These Insanely Popular Businesses Went Bankrupt At Least Once

By Jake Schroeder
H0cfc7rmluup6odqmry P0amxk97ftrwemq1j7qcmgtwtit2l7joj8 Xjey5jg6bcxzhtv9f5xydt6oaiy4chx7b6h1jor Fhw Ddlf3nj53n8ooxylgbu4cubw93yumqyodpgk1ydllfrp2pa
Photo Courtesy: Ildar Sagdejev/Specious/Wikipedia

It’s shocking to realize how many major companies have faced bankruptcy. Some bounced back and recovered, but others were lost forever. Changing markets, advances in technology, shifts in consumer tastes and financial missteps have all led to some once thriving businesses making a beeline to bankruptcy court.

Car companies, tech firms, popular fashion labels and beloved department stores have all been victims. Read on to learn more about some insanely popular businesses that went bankrupt at least once throughout their history.

Sears

Until the 1980s, Sears was one of America's most beloved retailers. Founded in 1893, it offered car parts and repairs, a portrait studio, optical services, an online travel agency, flower delivery and in-home carpet and upholstery cleaning — all in addition to core staples like clothing and appliances. Unfortunately, the retail giant was shoved aside by bargain competitors like Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon.

Gfhrfjspxlfzbjehxn50lzhvcz0b4tjq2kgmdgwlprifnwn6d8uygnq9inf5cw4ctklmv1c5gfsp6zvidtdky1vhvswvqnecpfd Tyagxxqkqkfsd3lqlaxruipb6yhhcczdbkuymy7jwyzqow
Photo Courtesy: George Frey/Getty Images

Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018 and began closing stores across the country. In October 2019, Market Watch reported that Sears offered creditors the option to immediately take 2.5 cents on the dollar for debt it owed instead of waiting for the company to complete its liquidation.

Marvel

Back in 1996, it looked like comic giant Marvel was going to need some superheroes to save it from bankruptcy. The company made several business missteps, including investing in interactive CD-ROMs and opening the ill-fated Marvel Mania restaurant.

Myrk8ywae5h6 42vnwrnbwlg2fzi0soypozn6jnj0ej0nbj Xmw261d8j0smqqfwntox6aytmhu4vrymz0f5f87fpsks6qboclb9a78wtnnnd4tjhuh7ekpumpzxccmyvwbsnh0ijpb Be0vg
Photo Courtesy: SOPA Images/Getty Images

However, Marvel turned around when the company opened its own production studio. It was a risky move, considering the company had to put the rights to characters like Captain America, The Avengers and Black Panther up for collateral to secure the $525 million needed to create Marvel Studios, but the risk paid off. Now part of the Disney family, Marvel made one of the most successful comebacks in business history.

Payless ShoeSource

Payless ShoeSource was once the go-to store for discount footwear. Founded in 1956 with the goal of "democratizing fashion," the shoe chain was a popular self-serve retailer with locations worldwide. It looks like you will have to get used to paying more in the future. The company announced it filed for bankruptcy a second time in February 2019.

Dpxtdtcxfusoyugyrsyyr5iv7gpiuwwagbnsmcaewh45qfyoy8h3vttaxga3tdrdkxi6o0fheo3v3yhvcyp6ne Omzmgmcg4h0rm5x1 Sngnfj Z266ni Ksrzmv1bq9c6x7zdjpqlhj4eddga
Photo Courtesy: Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Payless ShoeSource eventually stepped its way into a whopping $470 million in debt. When the company first filed bankruptcy in 2017, it attempted to reorganize and closed 700 stores to cut costs. Two years later, the company’s continued poor financial status caused it to hang up its boots for good.

American Airlines

American Airlines may be the world’s largest airline, but that didn't stop it from making an emergency landing in bankruptcy court back in 2011. The airline carries more than 200 million passengers to approximately 190 destinations across the globe each year and also operates the regional carrier, American Eagle.

