Companies rise and fall with advancing technologies as consumer tastes change, innovations emerge, and industries adapt tremendously. These once-dominant icons have endured disruption and changing consumer behaviors, surprising everyone with their tenacity to go on.
Once the king of video rentals, Blockbuster struggled to adapt to the rise of digital streaming services like Netflix. A few franchise locations survived despite filing for bankruptcy in 2010 and closing most of its stores. These remaining Blockbuster stores have become odd, attracting tourists and nostalgia-driven customers who want to experience the bygone era of renting physical DVDs.
Related Reading: 8 Legitimate Ways to Get Netflix Free (or Cheaper)
Once a dominant force in the smartphone market, BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboards and secure messaging platform were once coveted by professionals and tech enthusiasts. However, the company failed to keep up with the fast-paced advancements in smartphone technology, losing market share to Android and iOS devices. Today, BlackBerry focuses on enterprise software and security solutions, struggling to regain its former glory.
Once a go-to destination for electronics enthusiasts, RadioShack struggled to stay relevant in the face of online retailers and big-box stores. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and closed thousands of stores. However, a few hundred stores managed to survive under new ownership, offering a niche selection of electronics and hobbyist supplies, catering to a small but dedicated customer base.
Once a household name in photography, Kodak’s decline came with the advent of digital cameras and smartphones. Despite filing for bankruptcy in 2012 and exiting the consumer camera market, the company survived by pivoting toward commercial printing and packaging. Today, Kodak focuses on providing imaging technology and services to various industries.
Once the dominant social media platform before the rise of Facebook and Twitter, MySpace’s decline was swift and drastic. The platform struggled to keep up with the changing demands of users and failed to innovate. However, despite its decline, MySpace continues to exist as a social networking site, albeit with a significantly smaller user base. It has found a niche among musicians and artists who use the platform to connect with fans and promote their work.
Once the largest retailer in the United States, Sears faced numerous challenges in the era of e-commerce and changing consumer preferences. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and closed hundreds of stores. However, Sears survived under new ownership and a reduced store footprint. It focuses on a streamlined assortment of appliances, tools, and home products, attempting to regain its relevance in a highly competitive market.
Famous for its instant cameras, Polaroid was hit hard by the digital revolution. The decline of film photography led the company to file for bankruptcy in 2001. Despite that, Polaroid has managed to make a comeback by embracing the nostalgia factor and launching new instant cameras and film. It has found a market among photography enthusiasts who appreciate the unique appeal of instant prints.
Once the dominant internet service provider, AOL struggled to adapt to the changing landscape of internet connectivity and the emergence of broadband. The dial-up era is long gone, but AOL survived and transitioned into a digital media company. It owns various online properties, including The Huffington Post and TechCrunch, but its presence pales compared to its glory days.
Once a pioneer in the early days of the internet, Yahoo’s decline began with the rise of Google and other search engines. Despite its struggles, Yahoo is still a web portal and offers various services like email, news, and finance. However, its relevance has significantly diminished in the face of fierce competition.
Once the leading mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia’s downfall came with the advent of smartphones powered by iOS and Android. While the company tried to compete in the smartphone market, it failed to regain its former dominance. Today, Nokia focuses on network infrastructure and licensing its smartphone brand, but its presence in the consumer market remains limited.
GNC began as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh in 1935, changing its name to General Nutrition Centers, and went public as GNC in the 1980s. Plagued by lawsuits, the Chinese state-owned Harbin Pharmaceutical Group acquired a 40% stake, with the company’s plan to close hundreds of stores. After going bankrupt during the pandemic, the company emerged from Chapter 11 and is wholly owned by Harbin Pharmaceutical. You can still find GNC stores and products in select markets.
12. Hudson’s Bay Company
Founded in 1670 in London, England, Hudson’s Bay Company has superior longevity. Starting as a fur trading business, it became Canada’s most significant and oldest corporation, operating iconic department retail stores. HBC has expanded its retail businesses, adding Zellers, Sak’s Fifth Avenue physical locations and e-commerce, Lord & Taylor, and acquired Gilt Groupe. By the way, they stopped selling animal fur products.
19 Things What Generation X and Boomers Cherish Most of the Iconic 1980s
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
Being nostalgic for when you came of age holds precious memories for people of those generations, Generation X and Baby Boomers, who miss those fun-packed experiences today. However, they have significant interest for those who came later and provide insight into what life was like in the 1980s. Looking back on the iconic trends of that era, perhaps with rose-colored glasses, people shared what they missed most of the 80s on an online forum. Walk through memory lane with us.
10 Things Everyone Should Have In Their House
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Creating a safe and functional living space is a top priority for homeowners. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or starting, certain essential items should be present in every house. These items contribute to the overall safety and well-being of the residents and enhance convenience and preparedness for unforeseen circumstances. From safety equipment to practical tools, incorporating these essentials into your home ensures a comfortable and secure environment for you and your loved ones.
10 Things You Should Buy That Will Increase Your Quality of Life
Image Credit: Shutterstock
We all strive for a better quality of life, where everyday experiences are enriched, and our overall well-being is elevated. Luckily, there are a variety of items available that can help us achieve just that. Making thoughtful purchases can enhance our daily routines, improve comfort, and boost our satisfaction.
18 Everyday Things From the 90s That Are Now Luxuries
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
Had we only known that everyday things we were accustomed to daily might disappear or become a luxury, would we appreciate them that much more? With the advent of technology, we carry computers in our pockets, access a lifetime of entertainment, music. sports, and video games, and shop without leaving our couch while communicating with friends and family anywhere in the world.
These astronomical advances are a giant leap from before the Internet, but many things that were part of everyday life are now considered a luxury. On an online forum, people shared what they miss most today that was typical in the 1990s.
10 Outdated Things Boomers Always Keep in Their House and Use
Image Credit: Shutterstock
As time passes and technology advances, certain generations hold on to the familiar relics of the past. One such generation is the Baby Boomers, who often have a penchant for keeping and using outdated items in their homes. From landline phones to fax machines, vinyl records to VHS tapes, Boomers embrace these relics as a reminder of simpler times and a nod to their personal preferences.
This article was produced and syndicated by The Cents of Money.
With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.