The Welsh engineering firm Taylor & Sons, which was founded in 1875, collapsed after a typo by Companies House in 2009 mistakenly listed them as being wound up, by confusing them with another company, Taylor and Son, that really was failing. Considering that the company was very profitable before the blunder, this has to rank among the costliest typos in history.
“Retail Apocalypse” is the closing of numerous large-chain retail stores worldwide, starting around 2010 and continuing onward.
In 1986, the small New Zealand town of Otorohanga briefly changed its name to “Harrodsville” in support of the local restaurant Harrods, which was facing lawsuits by the famous London department store of the same name. In addition, every business in town changed their name to “Harrods”.
There are no more than 12 Kmart stores remaining in the US. At its peak in 1994 there were 2323 stores in the US and 2486 globally. Until 1990, when it was surpassed by Walmart, it was the second largest retailer in the US after Sears.
In the days of phone directories (yellow pages), companies would choose names with the letter ‘A’ in front so they appeared first in the alphabetized list. This led to oddly spelled words, such as “Aaaamerican” or “Aaaction,” as well as many businesses with “AAA” in their names.
The founders of Samsung and LG, Lee and Koo, were close friends since elementary school. In 1968, Lee met Koo and told him that Samsung was planning to enter electronics, which meant becoming LG’s direct competitor. Angered, Koo yelled at him and left. Afterwards, the two were never close again.
Anthony Rossi who founded Tropicana Products in 1945 was an Italian immigrant who arrived in the US with $25 and did not know English. He developed an orange juice pasteurization process to allow transport from the factory in Florida to as far away as New York starting in 1970.
In 2018, a woman accidentally paid a Swiss cafe $7709 for coffee because she entered her PIN number as the dollar amount. When she called to get the money back, nobody answered because the cafe had filed for bankruptcy.
UPS was founded in 1907 by 19 yr. olds James Casey and Claude Ryan, using two bicycles, a phone, a tiny office in a saloon, and a borrowed $100. United Parcel Service has become a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Payless once opened a fake luxury store called “Palessi” and invited influencers to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes. Top offer: $640. A markup of 1800%.