Baby boomers, it is time to make way, millennials are here, and they have decided that these famous brands need to step out of the way. This generation boasts of a higher spending power than the ones that came before it. The way they spend their money has changed technology, banking, and shopping. By doing this, numerous foods and products are headed for the graveyard of obsolete brands. The millennials have decided… and you may no longer find these brands on the shelves in the future.
Diet Pepsi became a big hit during the ‘90s, although its sales have gone down drastically in the past couple of years. Diet soda was a response to the worries surrounding sugary sodas. However, people have now become concerned about the potential dangers that come with aspartame and artificial sweeteners. When it comes to the healthier choice, millennials are going for sparkling water over Diet Pepsi.
Crocs have earned a reputation as the comfortable foam footwear of choice for mothers, gardeners, and campers. However, why is the brand finally going out of fashion? Firstly, these shoes are durable enough to last a lifetime, so its fans do not need to buy a new pair if they take good care of theirs. It should also be noted that there are claims that they are not good for the feet. Lastly, the shoes have such a simple design, which has led to the rise of knockoffs. The Crocs company has been shutting down lots of retail stores as of late.
Do you remember “Eat your Wheaties”? Even if you do, it seems like the General Mills breakfast choice will become a thing of the past in no time. Younger consumers seem to prefer breakfasts on the go over the breakfast of champions. Millennials are far too busy to enjoy their breakfast at the dining table, which explains the popularity of smoothies, egg sandwiches, and breakfast burritos.
The 200-year-old brand has long dominated the world of jewelry, but it has been suffering a sales slump for quite some time now. Millennials seem to no longer be interested in the signature bracelets, rings, and accessories offered by the company. It does not help that social norms are changing across the country. Lots of couples actively avoid spending on fancy engagement rings, if they get married at all! Tiffany & Co. hired Reed Krakoff, a designer who has made a name for himself by working for Coach, to take over the chief artistic director position. They hope to attract younger consumers, but this has not stopped the stocks from declining by 20%.
It would seem like Campbell’s Soup is more likely to show up on a graphic T-shirt than on a dinner table lately! Consumers aged 18 to 34 no longer seem to be interested in this brand that used to dominate kitchens across the United States. The preservatives and processed ingredients do not appeal to this health-conscious generation, which explains why sales have plateaued since 2012. The company is now trying to focus on portable snacks, organic soups, and broths. However, its sales have yet to improve.
Who would have thought that the time would come when Budweiser has been overthrown for the title “King of Beers”? In early 2018, it fell to the fourth spot in terms of domestic beer sales in the country. Customers now demand new and exciting alcoholic drinks, which the industry has provided for them. Craft beer production is now in full bloom to meet such demands. Budweiser’s competitors include unique flavor blends, hard seltzers, and low-carb low-sugar alcoholic beverages.
Millennials are now relying on Instagram and smartphones to capture their “Kodak moments”. The company used to be the king of all things camera and film, but it has failed to bounce back after its bankruptcy filing in 2012. It used to be a state-of-the-art company that had 145,000 employees. It is now making a desperate attempt to bounce back by dipping its toes into cryptocurrency. It introduced “Kodakcoin”, which has been described as the best way for photographers to control the rights to their images. Even though this is a creative effort, it might be a little too late for that.
Harley Davidson has not been immune to the changing habits of millennials. In particular, it has been affected by the changes in transportation and shopping habits. Now that young people are taking public transportation and using ride-hailing apps, personal vehicles have seen a decline in sales. Harley Davidson motorcycles are on their way to becoming luxury items of the past. Alliance Bernstein, a global asset management firm, predicts that motorcycle ridership will keep dropping in the next five years.
We cannot deny just how iconic Jell-O might be, but it has become one of those brands you are nearly surprised to still see in the grocery shelves. Who would have thought they still make this dessert? You might associate it with the holidays, cafeteria, and your childhood. According to analyst Erin Lash of Morningstar, Jell-O has failed to respond to the current food trends revolving around health and convenience. Kraft Heinz, the owner of the brand, is doing his best to win over this generation. One of its efforts is the Jell-O Play, a toy slime that you can eat!
In the past, there used to be an entertaining jingle that told consumers to “Fall into The Gap”. Lately, shoppers seem to be more interested in falling out with this clothing retailer. This brand has become so troubled that Gap Inc. – its parent company that also owns Old Navy, Athleta, and the Banana Republic – is now considering closing numerous stores. GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders explained that Gap’s clothes are thought to be “samey and boring”, while its image is considered “lackluster”.
