Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 5/15/15

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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 Marien Pro Hardware, Zips, Boeing, GE, and Forever 21.

From John Russell: Hard times for small hardware stores

“Marien Pro Hardware might be paying the ultimate cost for years of dispensing helpful, money-saving tips. The store is just a month or two from closing up shop after 87 years in business at the corner of Madison and Norton avenues, about four miles south of Monument Circle.”

From Thomas Heath: Zips disrupting more dry cleaning communities

“Zips, which calls itself the disrupter of dry cleaners, took a big step toward being a national chain this week when the Greenbelt-based franchisor sold the rights to 104 additional locations.”

From Steve Wilhelm: Boeing’s cost-cutting success is ‘beyond belief’

“Seven years from now, Boeing (NYSE: BA) will be delivering finished aircraft at the prices it negotiated today. So in order for the company to make more money, it needs to keep improving productivity.”

From Wharton: GE Sheds Finance Arm to Become Industrial Powerhouse

“Signaling the end of a chapter when financial risk was rife, General Electric has announced it’s selling off the bulk of GE Capital, divesting out of the financial-services market within the next two years. While many in the general public may still think of GE as an industrial company that makes jet engines and CAT scan machines, GE had in fact ballooned into a major player in the finance sector.”

From Kathleen Elkins: From pumping gas to a $6 billion fortune

“For three years, Don worked as a janitor, pumped gas, and served coffee to make ends meet. Then, a simple observation sparked a monumental shift in their direction, which would eventually make them billionaires.”

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