For most people, the neighborhood Blockbuster is fast becoming a distant memory. But in Eagle River, Alaska, they’re still going strong.
Generally, when a chain shuts down, it shuts down completely. But every now and then a few locations survive, whether because they’re vital to their community, independently run shops where the owners have no intention of following the parent company’s lead or via new owners who want to leave a porch light on as they consider a new approach.
You’ll often have to travel a little out of your way to find some of these businesses, but if you’re suffering pangs of nostalgia, it’s a good way to step back in retail’s timeline. Here’s some retailers who were “all the rage” in their heyday and are now struggling to survive.
If you wanted music in the ’80s or ’90s, odds are you
In Japan the stores broke off from the main company and lived on — and still do today. Located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, the flagship location was given an overhaul in 2012, increasing its floor space to 5,000 square meters. The store is loaded with music from artists you can’t find on Amazon, as well as a café. The chain, in fact, seems to
Katherine Frey | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Bennigan’s was one of the kings of casual dining, but in 2008 all 150 corporate-owned locations shut down when the restaurant’s parent company filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A few months later Atalaya Capital Management announced plans to buy the brand for $1 million and laid out a smaller footprint for new locations. There are presently 15 in the United States, eight in Mexico and Central America, four on the island of Cyprus and four in the Middle East. The new
RadioShack’s second bankruptcy in two years resulted in the shutdown of more than 1,000 stores earlier this year. The end wasn’t exactly nigh (500 dealer-owned stores remained), but it wasn’t looking good for the electronics retailer, which generated nearly $6.3 billion in revenue at the company’s peak in 1996. In mid-July, though, Kensington Capital Holdings bought the chain for $15 million and is looking to ensure it stays alive in the brick-and-mortar space.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Some familiar chains from the past have given up their brick-and-mortar
Netflix did a good job of killing off most Blockbusters, which once numbered roughly 9,000 across the United States, generating $5.9 billion in revenues. And Dish Network’s 2011 purchase of the chain pretty much finished off the job. But there are still 11 Blockbusters open across the country. Seven of those are in Alaska,
Arguably one of the first victims of the changing retail market, Filene’s (famous for its “Running of the Brides” event, held annually from 1947 to 2011) was a Massachusetts-based clothing chain with 46 locations and a fiercely loyal bargain-hunting customer base.