What Are Some Popular Retailers That Went Out of Business?


Quick Answer

Some popular retailers that went out of business include Borders, Circuit City and Montgomery Ward. Thought they were once industry giants, these departed retailers were unable to adjust to changing market conditions.

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Borders grew from a small used bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan to a media giant that at its peak operated over 1,000 stores across the United States. Primarily selling books, music and movies, Borders, like many other retailers, began to feel the crunch of Internet commerce in the 2000s, and the chain began losing money after 2006. The company attempted to reinvent itself, transitioning into digital device sales at certain locations, but Borders finally collapsed in 2011.

Originally known as Wards, Circuit City was the original electronics superstore, selling home electronics, appliances and media. Thought Best Buy was more successful, Circuit City ranked as the number two electronics giant in the United States, up until its sudden end in the late 2000s. After filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Circuit City unsuccessful sought a buyer in 2009 before finally shutting its doors.

Credited with founding the mail-order retail market, Montgomery Ward started in the late 19th century, transitioning into a prominent department store that endured for more than a century. However, the chain struggled at times to adjust to changes in the market. Bankruptcy problems, coupled with a lackluster holiday shopping season in 2000, saw the chain shut down in 2001.

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