General Motors has decided to kill off the gas-powered Chevrolet Volt electric car and Cruze small sedan. The automaker has stopped manufacturing these vehicles in March 2019. The passenger cars sales have gone downhill because consumers much prefer to cruise around in SUVs, crossover vehicles, and pickup trucks. GM is also planning to pull the plug on the Chevy Impala full-size car. On top of this, it has been shuttering its plants in Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario.
Did you know that there was a legit Chef Boyardee? However, his family spelled it “Boiardi”. He launched the company in the city of Cleveland in 1928. Mothers all over the country have been relying on the brand for canned pasts since then! However, Chef Boyardee is no longer the product of choice because people now prefer fresher and healthier food products. In 2014, the brand got the blame for the lackluster sales of ConAgra Foods, its corporate parent. Recently, the company rebranded to Conagra Foods and has been trying to use higher-quality ingredients for Chef Boyardee. While doing this raised the prices of the product, executives remain hopeful that it will lead to positive changes.
First launched in 2006, Twitter and similar social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have been seeing a decline in its user base. Twitter went up for sale ten years after its inception, although prospective buyers have declined to do so because of the decline in user numbers and slow sales growth. The platform received a lot of criticism for its failure to handle user abuse and harassment. With so much bad press, tweets might no longer be a thing in the future.
Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is best known for its skimpy styles and fashion shows. While it is still a popular line, it is not doing so well. According to analysts, its dark stores, glam image, blatant sexuality, and skinny models have all contributed to its fall in relevance. Sales have continued to go down since the year 2016. The company tried to respond to these developments by shutting down stores and changing its executive lineup. In 2019 alone, it has closed over 50 stores.
Even though the automaker brand continues to be very popular in Italy, the brand has lost relevance in the United States. Its small cars have become known to be rather unreliable and deliver a “choppy” ride. Its month-over-month sales have gone down continuously in the past years. Drivers across the country seem to prefer SUVs now. Fiat Chrysler has responded by retooling factories to make more light trucks and crossovers to cater to its American market.
SlimFast is a well-known maker of drink mixes and diet shakes. However, it is no longer popular among the American market. This company was sold for the price of $350 million, which is a huge decline in its $2.4 billion value when Unilever bought out the brand at the start of the millennium. SlimFast has been trying to improve its sales by introducing new products such as protein bars and cookies. However, consumers are now relying on fresh and low-carb foods when they want to shed their extra pounds.
Sears has been experiencing a decline, and the department store is taking down the previously well-regarded Kenmore appliance line along with it. Before, appliance manufacturers used to put a Kenmore nameplate on the best products they have to offer. This is no longer the case. This is has resulted in the line’s failure to compete with other electronic makers. Aarete consulting firm retail director Sean Maharaj told CNN that the brand is now “the equivalent of a flip phone in the smartphone era”. Sears is now looking for a buyer but to no avail.
In 2001, Apple described the introduction of the iPod as “the unveiling of a breakthrough digital device.” While the portable music player was pricier than other brands back in the day, it did not stop it from becoming a music industry sensation. By April 2007, Apple sold 100 million iPods! The following year, Barack Obama revealed the music he had on his own iPod and later gifted Queen Elizabeth an iPod of her own. However, it became obsolete when the iPhone was introduced. People were enticed by the fact that the newer product allowed one to play music and do other things at the same time! In this day and age, Apple has been killing off the iPod line with the sole exception of the Touch model.
Retailers of vitamins seem to share similar struggles in their sales, just like GNC and now Vitamin Shoppe. Like GNC, it has shifted into focusing on their e-commerce business and has also started its own subscription service. However, the company still saw an 8.5 percent drop in its top-line sales in 2017, which is roughly $1.2 billion. RetailDive points this struggle that Vitamin Shoppe and GNC are going through to the decreasing popularity of malls as well as the increasing number of supplement store competitors. Vitamin Shoppe is hopeful that they can turn things around by expanding their categories, doing events, opening delivery services, and more.
People just aren’t buying fancy suits like they were years ago, and it’s starting to show in the decrease in sales at Men’s Warehouse. With high prices and low demand, Men’s Warehouse isn’t sure they’ll make it through 2019 in one piece. Much of the reason for their decline is the change in style preferences and the fact that people don’t tend to dress up as much as they used to.
