Wednesday, December 09, 2009

7 Companies That Won't Make It to 2020

Everyone knows that small businesses are struggling in the current economy, however big businesses are also being affected by the recession. Over the past year a handful of large store chains have been forced to shut down including Linens 'n Things, and Circuit City.

According to this article on MSN, the problems facing these big brands are not likely to end any time soon. They have put together an interesting article explaining the 7 companies that are likely to fold before the year 2020. Included in their list are a couple of immensely popular businesses such as Sears, Blockbuster, and Borders Books. I have included a few of the companies mentioned in the article below, but you can find the full list and accompanying explanations at MSN Money.

1. Palm

With the Treo, Palm was an early pioneer of the move to smart phones. So it doesn't seem right that stronger competitors such as Apple and Research In Motion (aka Blackberry) are now going to crush it. But that seems to be Palm's fate.

2. Sears

Sears remains one of the great mysteries in retail: It's not clear why it still exists. Yes, we know consumers love Craftsman tools, DieHard batteries and Kenmore appliances. But there's a fuddy-duddy aspect to its stores that makes it a wonder Sears has survived the current decade. Even to aging baby boomers, it's the place Grandma shopped.

Yes, Eddie Lampert, the chairman of the hedge fund that owns a controlling stake in the retailer, is a purported financial genius. But Sears and Kmart -- the other retailing dinosaur inside Sears Holdings -- haven't done much to impress investors or consumers since Lampert took charge in 2005.

3. Blockbuster

Video rental icon Blockbuster is a great example of how technological change can crush winners that fail to keep up. First Blockbuster got hammered as video rentals began moving to mail distribution pioneered by Netflix.

Now video distribution is shifting to the Internet, and Blockbuster is lagging again. "The amount of content you can download directly will make Blockbuster obsolete," predicts Strata Capital's Stevens.

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