Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 3/13/15

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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 Benihana, Kroger, Shinola, Lids, and McDonald’s.

From Erika Fry: Benihana battle

“If you want to pinpoint the moment when the battle over Benihana escalated from mere belligerence to full-on absurdity, it would be when a federal court issued an injunction to block the Beni Burger.”

From Hayley Peterson and Ashley Lutz: Why Kroger is America’s most underrated grocery store

“Kroger is thriving. The supermarket chain generated $109 billion in sales last year and just reported its 45th straight quarter of same-store sales increases.”

From Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz: Shinola’s Detroit story a successful sell

“Kevin Kaltenbach hasn’t worn a watch in 10 years. But the 31-year-old Michigan native recently found himself in Chicago’s Shinola boutique, wearing a baseball cap that shouted ‘Detroit’ across the front, buying a timepiece designed to tell a story as much as the time of day.”

From Amy Lynch: Lids’ Scott Molander shares secrets of retail success

“Recognizing a largely untapped niche in the retail headwear market, Scott Molander founded Hat World with partner Glenn Campbell in 1995, selling sports logo-emblazoned baseball caps from a temporary Lafayette, Ind., retail mall location during the holiday season. Sales went extremely well, and within five years, the company had grown to 157 shopping mall outposts. In 2001, Hat World grew exponentially by acquiring Lids Corp., its largest competitor.”

From Stephanie Strom: McDonald’s Seeks Its Fast-Food Soul

“A new chief executive took over last week, inheriting a weakened company that is under pressure to be both cheap and high-quality.”

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