In the consumer world we live in, we’ll often get attached to products without even noticing. Now this is more likely to happen if we like them or just find that they do a job particularly well. And whether it’s a specific food or even car make, we can usually fall back on these goods if we need to. But as we’re about to find out, some of these beloved brands could be on the brink of disappearing altogether.
Now in a lot of instances, good things rarely last forever. But on the upside, when it comes to certain products and brands, that’s not always the case. For example, companies such as American Express, Colgate and Levi’s have been operating for well over 100 years. So with that in mind, it’s sometimes easy to take some goods for granted.
Indeed, many of us are guilty of always expecting our favorite products to be on the shelves waiting for us. Unfortunately, though, there may come a time when they finally vanish for good, forcing us to reevaluate. And beyond that, brands and chains are also susceptible to similar fates in a dog-eat-dog world.
For instance, toy shoppers were left devastated when Toys “R” Us went bankrupt in 2017. Elsewhere, movie fans had to change their ways when the flick-rental chain Blockbuster finally closed its doors in 2013. In addition to that, there have been countless examples of other brands going to the wall.
Which brings us to today’s fluid market habits. So there are many brands and products out there that could be on the verge of an untimely extinction. And on that note, we’ve decided to give you all a heads-up. So here are 35 well-known items and chains that might be edging toward the chopping block in the near future. But don’t get hysterical just yet. For as far as we know they’re still around – well, currently.
When it comes to buying informal footwear, some will always opt for a pair of Crocs due to their undoubted versatility. However, the toughness of these foam shoes could actually lead to their downfall, as people don’t need to replace them often. And a downturn in sales, alongside other factors, resulted in almost 200 shops being shut in 2018.
Back in the early 1960s, Claire’s first opened its doors to the public and targeted one particular demographic. Yes, the stores catered for young girls, selling items of jewelry and offering ear piercings, which it still does. Unfortunately, though, business hasn’t been good lately, which led the chain to declare bankruptcy in 2018.
In the days before camera phones, many of us owned a snappy Kodak camera. Since then, the landscape of photography has drastically changed, as we all know. And this has resulted in some difficult times for the company. After going bankrupt in 2012, it veered away from its traditional products and started focusing on cryptocurrency. But that move hasn’t been hugely successful, either.
32. Chef Boyardee
For decades, the Chef Boyardee brand has provided countless people with easy-to-cook meals. Yet in recent times, customers have been looking to stay clear of its canned products, instead opting for healthier alternatives. In a bid to keep up with competition, changes were made to the recipes, but that resulted in prices going up.
Kenmore was once an incredibly popular brand in the United States, producing products such as fridges and washing machines. Indeed, the items could usually be found in Sears stores, but since that company has had issues, its sales have suffered. On top of that, Kenmore has also failed to keep up with the technology from its competitors in the market. In fact, it’s now seen as a bit “old school.”
30. Diet Pepsi
So Diet Pepsi first hit the shelves in America in 1964, years ahead of its launch in the U.K. But while the “cool” beverage did enjoy some success in the past, particularly in the 1990s, those days appear long gone. For you see, fewer people have been purchasing the product recently, opting for healthier alternatives. And don’t forget the success of its bitter rival (but not bitter tasting), Diet Coke.
For over 100 years, the Sears retail chain had been an ever-present sight for Americans, selling a variety of products. However, that all started to change in 2007 when sales took a noticeable dip. From there, it continued to lose money each year, which eventually led to its bankruptcy in 2018. Now, there are just over 400 shops left open.
28. Fabric Softener
In today’s market, there are numerous products we can use to wash our clothes. Unfortunately for fans of fabric softener, though, that particular item appears to be on the decline with American consumers. As for why, the reason actually sounds kind of stupid. For market research suggests that younger people just don’t know what it does in the wash.