Hvjnzd15cq27ephsfc6f1yixqjvoi Femw2cxlfyiahvirrdhe2wleh7r8 N L7buwbp51dwv Fwnfw87 Qtvn Lfxf9enigmhfedocs4b8ruzyeps1s7iq5rdusxu5gkuj0ffyvvzv6cexnyw
Photo Courtesy: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Sky-high fuel costs, constant disputes with unions and a serious slump in ticket sales suffered over the course of four bad years forced the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Fortunately, an improved economy, a solid reorganization plan and a merger with U.S. Airways led the airline to fly high once again.

Eastman Kodak

If you want to remember Kodak when it was the undisputed leader in American photography, you'll probably have to look at some old pictures. Founded in 1888, Kodak once ruled the photography world but was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. Sales had fallen far from 1976 levels, when 85% of all U.S. camera sales and 90% of all film sales displayed the Kodak name.

Pk4v2mmcbgnb5xlgucrxfik6gaywxbpr2 K9g1 0h 0vax22ay84qcpidxnih23blvkb73gqkvz7uflnk5k08f 1hpa500ffhqzihilybo2vwo81jqfae1c6pehqtt9cdhnmfbmn9r9a2o8xgw
Photo Courtesy: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Heated competition with Japanese photo company Fuji and a late leap into the digital camera marketplace put an end to Kodak's dominance. The company has stayed afloat by ceasing the production of consumer cameras and focusing on the corporate imaging market.

Schwinn

Iconic American bicycle company Schwinn rode into the sunset in October 1993 after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Schwinn was once a household name, thanks to mass marketing, a strong national dealer network and a focus on the children’s market. The company also produced a tandem bicycle as well as touring bikes and 10-speed racers.

Ypfxds2qpw805pndsw Egpmkz15dxosc0bezybiapwihjezjfzs Lti1qqfaobjbvpu1wogawtuhmgnhe04ssbiy9pvwobmt2x5gbgkpk8nboc3anhhtggq Cqoprtqryfdrmz3covhxj1 4pa
Photo Courtesy: Bloomberg/Getty Images

By the late 1970s, however, consumers looked elsewhere for affordable, high-quality mountain and racing bikes. Faced with labor troubles and unable to compete with European and Japanese brands, Schwinn eventually shuttered. The brand name was later acquired by Pacific Cycle and then the Canadian company Dorel.

DeLorean Motor Company

Immortalized in the hit film Back to the Future, the DeLorean Motor Company's namesake car is now a thing of the past. Named after company founder John DeLorean, the company began operations in 1975 with the DeLorean being the only car it ever produced.

Ejxsse3ojxaaqjim2j7eqezipjtwwj6 On2vyfli 1k5vleknbdjocm50wvilicqkp2zgc30n65dauydggzglaehq Shwa0zjcy0wwzkofjiq8hxw0qgu 1jlpuh89ek63axe2pibmstqyvwua
Photo Courtesy: Joel Muniz/Unsplash

The iconic vehicle was famous for its stainless steel body and gull-wing doors, but the hefty $25,000 price tag, lack of demand and high production costs drove DMC straight into bankruptcy court back in 1982. It didn't help when DeLorean — the founder, not the car — was arrested for conspiring to obtain and distribute cocaine to help save his company.

General Motors

General Motors brought Americans lots of iconic cars and trucks, including the Cadillac, Buick, Chevy Suburban and Chevy Tahoe, but the company's finances crashed in 2009 as the nation faced the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In June of that year, GM was forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Xuh5gxujri27z7dcrfktjtm6oqnesctmnwcusuqx74ghkvk3h4r34q364jurulpjrdhg0jfu Ow50pp622cufwvvyhkgptfaoznkqoadg6hpbohp31no W2vurpe6qnbrpq3qu3zwuncgzv9cw
Photo Courtesy: Bloomberg/Getty Images

The federal government came to GM’s rescue in 2009, bailing them out with $50 billion in financial aid. The cash infusion proved to be a major turnaround for GM, which is now considered one of the best-run, most profitable car companies in the United States.

