Written by Farnoosh Torabi | Yahoo Finance - December 24th, 2012
What do JC Penney, Mitsubishi Motors and Martha Stewart Living magazine all have in common? Each has earned a spot on the list of brands that will likely disappear in 2013.
Financial news site 24/7 Wall St compiled the full list by scrutinizing American companies based on sales, customer base, market relevance and overall fiscal health.
Some predictions we made earlier this year have already panned out. Mobile carrier MetroPCS was acquired by Sprint, automaker American Suzuki went bankrup,t and Current TV announced it will be sold or go under, says 24/7 Wall St.’s Editor Doug McIntyre. “We stand by the overall accuracy of the list.”
Here are six more brands that the group predicts will likely to go bust in the New Year.
Customers have voted with their pocketbooks, telling the retailer this year that they dislike the revolutionized shopping experience.
In 2012, the merchant did away with direct marketing coupons and frequent sales in favor of every-day low prices. Subsequently, sales are down over 20% since last year, and Internet sales have plummeted by more than a 33%. Many investors doubt new CEO Ron Johnson will be able to revive the 110-year-old company.
Mitsubishi Motors North America
The auto company is struggling to compete with rival car-makers. The company’s sales are down 29%, and they have just a 0.4% market share of the auto industry. By comparison, competitor Ford owns roughly 16%.
They’re just too small to survive, McIntyre says. They’re maybe 20th or 21st out of 22 automakers. They can’t afford to keep the brand up and running. It’s too expensive to operate and market the North American segment of the company.
Research in Motion
Its BlackBerry was the king of smartphones five years ago, until Apple and Android came along, knocking the mobile phone giant off the throne. There was a time when nearly everyone in the corporate world carried a Blackberry. But the company failed to transition its technology to appeal to more consumers, dragging down its stock price from $144 in 2008 to around $11 bucks these days. Word on the street is that RIM’s best exit strategy would be to get acquired.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Domestic doyenne Martha Stewart is bowing to the challenges of publishing a magazine. Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has shuttered two of its four magazines this year. And a third may be on its way out in the New Year. Ad pages in Martha Stewart Living were down 30% through nearly all of 2012. Analysts at 24/7 Wall St. expect the magazine to be the next Omnimedia property to be cut.
You can’t lose 30% of your advertising and still operate, says McIntyre. “Martha Stewart’s really lost her luster since going to prison, and she hasn’t gotten it back. The insider trading scandal tarnished her image with the women who looked up to her.”
For almost 30 years, American was the premier airline in the United States. But the mergers of Northwest with Delta and Continental with United shrunk American to a mid-size carrier. The airline’s parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and buyout rumors started this past spring, which some of the airline’s largest employee unions say they support.
The beauty brand is battling financial woes of its own. Earnings are dismal, and the company has been embroiled in a bribery probe over suspicious payments possibly made to government officials and third parties in China, France and Brazil. Earlier this year, a perfume company flirted with the idea of buying Avon. Although it didn’t sell, Avon is still an ideal candidate for takeover.