27. Volkswagen Beetle
The Volkswagen Beetle is arguably one of the most recognizable cars in the world. Indeed, remember the iconic Herbie movies? Yet despite its undoubted popular appearance, the model has struggled to establish itself in America in recent times. And Volkswagen will now be taking the vehicle off the U.S. market in 2019, much like it has done in the past. Sadly, it appears functionality in a car is more important these days than something which appears to be a novelty.
Around 50 years ago, Gap opened its doors to consumers across the country, selling many fashionable items. But in the spring of 2019, the chain made a rather concerning announcement about its business. Due to the present state of the retail market, it will be shutting over 200 shops before 2021. And you have to ask the question: is there still a gap in the market, for Gap?
25. Old Country Buffet
Now we all have our favorite restaurants. For some, the Old Country Buffet chain was more than ideal, as you could tuck into a variety of different options. However, in the space of a few years, hundreds of the eateries have closed down. In fact, there were only 19 in operation by August 2019, and most of those were in the midwest. And it’s probably no coincidence that consumers nowadays generally prefer to go for something that offers a more straightforward choice.
During our younger years, there were few things nicer than tucking into a bowl of Jell-O after dinner. Sadly for lovers of the gelatin dessert though, it could become a relic of the past thanks to healthier eating options. But in a bid to avoid that outcome, the company is trying out some new products to bring back consumers.
23. Barnes & Noble
In the United States, Barnes & Noble is one of the more notable book chains around, establishing itself back in 1886. Yet despite that longevity, the business was in a worrying place in 2018 after losing around $17 million. And while the chain was bought the following year, sales could still be an issue due to the rise of eBooks.
Unsurprisingly, clothing brands will always face plenty of competition from their rivals. But in the case of Aéropostale, it appeared to be too tough a challenge. And the company declared bankruptcy in 2016. Although it eventually recovered some 12 months later, the concerns regarding its long-term future haven’t really dissipated.
21. Bars of Soap
In terms of mainstays, the bar of soap was arguably the most common item you could find in a bathroom. Yet these days, the younger generation are generally opting for bottled soap instead, believing that the bars carry germs. Due to that, it’s believed, the product’s sales have taken an alarming dip. So the question is: can oldies save it being washed down the plughole altogether?
For a long time Wheaties was one of the biggest cereal brands out there, with countless sports stars adorning the boxes. In today’s market, though, the once popular breakfast cereal is struggling to recapture its previous form. In part, that’s down to the sheer number of choices people now have at the supermarkets.
If you wanted to buy a classy piece of jewelry in the past, Tiffany’s was the ideal store. Yes, the chain always has plenty of options. However, recent figures have suggested that fewer people are shopping there now, unwilling to splash big money on “signature” products. As a result, the business’ stock dropped around 20 percent. More striking perhaps, is that consumers just generally don’t spend so much on jewelry nowadays anyway.
When it came to stocking up on our favorite pieces of digital media, iTunes was the perfect tool. Indeed, users could download anything from movies to music on the website. But those times are coming to an end. Thanks to an iOS update, we’ll soon have to browse through three separate sites for our music, podcast and viewing needs.
17. Victoria’s Secret
In terms of lingerie brands, Victoria’s Secret is probably the most recognizable of the bunch. But despite that, the company has still been losing business at a worrying rate for the last few years. So with that in mind, over 50 of its shops are due to close in 2019.
At one time, SlimFast was the go-to brand if you wanted to lose weight – and its TV ads were everywhere. Furthermore, the company offered a wide variety of different supplements to be taken as part of a balanced diet. But in 2018 it emerged how far it had fallen from grace since its heyday. Yes, the business was purchased for $350 million, a smudge on the $2.4 billion paid to buy it in 2000.
For those of us who like to buy our products in bulk, chains like Costco are absolutely perfect. That’s right, the warehouses sell a variety of items, and you’re sorted for weeks. But who these days actually shops this way? Well, certainly not millennials. Sadly for the aforementioned shoppers, that could be a very troubling sign for the future.
