Learning from the Great Depression

October 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm

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Here is a sampler of Companies that shunned debt, diversified and innovated during hard times and are still here today.

(S. Perman, BusinessWeek, October 17, 2008)

At 179 years old, Yuengling remains the country’s oldest beer maker. Dick Yuengling, the fifth-generation CEO, says the family kept the business afloat by diversifying into dairy farming, Broadway shows, and dance halls during the Great Depression instead of shutting down or selling out.

Founded in 1833, Martin Guitars is the oldest surviving guitar maker in the world. Sixth-generation CEO Chris Martin credits his company’s resiliency during the 1930s to its pricing and founding principle of remaining fair and equitable while maintaining its strong relationships with dealers—some of which stretch back generations. “Our billing has always been routine,” he says. “No shenanigans. We don’t offer discounts to high-volume retailers.”

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Entry filed under: Business Cases, Global Business.

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