Brookstone

Remember when you couldn't walk through a mall without stopping to relax in one of Brookstone's incredible massage chairs? The store gained popularity for its fun consumer gadgets, like specialty alarm clocks, clever wine-openers, drones and various massage devices.

Ofbmbwmbsgkrkhga H7xrreloa1jjxcdvlwe Eyuhm1wyeiqcm4b20jegkyneimaotuxenwixsr Lnlwuryc46bhsjcbkjnnt8jofcay4txusyv12mv9tqfn91qr 4oyyxxio1lxgkvvlgxe W
Photo Courtesy: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

It was hard for Brookstone to go up against stores like The Sharper Image and online retailers like Amazon. The company also faced charges of discrimination and found itself facing off against PETA, who expressed concern about the company's Frog-O-Sphere product. In 2018, the store closed all of its 101 stores, preferring to sell its wares online instead.

Things Remembered

It may be time to pick out a goodbye gift for Things Remembered. The store everyone runs to for last-minute personalized anniversary and graduation presents filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2019. Things Remembered offers engraved key chains, pens and other cherished keepsakes that eventually make their way to the bottom of your desk drawer.

Jgrgk2ls2nusjt V6ucuj7kyumzrfza5x3wbvjzioem8hmi H6fni6qlayxutk Pc Bjibk4tbzd4swq3hmvu6ta9cbkjvyxmwcfgbsshljl Ujeyndpfs95ptvtnuxamh2tg365za57ijaurq
Photo Courtesy: Things Remembered/Facebook

After a failed attempt to restructure its debt in 2016, the 40-year-old chain will be forced to shutter most of its 400 stores. The retailer also tried increasing revenue by focusing on internet sales, but with $120 million in debt, Things Remembered may soon be forgotten.

Blockbuster Video

There was a time when Blockbuster was everyone’s favorite store. At its peak, the popular video and DVD rental company had 9,000 stores and 84,000 employees willing to tell you their favorite movie picks. During all those years, Blockbuster made some big money on overdue fees.

M5jcdgyv2f2zyk3 Xmtmalhglfnchpr4rwyi53lsppsmfhs6m8jbulgemzhyypuc Ivha0 Tp62fw3kejoc Cuxmssjwtxi7fhjwie7qctg5mkg9nvzuqxrkctqitrg4idiyxk8ta1qtix0mtg
Photo Courtesy: Specious/Wikipedia

In 2000, when entrepreneur Reed Hastings approached Blockbuster to discuss a partnership with his company, Netflix, executives chuckled at his idea of letting people return DVDs when they wanted. Needless to say, the idea really caught on with consumers who were tired of playing Blockbuster late fees. In 2010, Hastings and Netflix had the last laugh when Blockbuster went bust.

Gibson Guitars

Rock and roll isn’t dead, but it wound up on life support on May 1, 2018, when Gibson Guitars filed for bankruptcy. Known for making iconic guitars played by musicians like Elvis Presley, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, the Nashville-based company reported it was at least $100 million in debt when it filed papers seeking protection from creditors.

Tdqwoxs9spcwjy8d1wwcp5 Ruhrgmvdrodg5f 9pzwjinhqek2og705gh6al Gtlxx5xql1kth O0clhtkecysust0fmmmcxio8iaywqxasyhyeeboc9di48wrkm9eefcf3nm9hgzvcqti7dmw
Photo Courtesy: Guitarist Magazine/Getty Images

Hoping for an encore performance, Gibson liquidated its consumer electronics brands to focus on its instruments. In April 2019, the company told Guitar World it was launching "the absolute most compelling new collection from Gibson that anyone has seen in a long time."

Claire's

Tweens and teens may have a sad diary entry for March 19, 2018, the day Claire’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Stocked with sparkly faux jewelry, lip gloss and Hello Kitty gear, Claire’s proudly boasts that techs have pierced more than 100 million ears.

