral.”

From Diane Mastrull: For Poconos homebuilder, furniture came first

“No one will ever accuse Kraig Kalashian of a dearth of ideas. He’s an architect, after all, with a portfolio of 20 ambitious projects, most of them hotels and restaurants across the United States. And he once owned a firm specializing in hospitality-industry interiors.”

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