Nine West has had a rough few years; they are also falling into the decline due to lack of shopping mall customers, as well as the fact that they did not conform to the change in shoe preferences. When customers moved away from “stylish” shoes like sandals and ballet flats and focused more on athletic shoes, Nine West did not change their products to fit customers’ needs. As a result, the company will start to focus more on selling their jewelry rather than their shoes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the company closes its doors soon.
It’s no secret that millenials don’t love chain restaurants like their parents and grandparents do. Millenials are more conscious of where their food comes from and what they’re putting into their bodies, and Applebee’s just can’t compete with local food stops. They hit their peak in the 80s and 90s by opening up more than 1,000 stores, including some internationally, but despite trying their best to overhaul their menu and change everything to appeal more to the younger generation, they seem to be slipping through the cracks. Between their extremely high-caloric, high=sodium meals and their lack of individuality in each location, millenials are just not here for it.
In 2017, this shoe retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, let go of their employees and closed more than 600 stores. Fortunately, Payless managed to make a successful comeback after reorganizing in August of 2017. However, that did not mean they were out of the woods. Even though Payless had to close down hundreds of its stores, it still has plenty (3,500 to be exact!) to run while it is trying to handle the problems it is facing. Paul Jones, Payless’ CEO, said in an interview in 2017, “We have accomplished our goals of strengthening our balance sheet and restructuring our debt load, positioning Payless to create substantial value for our stakeholders.” Hopefully, they can make the comeback they’re hoping for.
Sears has been experiencing some problems for about a decade and is only seeing a continuing decline of their sales. It appears that this company has tried everything to stay afloat – cut costs, sell assets, close stores, and even lay off employees – but according to RetailDive, all of those steps did not help the huge department store much. As a result, in October 2018, it had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stopping the operation of 142 stores in the process. The CEO, Eddie Lampert, attempted to avoid bankruptcy by getting hundreds of millions of loans from his hedge fund (of course, with corresponding interest). However, things didn’t look so good for the retailer, and even a hedge fund couldn’t help it stay afloat.
In September 2018, it was announced that all 23 of the Henri Bendel storefront locations as well as their online site will cease operations within the coming months. Henri Bendel, a luxury jewelry and accessories retailer, is iconically known for its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It is owned by the same company, L Brand, that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. These two stores account for over 90 percent of L Brand’s income, whereas Henri Bendel was lagging behind with just about 5 percent.
You may be shocked to hear this, as the phone just came out not too long ago, but with the way Apple’s products have left the shelves when new products come out, the end of the iPhone XS wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary for this top-notch tech company. When the iPhone XS came out, the iPhone X very quickly disappeared and was no longer available for purchase; after all, it had a higher price tag than the XS and offered fewer features, so why would people buy it? If Apple continues to come out with new products at a similar pace as they have been, you can probably say goodbye to the iPhone XS sooner than later.
Like most traditional department stores lately, Neiman Marcus has seriously struggled with keeping their heads above water. The Dallas-based company has been bought out twice in the past decade, but their over $5 billion debt is keeping them suffering big time. Though sales actually have risen at the once-popular store in the past two years, this lingering debt is keeping them from succeeding anytime soon. They’ve cut hundreds of jobs in an effort to save any money possible, but it’s not looking so good.
Though they’ve put up a good fight in trying to assimilate to the low-budget model like other airlines- even for overseas flights- Norwegian Air is just not cutting it. They are losing more money every day, between the fact that they currently have an airplane stranded in Iran after making an emergency landing, trying to keep prices low enough for customers to use their service over a more reputable company and the fact that they are notorious for losing customers’ luggage and having to pay them back for it. Only time will tell if the airline can save itself.
Let’s face it, Sprint has never been the go-to cell phone service provider for Americans and now that other companies have become true powerhouses, Sprint needs to face the music. They are hoping to merge with T-Mobile in the hopes that they’ll be able to compete with AT&T and Verizon. They have to get approval from legislative bodies and if the request passes, Sprint will no longer exist. If you stop seeing Sprint advertisements everywhere you go, you know why.
Was anyone else a bit shocked by this? I feel like I see everyone wearing FitBits nowadays, but in reality, their low price point in comparison to competitors’ prices just isn’t enough to keep them at the top. Apple Watch has really stepping up their game lately, which is really hurting FitBit. They’re struggling to compete, and in turn not making much of a profit. Even if a FitBit costs a third of the price as an Apple Watch, most people who own iPhones prefer to have another Apple product to sync together.