Much like the Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat has found it quite tough to break into the United States’ car market. Now it’s widely believed that America’s love of SUV-type vehicles has had a detrimental effect on the sales of smaller models. So given the current situation, Fiat are now moving away from the U.S.
Thanks to advances in technology, we can now read books via nifty-looking tablets, as opposed to the printed word. However, eBooks have an uphill battle of their own today, with figures suggesting that fewer consumers are buying them. For some people, their phones can serve the same purpose, meaning they don’t need the product. To add to that, a lot of people are just reading less than they used to.
12. Chevrolet Cruze
Over time, every brand will have a product that stands out as its most popular offering. In the case of Chevrolet, the Cruze model held that title in the past. But regardless of the vehicle’s previous reputation, other companies competed against it in the market, leading to its discontinuation in 2019.
11. Digital Cameras
Similar to the Kodak situation, digital cameras have fallen foul of the advancements in today’s technology. Yes, fewer people have been spending their cash on the devices since the iPhone hit the shelves over a decade ago. Now, with camera phones seemingly everywhere, the products are essentially out of date.
10. Arabica Coffee
Given the large choice of coffees now available, it’s not surprising many go for a distinctive taste. For some, Arabica is the one for them, but that could soon change. Indeed, according to an official 2019 report, Arabica beans are set to fall drastically in number over the next few decades. In fact, it’s been classed as being under threat.
9. GPS Units/Sat Navs
In the past, we were forced to rely on maps to help us navigate the world. But GPS units changed the game on that front, making life easier ahead of those journeys. Once again, though, advances in technology could soon spell doom, as our cell phones now have their own maps and trackers.Plus, let’s be honest, GPS units are a little bulky.
8. Abercrombie & Fitch
Back in 1892, Abercrombie & Fitch burst on to the fashion scene in America. In the years since, the brand has narrowed its focus on one particular demographic, targeting young men. However, there could be potential trouble ahead, as the chain announced plans to shut 40 of its shops before 2020.
Since 1930, children around the country, indeed the world, have played with countless toys from Fisher-Price. But sadly for the kids of the future, they might not get that opportunity, with the company entering a concerning period. Indeed, the sales figures from early 2019 indicated a drop of just under 10 percent.
6. Harley Davidson
Surely not? Well, in the eyes of many, Harley Davidson is still the most popular, and best looking motorbike out there. Yet despite the brand’s notable reputation, fewer people are purchasing the vehicles now. Yes, instead they’re opting for other forms of transport. And due to those statistics, some believe that the situation will only get worse in the next few years.
5. J.C. Penney
For many, department store J.C. Penney is the go-to chain when they head out for a shopping spree. Over the next couple of years, though, that could change, as the business looks to close some of its stores. In 2019 it’s due to shut 18 shops, while from 2020 onwards more are set to get the axe.
As camera technology has become cutting-edge, we can now capture images and video we could only dream of some years ago. And GoPro cameras have certainly played their part in that, with incredible second by second snaps from unusual angles. But the brand itself could be in a bit of trouble. Not only is it losing money, but it’s struggling to create additional devices that people want.
3. Campbell’s Soup
Goodness me – when it comes to food products, there are few more iconic-looking items than a can of Campbell’s Soup. However, in 2012 the brand started to encounter some difficulties, with customers turning their back on the product for organic alternatives. And while Campbell’s tried to implement some healthier options itself, they’ve struggled to sell too.
In the past, Budweiser has certainly lived up to its “King of Beers” moniker. But in 2018 there was a significant shift. That year, three other beer brands outsold it in America. To add to that, Budweiser’s decline could also be put down to the rise in popularity of alternative beverages. Whatever way you look at it, the dip is a concern.
Portable music players have evolved with the times, leading to the arrival of the iPod in 2001. Thanks to the technology then, we were able to copy our favorite albums on to the device via a computer. Unfortunately, though, this iconic product has been struggling for a few years, with the iPhone appearing to take its place. And it was so predictable, that you could almost say, “i(Phone) told you so.”