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Doomsday List: The next 20 businesses to go extinct

November 9, 2011

Doomsday List: The next 20 business & products to go extinct
By Oregon Small Business Association

The internet, technology and a prolonged down economy are speeding up pace on how fast an industry or product can vanish. We compacted three different doomsday lists from MSNBC, CBS news and Yahoo Finances forecasts on their predictions on the next business or product to go extinct.

1. E-Readers, and their fancy e-ink displays, will probably be integrated into more capable tablets that also have a regular LCD screen, according to analysts at market research firm Forrester. The technology is already being compared to portable CD players.

2. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005, and things have not gone well since: the company lost $170 million in the first quarter of this year. The two brands compete with each other, and with giants like Wal-Mart and Target. Thus, CEO Lou D’Ambrosio is likely to close Sears and keep Kmart, which is likely to do better than Sears.

3. Mobile homes. Thanks to the housing crisis, a traditional home can be actually somewhat affordable, for those who can get a loan. Manufactured homes have slashed prices—and quality—in an attempt to compete, but have only succeeded in making their product less desirable without making it competitively priced. Revenue has fallen 74% since 2001, and will go down another 62% in the next decade.

4. Recordable CDs and DVDs. When content can be delivered and saved to the cloud digitally, why spend money on extra media?

5. Video Postproduction services are expected to die soon—not because the filmmaking industry is slowing down, but because the major studios are doing postproduction themselves rather than outsourcing, as they once did. Revenue in this field is down 25% over the last decade, and projected to fall another 11% by 2022.

6. Regular cell phones. By 2018, forecasts say, every phone sold will be a smartphone. Cell companies make money not on the phone, but on the phone service, and so have every incentive to sell or practically give away phones that use more service.

7. Standalone GPS systems. Buying one of these nowadays is rather like buying a boombox to plug into your car’s 12-volt port. The car already has a sound system. And in a similar way, cars without GPS will be owned by people with GPS on their smartphone.

8. Sony Pictures. Sony Corp. lost $3.6 billion last year on revenue of $86.5 billion. To increase his company’s value, CEO Howard Stringer is planning to sell Sony Pictures.

9. A&W Restaurants have been on the market since January, but no one has offered to buy. Its owner, fast food giant Yum! Brands, wants to sell it because it’s so small: it only has 639 stores worldwide, compared to Subway’s 35,000.

10. Saab automobiles are set to disappear, because the company, founded in 1949, is simply too small and its cars are not different enough. It tried to sell models in direct competition with hugely popular cars from companies like Ford and Toyota, and simply couldn’t keep up.

11. Video game consoles are expected to vanish away, or at least be built into televisions. Those that last will offer movies and music as well as video games.

12. Wired phones are surely going to go extinct when everyone wants wireless. This industry segment has lost 55% of its revenue in the last ten years, and is forecast to lose another 37% by 2022.

13. Soap Opera Digest will stop publishing, first because there are so few soap operas airing and second because information about them can be found online easily. Subscriptions have fallen by more than 50% in the past decade, and Source Interlink Media, the magazine’s parent company, has no reason to keep publishing it.

14. Low-end cameras. Smartphones have such good cameras that a low-end camera can hardly compete. Cameras costing less than $200 are expected to be replaced by phone/camera combinations. High-end cameras, on the other hand, are expected to keep thriving.

15. Nokia still has 25% of the global cell phone market, but its share keeps dropping and it simply cannot afford to stay independent. Plus, buying it is an extremely attractive proposition: a company could purchase a quarter of the worldwide cell phone market for as little as $22 billion. Potential buyers include Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Samsung.

16. Photo finishing shops Like video postproduction services, these have simply been rendered obsolete by the more powerful tools available to everyone who takes pictures. This industry has seen a 70% decline in revenue over the last decade, and will see another 40% decline in the next one.

17. MySpace has been a joke for a long time, but it is finally going off-line. Its parent NewCorp is offering it for sale, but no serious bids have been made, and the website attracts only 20 million visitors compared to the 700 million people on Facebook.

18. Kellogg’s Corn Pops are no longer perceived as healthy, and have lost a healthy market share as a result; revenue from them dropped 18% in fiscal 2010. Kellogg plans to drop the brand.

19. American Apparel lost $21 million in the first quarter of 2011, and its sales keep declining. It will not be able to keep up with its financially much better off competitors.

20. Sony Ericsson Sales of smartphones are rising every year, but Sony Ericsson-branded phones sold less half as many units in 2010 as in 2008. Rumor has it that Ericsson will be dropped and Sony will begin marketing its phones more aggressively and tying them to its bestselling PS3 and VAIO PCs.

Bonus three:
1. Record stores and video rental: When movies and songs can be delivered digitally, and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your couch to get the latest flick, never mind the latest album, why would brick-and-mortar record and video stores stay open? Revenue has fallen 25% at record stores, and nearly 36% at video rental stores since 2001—and it’s expected to fall another 11% and 20%, respectively, by 2022. DVD players, too, expected to go away due to digital delivery and playback.
2. Domestic Clothing manufacturers, too, are shutting down: their revenue has declined 77% since 2001, and is expected to go down another 8.5% by 2022. People simply aren’t willing to pay the price domestic makers have to charge. Domestic textile mills have lost 50% of their revenue in the last decade, and formal wear/costume rental shops have lost 35% of their business since 2001.

3. Newspapers, too, are expected to die. Revenue in the industry is down 36% over the past ten years, and expected to fall another 19% over the next ten years.

— This list gives us a wide perspective of changing industries and how it may impact our businesses and the importance of adapting before it is too late.   Be free to add your own prediction.

  
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Discuss this article

Bob Clark November 9, 2011

Kellog Corn Pops will make a comeback, as the fad towards healthier eating is a total fraud. Genetics have more to do with health than diet.

Jeremy November 9, 2011

Nic elist. Now check back in 2 years to see what happens

Bill Cosby November 9, 2011

The only thing that doesn’t make sense, is video game consoles. “Be built into televisions” what? There’s no evidence to support this. And the xbox and Ps3 already support movies and music.

I could understand if this was written in the early 2000’s, but when we’ve had these consoles doing that stuff for six years, it’s a little ridiculous.

Video game consoles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They definitely aren’t going into our TV’s, and they’ve already began incorporating movies and music.

Louria Macon November 11, 2011

Corn Pops! Gotta have my Pops! Going on an Elaine spree and stok up on my Pops!

Jane Knight November 14, 2011

The National Basketball Association will be the first of the four major professional sports leagues to become extinct due to the extended 2011 lockout, which shows no sign of ending anytime soon. All but the big-market teams (i.e. Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks) have shown marked loss of revenue and/or attendance in the years leading to the lockout. The lack of marquee superstars outside of LeBron James and Dwight Howard plus the floundering Women’s NBA does not help, either.

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