The clothing company that Michelle Obama favors the most has been shutting down some of its stores because its sales have been nosediving in the past few years. In addition, the company has even closed its bridal store and said goodbye to Jenna Lyons, its creative director, and Millard “Mickey” Drexler, its CEO. Drexler said that he thought the company’s problems came from raising prices. They attempted to re-vamp their lines in 2017 to a more upscale look, which ended up hurting them in the long run. They were about $2 billion in debt at one point and they’re struggling to make a comeback. Madewell, a new brand owned by J. Crew, is thriving, but may not be making enough money to save J. Crew itself.
Office Depot itself may not go out of business, but you may not recognize it the way you’re used to. Office Depot’s main customers are business-to-business services and IT, so they may be shifting away from a retail office supply store and moving more toward services to help businesses. This shift in focus is similar to that of Vitamin Shoppe.
Pier 1 Imports
People aren’t buying home décor how they were before, especially from more expensive stores that specialize in home décor. They’d rather spend less money and get more things from Target or Walmart. A 9.2 percent drop in the net sales was seen in the first quarter of 2018 which translates to $371.9 million year over year. Pier 1’s credit rating was also downgraded by S&P Global analysts. Oh no! What’s more? Trump’s 10 percent tariff against Chinese goods is another card against them. Pier 1 once reported that over half of the goods they sell are made in China. Pier 1 needs a new solution to its problems, and we hope they find one.
In March 2019, CNBC reported that the low-cost apparel company Charlotte Russe is liquidating and will cease operation in all of its stores. When it filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2019, it originally planned to close only 94 of its retail stores. That number quickly went up to 500 stores all over the United States. According to CNBC, the main reason for this huge leap was that a liquidator got the winning bid in the auction for it in bankruptcy court. Charlotte Russe stores were historically located in malls, and with the amount of traffic in malls declining rapidly, that surely didn’t help their cause.
Just like its sister store Men’s Warehouse, David’s Bridal is also facing a rapid decline in profit. In recent times more and more brides are opting to have more casual attires and cheaper events for their weddings. That’s why those in the wedding industry such as David’s Bridal are experiencing drops in their sales. David’s Bridal isn’t really focusing on other things other than wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses and accessories, but maybe expanding their target market could help them out!
Almost every woman can remember going to Claire’s for all of their ear-piercing and accessorizing needs during childhood. However, this store, which was first established in 1961, may not be part of the future young girls’ memory any longer. CheatSheet reported that a 2018 bankruptcy was imminent, and it did happen. The company applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018 and planned to lessen its debt by $1.9 billion. By May 2018, it had shut down 130 stores. It now plans to sell itself to potential investors and buyers.
This outdoor company has had some financial problems for a while now, and In 2017, Golden State Capital, this Bellevue-based company’s owners, was thinking of selling the company. In the same year, their credit ranking was downgraded by S&P Global. This challenge, however, is nothing new to the company as it did come back from bankruptcy in 2009. Golden State Capital saved it from bankruptcy when they bought it in 2009. According to Nasdaq, the brand has had difficulties in keeping up with the trends. However, according to the stock exchange, it’s not really worried about Eddie Bauer anymore as the outdoor retailer is considering a merger with the California-based Pacific Sunwear.
Even with over 1,500 stores across North America, PetSmart is still facing the same issues as most stores. More and more customers are starting to prefer shopping online, as it is more convenient and it sometimes even less expensive. PetSmart did recently buy Chewy, an e-commerce site, but the $3.35 billion expense for the site added another burden to its existing debt. Reuters reported that it was the highest amount a company ever spent on an e-commerce site.
Toys R Us
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 17, America’s first toy superstore is reorganizing. The company has yet to say how many locations will be shutting down, but it has hired a company that evaluates stores for liquidation. USA Today has said that analysts predict as many as 183 stores shutting down this year.
The kid-centric clothing brand has quit paying its bills. By mid-2017, it was filing for bankruptcy protection for the usual reasons: less-busy malls, high rent prices, and competition. As it turns out, there aren’t enough parents and grandparents to keep Gymboree going. The company is going to close as many as 450 of its 1,281 locations as part of the Chapter 11 reorganization according to USA Today.