Z1wri Lxsjozgyqzu Mfgwawwdbt2ozu1lwqnl45idtqcjgrrprmrpvzinqmh81dqtc28zohydy38 Jp0ls66to0ej554456vupomiljnqidsgaue H46xtqude8pgquzymbm4gf0zb8u510xq
Photo Courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The store that calls itself "a girl’s best friend" is working to reorganize after struggling with $1.9 million in debt, a decline in mall shoppers and increased competition from stores like Zara and H&M. Claire’s also ran into trouble back in 2018 when asbestos was found in some of the stores’ cosmetics. Yikes!

RadioShack

Founded in 1921, RadioShack was once everyone’s go-to store for that hard-to-find battery, extension cord or diode. With more than 4,000 locations, the nerd haven that once sold a variety of consumer tech and gadgets was forced to power down when it went bankrupt in 2015.

Xpstbadtfh73ey Ouamae1qbhssk9ov1yg8iim63qjxhw0wrt4fpmygleuutgjaryjf Caz4wrel6iuzoysrgs8mq8jkyfvswbuffbigpvfym5 Gteb6rr4728 Gllpxf X80lmsvv1cybqt W
Photo Courtesy: Freakofnature/Wikipedia

RadioShack seemed to have lost its spark as customers turned to online companies like Amazon and eBay to purchase hard-to-find electronic parts and specialty electronic equipment. The company also lost a chunk of its customer base by failing to provide sufficient inventory, forcing its once die-hard fan base to look elsewhere.

Circuit City

Before there was Best Buy, shoppers looked to Circuit City for the newest televisions, stereos and home appliances. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, the company pioneered the concept of the big box appliance store and had more than 1,500 stores across the country.

Jvz2zkxz7eqamtthjigwq5mblhcik2zxxgvlz7npwaphicztm7q9mqzcicii2cd 7qicxkajuu5c2a0hwase2ucyjtb Disz2y0wb3trrtzufhdgm8yzg7opixeakmq9escjndd6ml2znoqr9w
Photo Courtesy: Mike Kalasnik/Wikipedia

Circuit City also got into mass retailing automobiles with the creation of spinoff CarMax in 2002. Unfortunately, when the company fired more than 3,400 salespeople to cut costs, most of its remaining talent jumped over to CarMax. The chain also experienced increasing difficulty competing against Best Buy, and they finally pulled the plug in 2008.

Sports Authority

When it came to big box sporting goods stores, Sports Authority was — you know we just have to say it — the authority for many years. The company's stores carried apparel, footwear, team sports items, golf accessories, camping gear and exercise equipment. When it was at the top of its game, the company had 460 stores, and its name was emblazoned on the Denver Broncos’ stadium.

Z Swjzsylbwtcqw5t1clpot S5i1vg1jnamvnjl0zkkeo8t7juqstolaetp1xzj1mf9nxk5tuiizchwtbus9mru5vlziwrsrsk7mvbh7oub7rs1gdv Makrieavomrpqg7yta5tks1ptivdvug
Photo Courtesy: MB298/Wikipedia

Unfortunately, Sports Authority was far from being a successful business authority. Faced with fierce competition from stores like REI, Dick’s and various online retailers, the company fell on hard times. It eventually lost the retail game and went under in 2016.

Forever 21

Forever 21 came of age on September 29, 2019, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Once popular for "fast fashion" — trendy, mass-produced clothing that was cheap and disposable — the company was founded in 1984 by South Korean immigrants Jin Sook and Do Wan Chang. It catered to financially strapped young adults.

G22h72wxcv4ujgppbw0wx7tl2rzn84p7y1htyzah4yjkxdzsywoohpganumfzecv C5wjsl2iyl22 S17ncchwgybuqcvqdnr2wmqwcuimeoaqjxbazbjt9quxqkzmlv6k59 Wkuefjefmluea
Photo Courtesy: Raysonho/Wikipedia

Despite the name, Forever 21 started showing its age when it began expanding its physical locations rather than concentrating on e-commerce. Environmental awareness also impacted the company’s bottom line. According to analysts, a heightened interest in high-quality, second-hand garments, rather than cheaply-made new clothing may have also contributed to Forever 21’s fashion fail.

