The ebb and flow of business is something that can really make a company either be deemed the most successful on the planet, or shutting its doors forever. With so many different trending changes to the daily lives of people all over the planet, there are some companies that are quite literally clinging to their final strands of live as we roll into 2017. These are the ten most likely brands that will cease to exist throughout the upcoming year. The order of this list is based less on the more likelihood of failure and bankruptcy and instead ordered based on its place alphabetically.
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Here are the Top 10 Brands That Should Disappear
10. AT&T U-Verse
U-Verse from AT&T was the effort of the telecommunications giant to get their feet wet with offering a package deal that included land line telephones, internet and television programming in one convenient way for their customers. With the rising costs of fiber based television programming in general, and the upkeep costs, the U-Verse branch of the company is slowly starting to fade out. The final nail in the coffin for this company rolling into the last year was AT&Ts acquisition of DirecTV. With this, the telecommunications company was able to offer a satellite television solution to its customers while simultaneously cutting the cord of their money draining U-Verse system. Within 2017 it is believed that U-Verse will officially become no more.
9. Dodge Viper
For over two decades, the Dodge Viper has literally served as a quintessential American sports car for the financially well-to do individuals. Considering the general high cost of these vehicles, Dodge was never under the impression that it would sell them as quickly as they could be made, but even with that being said, Dodge managed to sell an average of 1500 of these high end sports cars throughout the early 2000’s. During the financial crisis around the turn of the decade, Chrysler and Dodge decided that production of the car should cease. When a few years later the brand was reborn, it limped along in comparison to the sales that used to define it. With the steady decline of these cars being purchased, Dodge has officially announced that the 2017 model of the Viper will be the last.
8. The Limited
The Limited is a retail location that most commonly had been found in malls across the United States. Specifically offering women’s clothing in a mid-range price, the brand thrived up until the last few years. Like many mall-based locations before it, The Limited really couldn’t make a smooth transition to a more digital shopping experience for its customers, and saw their overall sales (even those made online) begin to rapidly decline. While a large part of this was due in part to the failure of the company to make their online presence more of a well-known thing, it also was due to the company’s inability to stay current with their fashion trends and lost a lot of loyal customers as it scrambled to keep up. As the company faces imminent bankruptcy, stores are poised to close simultaneously all around the country and the online retail marketplace has deemed all of its sales final.
Pebble was one of the innovators of the smart watch, a pioneer of the technology. This particular company was once even more highly regarded by Samsung, Apple and other top smart watch brands as the best bang for your buck. However, over the past few years, the company has failed to keep up with the technological advances that the other major competitors have found their foothold with. This being said, Pebble’s sales are on the rapid decline and the once top name in smart watches will just be a flash in the pan to the big brands that have taken over the top of this coveted list. In a last ditch effort to save some face, the company sold out its tech and brand to rising company Fitbit.
Brokerage is something that is big business. So big in fact that when Scottrade began to feel the pressures of battling with rivals in this competitive market, their best option was to merge with a larger brokerage firm. TD Ameritrade made a big announcement in the final quarter of 2016 stating that they had finalized a deal to purchase Scottrade for the staggering price of 4 billion dollars. While the company is going to cease to exist in name, they have assured their customers (many of whom have been with the company since the 80s when the company began) that the system of brokering they are accustomed to would not be changing. Either way, this former giant has officially closed its doors coming into 2017.
5. Sports Authority
While Sports Authority was never one of the biggest names in the sporting goods retail business, they were large enough to have as many as 450 active locations all over the country coming into 2016. A steady decline in sales due to the general markets pushing towards online commerce, Sports Authority sought to close a third of their locations in an effort to reorganize and form a new business strategy to move forward. This clearly did not go as planned as they are more in debt than ever, officially filing for bankruptcy and liquidating all of its assets.
Theranos is a company that is literally built on an excellent idea, and shows the speed of business in action. In 2014 this company had an estimated value of 9 billion, due specifically to its main product, the Edison device. This revolutionary product claimed to be able to draw a person’s blood and test it all with a simple prick of the finger. The widespread success of the device came to a screeching halt recently when a accuracy test was administered to look more closely at the effectiveness of the Edison device. When it was found to be inconsistent and erroneous, the entire net worth of the company plummeted seemingly overnight.
3. Time Warner Cable
This might seem a little misleading, but the Time Warner Cable name is indeed going completely away throughout 2017. This rebranding is an effort to come out from under having one of the worst customer service ratings in the country. Changing Time Warner to Spectrum, the company hopes to be able to put a new face and a new reputation behind their offerings of internet, cable and phone services. While the company still lags behind Comcast/Xfinity, perhaps a change in their long standing brand name might be the ticket needed to take that number one spot.
2. Virgin America
This is an airline that was purchased late last year by Alaska Airlines. While Alaska is unsure whether or not they will continue to keep the Virgin name or consolidate the two completely, it would appear that a consolidation is the route that the decision making is headed. This would not be unlike Alaska Airlines to do, as they have recently discontinued another one of their acquired brands and consolidated it all under the main brand. It would seem as though, even with the loyal customer base that Virgin has had over the their lifetime, it would be more cost effective and fitting of the industry for their name to be completely gone within the year.
1. Yik Yak
Whether you have ever used this service or not, the concept is really not all that imaginative at its core. In a world of competitive social media outlets all over the place, it stands to reason that only the strong survive. While the service offered anonymity to its users, and was once estimated to value 400 million dollars as a company, the decline in users over the past year and the changes to the interface to make it more unfriendly to the users is the perfect storm for an application’s demise. The company is not expected to make it through this year, as its user base continues to steadily decline.
While they are ordered based on nothing but the letters that they begin with, this Top 10 list details the companies that are most likely to flounder and fail in the upcoming year. Each of them has their own reason for seeing a steady decline in their business leading into the year, so unless something changes this particular list will be reading a lot more like a eulogy for companies that are no more. Some of theses companies have already lost out, now it is just yet to be decided if the literal brand name gets to remain or not.