Not so many years ago, BlackBerrys were all the rage. Some people were so addicted to the phone that they referred to it as “CrackBerry”. Well, times most definitely change – and BlackBerry didn’t. It didn’t react the same way other companies did when they introduced amazing smartphones. By mid-2016, BlackBerry had less than 1% of the smartphone market worldwide, according to The Globe and Mail.
In July 2017, True Religion filed for Chapter 11 protection. It seems to be that this is becoming a pattern… The Expensive clothing brand was founded in 2002 in Southern California and it tripled in size between 2007 and 2013. However, that’s when sales slowed down as customers began shopping online more. By the time the brand filed for bankruptcy, 20 of its 140 stores had already been closed.
The once-grand brand is seeing a significant decrease in sales. The reason? Well, pretty much everything: less mall traffic, loads of competition (on and offline), high overhead (especially labor), and the changing shopping habits of consumers. Bloomberg reported that Macy’s plans on closing 11 stores. If the stores completely go under, Thanksgiving in New York will never be the same.
Beginning in the late 1990s, this made-in-America offered “ethically made, sweatshop-free” clothing and accessories. However, some of their ads created some controversy and got a lot of negative attention. In 2007, American Apparel was worth $1 billion, according to CheatSheets. However, the recession of 2008 took a toll, as did several sexual harassment charges against the founder of the brand, Dov Charney. Since 2009, the company hasn’t posted a profit and has filed for bankruptcy twice.
Once upon a time, Quiznos was the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the United States. However, today, the brand has fallen on hard times due to competition from sandwich stores like Firehouse Subs and Jimmy John’s. In 2007, Quiznos had 5,000 stores in the United States. Nowadays, they have 690 locations, according to CheatSheet.
Aeropostale was once a thriving teen-centric clothing brand. But, the company shut down 154 stores in mid-2016 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to CheatSheet. The sharp decrease in sales was thanks to competition, naturally. “Fast fashion” outlets like H&M and Forever21 were selling clothing for low prices and a constant stream of new styles and designs have lured shoppers away from Aeropostale.
The owner of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill announced in 2017 that it was closing 43 of its 1,500 restaurants. All three chains experienced negative 2016 sales and hoped for a better 2017. However, things weren’t looking good. To compete with the fast-food chains and delivery services, Bloomin’ Brands re-evaluated its strategy for 2017. The brand reduced promotions, enhanced delivery services, and renovated existing locations.
The parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP is not doing well lately. There are reports that DineEquity will close as many as 135 Applebee’s locations and at least 20 IHOP restaurants in 2018. It turns out that fewer families are taking the kids out for Stuffed French Toast, and millennials are opting for fast-casual brands and local restaurants.
Old Country Buffet
Since spring 2016, the all-you-can-eat restaurant has been closing locations without warning, according to Consumerist. Some of them were in shopping malls, unsurprisingly. But that’s only one issue that the parent company, Ovation Brands, faced. The parent company already filed for bankruptcy protection three times since 2008. Another problem came in the form of a salmonella lawsuit, which caused Ovation to shell out over $11 million to a Nebraska customer.
The world’s largest restaurant chain, Subway, is in trouble according to some reports. People began looking for healthier, fresher, and better-tasting food. Not to mention that franchise owners are protesting the chain’s promotions and food quality. In 2017 alone, the chain lost over 900 stores and was likely to close more locations in 2018.
Barnes & Noble
In 2018, the bookstore chain, Barnes & Noble saw a significant sales drop – 7.9% to be exact. Its loss rose to $30.1 million from $20.4 million the previous year. The math is not encouraging, especially knowing the recent numbers reflect a pattern that’s been in place since 2013. As you might have guessed, the main reason for this is that e-books are gaining momentum and putting bookstores out of business.
Abercrombie & Fitch
As expensive labels fell out of fashion, Abercrombie & Fitch have been struggling for years. More recently, some distasteful comments made by former-CEO Michael Jeffries put the company into an even worse position. In 2017, the brand shuttered about 40 store locations.
The Children’s Place
While The Children’s Place hasn’t announced any specific store closures for 2019, the brand is in the middle of a long-term store optimization process with plans to shut down almost 300 stores by 2020. This initiative began in 2013 and had closed 195 locations by the third quarter of 2018. It isn’t clear if the company will reach its goal, but doing so would mean closing around 50 stores this year. At the moment, the brand has 988 locations.