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 Sussex IM, Graco, Hormel, Sears, and Netflix.
“It’s been a good six years at Sussex IM Inc. Purchased by senior managers in late 2009 from its British corporate owner, the plastic products company has nearly doubled its sales, increased employment and expanded its plant. Now, the injection molding firm is preparing to enlarge its footprint again, and make a major move in retail with a kitchen-storage item invented by one of the owners and dubbed Mr. Lid.”
“Graco, known for industrial pumps and sprayers, has quietly built a business empire with food makers.”
“The maker of Spam is booming—and learning to love peanut butter, protein shakes, and organic food.”
“Sears has survived two world wars and the Great Depression. But after a decade under the control of a former Goldman Sachs executive turned hedge fund manager, the 130-year-old retailer is imploding.”
“Just because Netflix had essentially created this new world of internet TV was no guarantee that it could continue to dominate it. Hulu, a streaming service jointly owned by 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBC Universal, had become more assertive in licensing and developing shows, vying with Netflix for deals. And there was other competition as well: small companies like Vimeo and giants like Amazon, an aggressive buyer of original series. Even the networks, which long considered Netflix an ally, had begun to fight back by developing their own streaming apps.”