Tower Records

Tower Records was once the place to go for all your music and movies. Founded in 1960, the company attracted music aficionados in search of the latest album or hard-to-find singles, and employees were known to select music that was popular in their communities. The store also sold CDs, cassettes and DVDs.

Oftyfx9agy0g2evlwxfytwkxxst2 Ctfh4tk00ax3byqs1fkyu6lwga3qauy1eacnok9gliue6igzhxmd1oygtf4yqiiqv7b71uy8bxmchwzsphsrn B T6jwi Gqmwrcc B6vc25yrwfemy G
Photo Courtesy: Caldorwards4/Wikipedia

By the mid-2000s, the store saw signs of decline as consumers developed an interest in buying music from big box retailers and downloading songs and albums from sites like Napster and iTunes. The once-thriving chain’s business ended on a sad note when it went bankrupt in 2006.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer, the company that brought you the quilted down jacket, felt a financial chill when it was faced with bankruptcy. At its pinnacle, the maker of high-end outdoor wear and accessories had more than 500 stores across North America, Japan and Germany.

Lf2u Iyuqp4rssmljr8l Xdubpk81rq6bxstmh2hr4dnx Cwp5iy84306fwxjgjuc Dshxz2vxbyip6rf9zo8w Sumbp3geinuiklzvfldxns087kpuhbihjk 1 Z86wfwm2auzhnlnwpvc9wq
Photo Courtesy: Daylen/Wikipedia

The company was so popular that it once had a cross-branding arrangement with Ford Motor Company to produce Eddie Bauer Edition Ford vehicles. Other cross-branding deals included a licensing agreement with Giant bicycles and a Baby by Eddie Bauer accessories line. The private equity firm Golden Gate Capital acquired Eddie Bauer in 2018 and merged it with another acquisition, California lifestyle retailer PacSun.

Enron

Founded in 1985, Enron was an American energy company created from the merger of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. At its height in 2000, Enron claimed revenues of $101 billion and employed 29,000 people. Forbes honored Enron by naming it "America’s Most Innovative Company" for six years in a row.

Ehjole10e7fcewm8vqqdbkhq383mgmgjghvdekybxlwrbnr7ic15acx9a2xkvis7 Emkfootty1 Oln7m81a3ej4wewpvzitcjdm1znnrzbxnlgd3f75rk2xlzr9cdq H8ivp47la7cn23quaw
Photo Courtesy: Alex/Flickr/Wikipedia

Financial fraud eventually shut down the powerhouse in December 2001, when investigators discovered that Enron hid millions in debt on financial reports. Investors and employees suffered the consequences, with many losing their life savings in the collapse of the company. The Enron Scandal resulted in the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, which set strict reporting standards and strengthened penalties for fabricating, altering or destroying business records.

Chi-Chi's

Chi-Chi’s was once the perfect place to get your Mexican fix. During the 1980s, folks couldn’t get enough of their margaritas, nachos, chimichangas and fried ice-cream. By 1986, Chi-Chi’s had 237 locations, but increasing competition from other chains resulted in the restaurant filing for bankruptcy in 2003.

Y1tkokqq9zrkepc46drlrnwoigtut1dgwx3jvln2uk3ppj4lc9yr3hg6lgf018fbxehueyllsnnoh1ds3nnhohv0fngmmxz9oevto967leefvcbdzw5ck6 3sgr9sqpmg 4mpc3pt1npy6msqw
Photo Courtesy: Nostaljack/Wikipedia

Immediately after filing, more than 600 patrons became ill and four died after contracting hepatitis A from green onions served at Chi-Chis. Customers soon said "adios" to the restaurant, and the chain closed in the U.S. in 2004. Several international locations are still in business, and some of its products are still sold in grocery stores.

Bon-Ton

Founded in 1898, Bon-Ton was a staple in shopping malls across the United States. Devoted customers could find everything from clothing, jewelry, beauty products and footwear to home decor items. The company also operated several other brands, including Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers.

