Top 10 Defunct American Brands

By Camille Hansen,
Top Ten Defunct American Brands

In light of Hostess going out of business within the last week, I have put together a list of the top ten companies that have gone out of business recently. These businesses span the entire business sector, including gadget sellers to large retailer books stores.

10. Hostess Brands Inc., began its journey in 1930 as a wholesaler and baker of baked goods. Eventually, Hostess succumbed to bankruptcy and recently had to shut its doors for good, because of a crushing union strike. On November 16, 2012 Hostess filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy court, closed its business and sold its assets.

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9. Circuit City Stores Inc. opened its doors in 1949 as a seller of electronics and computer parts. In 2009, Circuit City took down its last store, as no buyer was found to purchase its assets. CircuitCity.com and all Circuit City brands are owned by Systemax as of May 11, 2009.

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8. Borders Group Inc. a former book and music retailer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1971. Borders Group consisted of Waldens Specialty Books, Borders Express, Borders and Borders Outlet stores. Borders operated stores internationally, including stores in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. On February 11, 2010, Borders applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed its doors.

An icon gone. This Borders (Island of Maui, Hawaii) closed ba... on Twitpic

7. Hollywood Video, started in 1988 by CEO Mark Walters and his wife, was a DVD and video rental shop that operated out of Wilsonville, OR. Hollywood Video established itself as a direct competitor to Blockbuster Video, until it was purchased by Movie Gallery Inc. on April 27, 2005. Shortly after this, the company began having financial difficulties and had to file for bankruptcy twice. On July 31, 2010 the last Hollywood Video location was liquidated.

6. G.I. Joe’s, a sporting goods reseller, was started in 1952 and was based in Wilsonville, OR. With 31 stores located through Washington, Oregon and Idaho, G.I. Joe’s offered ready to wear clothes, sporting goods and automotive parts to its client base. G.I. Joe’s filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated on March 4, 2009.

5. Linen ‘n Things, founded in 1975, began as a big box retailer of home textiles and clothes and eventually morphed into an one-line retailer in 2008. Linen’n Things operated 571 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. However, all stores had to eventually shut down because of financial difficulties.

4. In 1922, KB Toys was born. The mall bases toy store chain was founded by the Kaufman brothers and operated 605 stores throughout the U.S. KB Toys filed two bankruptcies because of financial difficulties and eventually liquidated on February 9, 2009. KB Toys was the second oldest toy retailer in the U.S., until it shut its doors.

3. Gottschalks, founded in 1904, was an American department store, with 58 department stores and three specialty apparel stores in six Western states. It was the largest privately owned department store in the U.S., it applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 14, 2009. Gottschalks' assets were liquidated on March 19, 2009.

2. Air America, a progressive talk programming radio station, was on air from March 2004 to January 2010. Air America broadcasted shows such as The Lionel Show and The Thom Hartmann Program, which received a huge number of listeners. Air America eventually filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, because of a scandal and financial difficulties. Air America went off air on January 21, 2010.

1. Leman Brothers Holdings Inc., founded in 1850, was the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S, in 2008, before its downfall. On September 15, 2008, Leman Brothers filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was the largest in U.S. history. On September 20, 2008 Barclays bought Leman Brothers America, while Nomura Holdings bought Leman Brothers franchise in Europe and Asia-Pacific region. Leman Brothers' fall was attributed part of the blame for late 2000s global financial crisis.



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