Thomas Cook was known for providing affordable all-inclusive travel packages. Over time, the company had grown to serve 20 million customers a year with its 200 hotels and fleet of over 100 airplanes. But after 178 years of operations, it declared bankruptcy in September 2019, leaving 600,000 travelers stranded and 21,000 employees jobless. Let’s take a look at what happened. The company certainly did not go under out of the blue. Over the years, several signs were foretelling their downfall.
In 2011, Thomas Cook was hanging on by a thread. The company had delayed its financial results and was asking…
We can trace Billabong back to 1973, when Gordon and Rena Merchant started sowing and selling board shorts in the Gold Coast of Australia. Billabong is an actual word that means some kind of oasis. They coupled the word with a wave design to form their iconic logo. The first few years in business, the duo carried out their operation from home, designing the shorts on their kitchen table and selling them in local surf shops. The demand for their products outgrew their home operation capacity and they switched to their first factory in 1975. The surf community adored Billabong’s…
I have been a fan of Quiksilver clothing for a long time now. The famous logo of a cresting wave and snow-capped mountain appealed to me, although I am not a surfer. The brand evolved into a billion-dollar company in the early 2000s, broke the 2-billion-dollar mark in 2007, but then suffered declining sales thereafter. Let’s dive in to see what happened.
In 1969, Alan Green took a loan from his father to produce wetsuits at first, and later added sheepskin boots for surfers. It was not until 1973 that Quiksilver was born. Alan partnered with John Law to produce…
Blizzard Entertainment brought to the world the once most popular online PC game, World of Warcraft. However, the game started to lose steam in the 2010s and Blizzard started creating other games to sustain their revenue stream. Let’s dive in to see what happened.
It all started in 1991 when three friends started Silicone & Synapse, a game software developer. Initially, they were working to support game releases on other consoles and computers but that changed in 1994. They renamed to Blizzard Entertainment and started releasing their own game titles. One of the first games released was the Warcraft, Orcs…
There’s a high chance that you have come across Timberland shoes while out shoe-shopping. The first Timberland shoe, introduced in 1973, was actually targeted for outdoors-men and blue-collar workers. The Swartz brothers, Herman and Sidney, designed the shoe to be sturdy and water-resistant. The build quality was such that it was even sold in army-navy stores. Nowadays Timberland offers a range of outdoor footwear and apparel. But let’s back up a bit.
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Deutsche Bank, where do we begin? Once upon a time, it was seen as one of Europe’s strongest bank. But the German bank has been plagued by a series of issues. If we take a look at the bank’s stock price over time, we can observe that after recovering from the financial crisis in 2008, the company lost 85% of its market value. And today we will explore some of the reasons for that decline.
Deutsche has paid 18 billion dollars in fines this decade, with more than 10 billion dollars occurring…
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If you ever crave Chinese food, you should definitely try Panda Express. With its over 2,200 locations generating more than 3 billion dollars in revenues, Panda Express is the largest Asian restaurant chain in the US. How did they grow into a leader in the quick serve business? Let’s dive in to see how they made it.
In 1973, Andrew Cherng and his father founded full-service restaurants, Panda Inn, in Pasadena, California. They were banking on the large Asian-American population in the area to form their customer base. At first, there was…
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Big Brands. Small Prices. That was the catchy slogan of Mervyn’s. The chain essentially pioneered the branded apparel discounting concept and grew rapidly on the West Coast. But it seems that it could not take the heat from the rise of other discount chains. The chain finally filed for bankruptcy in 2008. So, what really went wrong along the way? Let’s dive in.
Here is the video of this transcript: Lego
When I was a child, I used to be obsessed with Lego. At first, I was attracted to solely the Lego Bionicle sets. But then, at some point, I began using other sets as well. Lego had cemented such a strong position in the toy market that I would have never thought it would one day come close to bankruptcy. So, what really pushed the giant to the brink of collapse? Let’s dive in.
Here is the video of this transcript: The Rise and Fall of Winchell’s Donut
Winchell’s Donut House quickly became a household name in the 70s and 80s, operating about 1,000 stores at its peak. It was huge in the West Coast, where it had over 200 stores, and opened locations across the world, including New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. I recently went on their website to find out how many stores they operated nowadays. It’s gone down to merely 170 stores. So, what really happened to such a big chain that was poised for success? Let’s dive in.
Startup Sapience is a documentary web series that explores the business models of promising startups and industry trends.