Lstmzvbvk4hlivueywl4613gny8sydmb3eaddagaoxjkzxi2juhmd 1pm5xpyglvnh0otpki9gwbtsyzc5mp 0drojwxtwxl1r Nv D7ygcbrqtrvtzibv9nefthkl7gbr36e Mvl0gs0qutlq
Photo Courtesy: Portland Press Herald/Getty

Overzealous expansion in the 1990s and 2000s resulted in the company's ever-increasing financial woes. Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy, and its stores were eventually liquidated in 2018. However, it continues to have an online presence, and the website and social media accounts have teased a possible re-opening of brick-and-mortar locations in the future.

David's Bridal

David’s Bridal is struggling to keep the romance alive with customers as it attempts to reorganize after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018. The discount wedding gown and accessory shop appears to be close to a breakup with customers, thanks to increasing purchases of bridal goods online.

9pcgu4njdhftv5rbhsau0fy2yuqi8xt1w8sjztgg Tgavnseihaclq7ynx78 Ha5lfrvsznpbingdaopzcc2 5ga5ln Yblf2bdrckzpraounyeeedbfn8anvqyo4eojvk Rfgt8hhn45 Prnq
Photo Courtesy: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It’s estimated that one in four women purchased their wedding gowns from David’s Bridal in the past. With approximately 300 stores located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico, the 69-year-old company is hoping to attract more customers by providing store-bought gown returns, larger sizes and matching in-store and online promotions.

Borders

For more than 30 years, Borders was the favorite haunt of bookworms. Founded in 1971 by two brothers attending the University of Michigan, the company gradually opened up stores across the United States and offered books that were specifically tailored to each community and its readers.

4noohi1ebwg2gihrlhq5hqlzbsynpu6z8bph1uwhxqmu Irtxuy6iq Xldgdt0v60shagkzlf1nqohvvmzxbsrj27f1x0wmqhb8 H3utmbzuh3mu Nmoyboxggy0pqe Xbahnu5rnjn5 68vmq
Photo Courtesy: Ildar Sagdejev/Wikipedia

The stores also opened cafes and eventually acquired the Waldenbooks chain. Stiff competition from brick-and-mortar rival Barnes & Noble and online bookseller Amazon eventually resulted in declining profits. Borders also made the mistake of trying to expand CD sales just as the public began downloading and streaming music. This chain’s final chapter ended in 2011.

Nine West

In April 2018, fashion retailer Nine West’s parent company Nine West Holdings was forced to file for bankruptcy. Founded in 1993 with a focus on footwear, the company gradually expanded to carry a variety of accessories and brands, like Bandolino, Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt.

Xun4ip1srxkifcjjy2ingm07p544mo9ytksoeqstwkjv 94rkzmq13nfxxsonfsgxmbcuanjzzyyldkvzuxioaecn4vm7aebyzs Qujb2ytau1yx5pjbtfkhpmrrn3znbnozqliw1715dyfa
Photo Courtesy: Raysonho/Wikipedia

Prior to declaring bankruptcy, Nine West Holdings was in debt to the tune of more than $1 billion. In June 2018, Nine West seemed to have nine lives when it was acquired by Authentic Brands Group. In September 2019, ABG tapped supermodel Tyra Banks to become Nine West’s global ambassador.

Compaq

When the PC revolution hit, Compaq was one of the tech leaders. Started in 1982 by three former Texas Instruments executives, the trio came up with their company’s name by cleverly combining the words "compatibility and quality." Consumers loved the company’s portable computers, and Compaq grew to become the largest personal computer system supplier of the 1990s.

Ftncneiwryz2z0qrnpymnd0nnedmoejvaocqtkxl3ejx0d35wsuf6um On Ljpczv 7gcy6rmjhw5pixtjmbqvtnk0yvjsgu5omlfdneobkev8aa2wvpeyh4217bt2g9mkgaoz Aixuwc6epga
Photo Courtesy: Tiziano Garuti/Wikipedia

The company struggled to compete against other computer companies that focused heavily on advertising and marketing, and it also suffered internal struggles as several major executives were fired or resigned. Compaq was going under in 2002 but was acquired by competitor Hewlett-Packard for $25 billion. HP assumed control of the company’s assets and quietly retired the Compaq name.

