Companies rise and fall in the ever-changing business landscape, their fortunes modifying with changing market dynamics, technological advancements, and consumer preference shifts. While some organizations thrive and adapt to new challenges, others grapple with obstacles that threaten their once-storied success. Here are the stories of 14 renowned corporations that have faced formidable challenges, leading to a decline in their fortunes.
Unsurprisingly, BlackBerry could not keep up with the technological innovations of iOS and Android competitors, losing a significant market share to advanced platforms with more up-to-date operating systems that met consumer demand more. Since then, BlackBerry has shifted its focus to software and security services to stay relevant in the market.
Starting as a tech titan, Yahoo missed opportunities to purchase Google and Facebook and underwent a series of significant data breaches that impacted billions of users. This caused consumer trust to spiral, and it was thus sold to Verizon for a fraction of its peak value, indicating the end of its era as a standalone business.
It may be unsurprising that Sears struggled to keep up with strong eCommerce competitors such as Amazon, leading to a wave of store closures and a filing for bankruptcy. According to Investopedia, a number of factors, including global online competitors, led to Sears’s downfall, including company divisions and deteriorating customer experience.
It seemed that Xerox was hit hard by the age of technology and suffered from a reduced demand for traditional printing and copying. Initial efforts were made to transform into a services and technology organization, but it struggled to capitalize on its vast patent portfolio in the digital age.
As the digital age took over our business landscape, Kodak, previously known for making its mark on the photography industry, needed to respond to the digital photography trend. According to a marketing analyst LinkedIn user, this organization lagged behind more up-to-date competitors with a lack of innovation. While Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012, it attempted to enter the digital printing and imaging industry later on with mixed results.
Once the rise of streaming moved into place with the invention of convenient services like Netflix, Blockbuster seemed unable to adapt to the changing landscape of movie rentals, according to Forbes. It was unable to seal the deal to purchase Netflix in the early 2000s. As many of its stores started to shut down across the globe, demand for Blockbuster dwindled severely.
General Electric faced a considerable financial services meltdown as the 2008 financial crisis hit, spiraling into huge losses and the need to divest and downsize. This organization was forced to sell massive business units, while its frequent changes in leadership and strategy undermined its overall stability.
Once a department store giant, JCPenney struggled to position itself as more competitors arrived in the retail market and faced several years of robust online presence. JCPenney found itself in trouble alongside the likes of digital-first retailers, with efficiency and consumer convenience at the heart of their organizations.
Toys “R” Us
While Toys “R” Us was once a vast toy empire, Retail Dive stated that its market share started to decrease with its cost-cutting and the rise of top online retail giants, leading to its bankruptcy and liquidation. While all U.S. stores were closed, the brand tried to revive itself through efforts like online sales.
This U.S. multinational telecommunications organization fell from power when it failed to capitalize on the success of the Razr phone. What’s more, this organization struggled to keep up with technological innovation in the ever-demanding smartphone market, leading to its decline.
As a U.S. web portal and online service provider, AOL failed to adapt to the broadband era, losing subscribers. Furthermore, its merger with Time Warner was considered one of the worst in business history. While it then tried to become a digital media and advertising organization, it achieved limited success.
You may know Nokia, the global Finnish multinational telecommunications, consumer electronics, and IT organization, which Apple and Android famously dominated as the smartphone revolution shifted into place. According to Brand Minds, Nokia’s lack of vision and inferior products forced it to lag. Furthermore, its partnership with Microsoft led to the company’s eventual sale, in which it focused on telecommunications infrastructure to stay relevant.
Borders Group was a U.S. multinational book retailer based in Michigan, employing around 19,500 before its decline. Struggling to adjust and adapt to the rise of digital reading devices and e-books in a digital-stricken age, Borders lost considerable market share to Amazon and finally filed for bankruptcy in 2011, closing all of its stores.
Pan Am was best known for being the U.S.’s leading international air carrier and an unofficial overseas flag carrier during the 20th century. Unfortunately, it was challenged by increasing fuel costs, poor management decisions, and disastrous aircraft purchases, while the 1988 terrorist attack significantly deteriorated its brand image and customer loyalty.
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