Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 8/26/16

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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 Walmart, Toyota, Netflix, Loot Crate, and McDonald’s.

From Ben Thompson: Walmart and the Multichannel Trap

“In February 1991, the very month that Walmart overtook the most iconic American retailer in sales, Sears spokesman Jerry Buldak told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the companies couldn’t really be compared:”

From Morten Bennedsen: Steering a Carmaker out of a Crisis

“In January 2009, when Toyota’s supervisory board named Akio Toyoda president of the Toyota Motor Company, the multinational car manufacturer was in crisis mode. After 14 years of strong sales and record profits, Toyota had found itself at the centre of a perfect storm.”

From the Economist: Streaming on screens near you

“Can Netflix stay atop the new, broadband-based television ecosystem it helped create?”

From Kate Rockwood: America’s Fastest-Growing Company Is in Your Mailbox Every Month

“Los Angeles-based Loot Crate tops the list by overcoming shipping strikes, product scarcity, and the uncertain subscription-box economy to succeed in the business of fandom.”

From Wharton: McDonald’s Healthy Meal: Will Consumers Bite?

“Americans are becoming more health conscious, choosing food that is organic, packed with antioxidants and free of preservatives and antibiotics. So it is small wonder that McDonald’s, a global fast food juggernaut known for less-than-nutritious food, has seen sales stagnate. But the company recently decided to join the health-conscious bandwagon: This month, McDonald’s said it has completed a commitment to phase out the use of chicken raised with antibiotics used in human medicine at its U.S. restaurants. It also plans to remove artificial preservatives from popular items such as McNuggets and McGriddles. Sandwich buns will no longer contain high fructose corn syrup. But will diners buy it?”

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