Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another 15 bite the dust?

One of the most fascinating things about 2009 -- aside from the fact that I'm hitting the ripe age of 27 in April, and thereby officially old -- is how many retailers will go belly up in the rising economic tide. Perhaps it's the Machiavelli in me. There's obviously saturation in every retail niche, some more than others, and the current malaise seems to be just the concoction needed to vet out the superfluous. Who knew how unnecessary Linens 'N Things was in the face of many a Bed Bath & Beyond? Or a Target, for that matter? Even with the undeniable allure of office supplies and our addiction to Post-Its and personalized paper clips, even Office Max couldn't stay afloat, what with a Staples seemingly on every corner.

So which companies will fail to survive what's started out to be a difficult 2009? U.S. News placed their bets on 15 firms they don't see living past another year. Among them? Sbarro, Six Flags, Blockbuster and Claire's Accessories. Claires?! The mecca of uber-affordable jewelry? Now where will we duck shamefully into in every mall, our heads low among the throngs of teeny-boppers, while we fish for giant cocktail rings we'll eventually tell our friends we bought at expensive places like Bloomingdales? One more lie, squashed. Thanks economy.

Another possible casualty they predict? Krispy Kreme Donuts. "The donuts might be good, but Krispy Kreme overestimated Americans' appetite - and that's saying something." [U.S. News]

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