Toys "R" Us

Remember when you were a Toys "R" Us kid? By 1990, the chain was the largest toy retailer in the United States — so large, in fact, that it put most other toy stores out of business. Children begged to stroll down the aisles in search of the perfect Barbie, LEGO set or teddy bear.

Ihntoykyf0hyjygpdzs6igmwe0v0nlt3zz599lc5oecve7cshhgbsof 9elyhxd2zubwfuamv128j2swph47xgqzcomn Pc0kfwfm8nnmeb5dujhw M3jqpj6ddeynaccrxhj1cmbpz Br Jvw
Photo Courtesy: JJBers/Wikipedia

Unfortunately, Toys "R" Us figured out Walmart and other large retailers didn’t come to play and were willing to use toys as their loss leaders, slashing prices to get consumers — who would inevitably purchase other items — inside the door. The company also couldn’t compete with Amazon and eBay, who often sold the same toys at a lower cost. The company closed its doors for good in 2018.

Gymboree

Gymboree was once a family favorite, with 945 stores across the U.S. and Canada. The popular kids' clothing retailer closed its doors after going bankrupt a second time in 2019, along with its chain of Crazy 8 children’s shops.

Iinwjfhhctjkvevzuwsl1pwgglamthqfwx7ntyfv3 Ltbrcvskrwf9yjqxagluvxradb3ab53omhwbsskgngjv6i9pg7b8yjg24kxklmcurscezkp1ctvtf1dxzmszdr8erx5jkb1 7frpx7oq
Photo Courtesy: Edward Hands/Wikipedia

Gymboree faced competition from online retailers along with The Gap, big box and discount stores, where moms and dads could find cheaper clothing for their rapidly growing children. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2017 but never had solid a profitability game plan. In the end, the popular retailer was forced to file for protection from creditors who were owed approximately $212 million.

Charlotte Russe

Clothing retailer Charlotte Russe fell apart at the seams when it filed for Chapter 11 in February 2019. Opening its first store in Carlsbad, California, in 1975, the company had more than 500 brick-and-mortar shops that marketed loads of inexpensive fashions to teens and young adult women.

Gnkpykbzwxkypaj6bfwwcgf17gua9xj24hgpzb43xhxgsyvmdfsucovjxaizs6ratkqqn8rln70dopv9os4wuizdd4an9zhrjrpoalof F7n16mkotjexmxqk5dpd4cncieklepof7k8layeq
Photo Courtesy: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In 2009, the company was acquired for $380 million by equity firm Advent International. A decline in in-store traffic forced Charlotte Russe to declare bankruptcy and liquidate. In March 2019, Toronto-based clothing manufacturer YM Brands purchased Charlotte Russe and announced plans to open 100 locations across the United States.

Kenny Rogers' Roasters

Sporting the name of country singer Kenny Rogers, this fast food restaurant served up wood-fired rotisserie chicken and sides. Founded in 1991, the popular chain opened more than 425 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad. By 1996, KRR boasted annual sales of $300 million.

7l21orzyzoxkc Wuid5vd9xfpgmv1qlcyokhz Safuoc6uz3wndteu6lwvmm6ji1vrqso81l2vxnr5ztgxczygng61rnv6fedwhf2lsvshwrlddmbazkahqlvw9efo2wdbgitlhqxnr Jq3baa
Photo Courtesy: Foxlad/Wikipedia

The company faced stiff competition from Boston Market and Kentucky Fried Chicken and then became embroiled in a lawsuit with Cluckers, which claimed KRR had copied its recipes. The chain filed for bankruptcy in 1998 and closed its U.S. locations, but it maintains a presence overseas after being purchased by Roasters Asia Pacific.