11. A&P Supermarket
> Founded in: 1859
> Type of business: Grocery store
A&P Supermarket disappeared in 2015 after more than 100 years in business as it could not compete with cheaper grocers like Walmart or higher-end chains like Whole Foods. A&P first went bankrupt in 2010, declaring $2.5 billion in assets and $3.2 billion in debt, before re-establishing itself as a private company two years later. The company again declared bankruptcy in 2015, this time shuttering or selling all of its locations.
> Founded in: 2011
> Type of business: Entertainment
MoviePass allowed users to pay a flat monthly fee to see as many movies as they wanted in theaters. According to MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes, its $9.95 price point was simply too low for the business model, which aimed to gain more revenue from the data it could glean from its customers. Spikes said parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics gained so many users after lowering the price, they refused to raise it.
With users seeing millions of dollars worth of movies each month on the company’s dime, the model became unsustainable and Helios and Matheson was bleeding cash. The company began imposing restrictions, blacking out certain films, and gained a reputation for poor customer service, driving away users. Finally, in September 2019, MoviePass ceased operations. At one point in 2018, Helios and Matheson stock was worth over $2,000 per share. Now it is worth less than a penny.
> Founded in:1889
> Type of business: Sporting goods
Modell’s was a large sporting goods chain that operated in the northeastern part of the country. After initially planning to shut down just 24 of its stores, the company filed for bankruptcy in February, before the pandemic, and announced plans to close all stores. Modell’s executives blamed competition from big box stores and Amazon as well as warmer winters that cut into jacket sales for hurting sales and ultimately causing the stores to close.
> Founded in: 1997
> Type of business: Retail, tea
Starbucks is the nation’s leading coffee seller, and in 2012, the company decided to venture into tea, acquiring Teavana for about $620 million. Many Teavana stores were located in shopping malls, which have experienced a significant decline in foot traffic in recent years. Starbucks decided in 2017 to close all of Teavana’s nearly 400 locations.
15. Toys R Us
> Founded in: 1957
> Type of business: Retail, toys
Toys R Us was once a corporate juggernaut, controlling a quarter of the world’s toy market with nearly 1,500 stores in the 1990s. The company’s fortunes changed in the 21st century. Several private equity firms combined to take Toys R Us private in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout deal in 2005. The company registered for an IPO in 2010 but withdrew the application in 2013 as sales have been declining. In 2017, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy, with $5 billion worth of debt. The next year, the company announced plans to close all of its 800 or so remaining stores.