Each year, once popular brands disappear into the abyss due to corporate mergers and acquisitions, as well as weak products and poor management.
Next year will be no different.
Financial news publisher 24/7 Wall St. has identified American brands that may vanish before the end of 2015. The list is compiled using predictions from industry experts.
So without further ado, here are nine brands that may cease to exist very soon:
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On March 18, 2013, Lululemon recalled a large portion of its yoga pants because they were too sheer and as a result, too revealing. But the problems didn’t end there. 24/7 Wall St. reports the company has been hit with management changes, revenue drop offs and a collapse of its share price. The fallout cost CEO Christine Day her job in June 2013, and founder and chairman Chip Wilson announced that he would step down in December of last year. Lululemon’s stock is also down 50 percent from its peak set at the start of June 2013.
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Members of Congress began questioning AT&T's management of consumer benefits after it announced plans to buy TV giant DirecTV in a $49 billion deal. While the two companies argued their marriage will lower consumers’ costs, some consumer groups believe that prices will go up and the new company will be able to control access to popular programming like NFL games, 24/7 Wall St. reports. If the deal is finalized, AT&T will control all of DirecTV’s customers.
3. Hillshire Brands
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Tyson recently purchased Hillshire Brands, the marketers of Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, for $8.5 billion including debt. Tyson expects the Hillshire buyout to close before the end of its fiscal year, according to 24/7 Wall St.
4. Alaska Air
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Alaska Air Group Inc. is one of the few remaining independent airlines in the United States not owned by one of the four larger carriers. Alaska Air, with its profits and customer service reputation, is the last real prize left for major airline corporations to purchase. 24/7 Wall St. reports there has been speculation that Delta might buy Alaska Air for its West Coast routes.
5. Russell Stover
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You probably recognize the name Russell Stover if you’ve ever purchased a cheap, last minute chocolate Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other. Russell Stover, the third largest candy maker in America, is on the auction block and may sell for as much as $1 billion, according to 24/7 Wall St. According to estimates, Stover makes around $600 million in annual revenue with 10 percent operating margins.
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While Shutterfly continues to dominate the online photo printing industry, the growing popularity of free sharing and online storage sites like Instagram, Facebook and Dropbox has threatened the company’s future. Even worse, many of these services are optimized or native to mobile, where Shutterfly falls short. 24/7 Wall St. also reports Shutterfly’s shares fell 18 percent over the past 12 months.
7. Time Warner Cable
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Time Warner Cable accepted an offer from Comcast for $45.2 billion earlier this year. The acquisition would create the largest cable company in the United States with a combined total of 30 million subscribers. However, 24/7 Wall St. reports the single biggest hurdle to this deal is federal government approval. Members of Congress have expressed doubts about whether the transaction is fair to consumers. Regardless, many experts believe Time Warner Cable will be gone by the end of 2014.
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BlackBerry, previously known as Research In Motion, once had 19.5 percent of the global smartphone market. But Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and Google’s release of the Android mobile operating system in 2008 were essentially the final nails in the coffin –Less than 1 percent of smartphone users around the world owned a BlackBerry by 2013. According to 24/7 Wall St., the company’s revenue has continued to slide, confirming the belief that BlackBerry cannot survive on its own.
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Aeropostale, which normally competes with Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters, is facing a different threat. Industry experts say each of these companies is in trouble because teens are choosing inexpensive fashion-forward retailers like Forever 21 and H&M over branded apparel. But Aeropostale is in the most trouble, 24/7 Wall St. reports. Same-store sales are off 13 percent. The retailer’s loss widened to $77 million from $12 million in the same period a year earlier. The company’s stock price has also plunged by more than 85 percent in the past five years.