10 American Brands That Might be in Trouble

Coca Cola

Okay, so we recently told you about Sears and Kmart stores closing. Then, we told you about ten more retail stores that were closing. After that, we told you about fourteen more stores that might be filing for bankruptcy. Well, unfortunately, we’re not done yet. Here are ten American brands — some of them classic — that might be in trouble

10. Campbell’s Soup

Campbells Soup
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Even though this is one of the most popular brands in America, the 150-year-old Campbell Soup Company is struggling to stay afloat — especially when it comes to millennials. According to an article published by The Cheat Sheet, “the company’s throwback labels and long list of unpronounceable ingredients scare away millennial grocery shoppers.” Unfortunately for Campbell’s, millennials would rather buy organic or just make their own homemade soup.

FUN FACT: Started in 1869 by fruit merchant Joseph Campbell and icebox manufacturer Abraham Anderson, the very first Campbell Soup Company plant opened in Camden, New Jersey. The following year, Campbell, along with chemist John T. Dorrance, invented condensed soup.

9. Kellogg’s

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Rept0n1x [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Shares of Kellogg recently hit their lowest levels in years. That’s because “people just aren’t eating much cereal anymore,” according to an article published by MSN. Consumers, particularly millennials, are gravitating toward foods made with fresher, healthier ingredients. In fact, a 2015 survey revealed that 40 percent of them found cereal to be “inconvenient” to eat.

FYI, Kellogg’s cereals aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. According to GOBankingRates, General Mills reported that 2017 marked the third straight year of declining sales. The following year, the company announced it would be cutting 625 jobs. Shortly after, it began raising prices on some of its products.

8. McDonald’s

Source: Pixabay

Believe it or not, this very popular restaurant saw it stocks down by as much as 2.3 percent during the second quarter of 2018. The reason? Well, as previously stated, millennials are looking for healthier alternatives that don’t sacrifice speed and convenience. This is where fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle come in. In response, McDonald’s introduced the fresh-beef Quarter Pounder and removed cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meals. These efforts have helped, but only time will tell if it will be enough for the fast-food giant to stay afloat.

7. Coca-Cola

Coca Cola
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is another item people are consuming a lot less of these days. It’s not just Coca-Cola, though. It’s soda in general that people are avoiding in an attempt to be more health-conscious. As a result, brands like Poland Springs and Aquafina are increasing.

In response to the demand for healthier options, Coca-Cola rebranded Diet Coke last year. They’ve also began investing in non-soda brands.

FUN FACT: In an ironic twist, Coca-Cola was originally intended to be a health tonic. It was invented by a pharmacist a who used caffeine-rich extracts from the kola nut and cocaine (yes, you read that correctly) from the coca leaf.

6. Payless

Source: Wikimedia Commons By BentleyMall [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

If you’ve been in a mall recently, you might have noticed a “going out of business sale” at your local mall’s Payless location. They’re selling EVERYTHING — even the furniture and light fixtures! This is all after the shoe retailer emerged from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that was supposed to help restructure its debt and boost its earnings.

Early last year the store announced that it would restructure by eliminating some of the layers between its retail locations and corporate headquarters. For now, Payless is focusing on bringing “click-to-brick” and ship-to-home capabilities to its stores, CEO Mike Vitelli said, according to The Cheat Sheet.

5. The Limited

The Limited
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Limited closed all of its stores in January 2017. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly thereafter. Fortunately, there’s a bit of good news for you 80s and 90s kids who loved shopping at that store: The Limited hasn’t gone anywhere just yet. “This isn’t goodbye,” the company said in a statement after closing its mall locations, according to The Cheat Sheet. “The styles you love are still available online — we’re just a click away 24 hours a day.”

4. American Apparel

American Apparel
Source: Wikimedia Commons By American_Apparel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

American Apparel is another store that has moved its operations online–although about 25 people still work out of its new headquarters office in Los Angeles. Around the same time The Limited closed all of its stores, American Apparel was announcing that it would close all of its 110 U.S. stores. So, what exactly led to the company’s downfall? Well, it was the result of two things: 1) the 2008 economic crisis and 2) sexual harassment allegations against the store’s founder, Dov Charney.

For now, social media is American Apparel’s main channel. “We’re basically a startup,” Sabina Weber, head of brand marketing, said, according to The Cheat Sheet.

3. Harley-Davidson

Harley Davidson
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Remember when motorcycles were cool? Unfortunately, for Harley-Davidson, millennials don’t think they’re all that cool. The company’s shares declined nearly 12 percent in the past year, and retail sales of motorcycles in general declined by 8.5 percent in the U.S. As a result, the company planned to close its Kansas City, Missouri plant in 2019 and start laying off workers there mid-year.

Another issue plaguing sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles was the recall of 250,000 motorcycles with brakes that could potentially fail.

2. Mattel

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Jelson25 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Two Mattel brands in particular — Barbie and Fisher-Price — appear to be in financial trouble. According to GOBankingRates, Barbie sales have been declining for years. In 2017 alone the doll’s sales fell by 8 percent. As for Fisher-Price, it’s sales decline reflects “a negative 3 percent impact from the Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation and a negative 3 percent impact from the slowdown in our China business,” a Mattel financial report said, according to GOBankingRates.

Barbie gross sales were up by 14 percent globally in the third quarter of 2018. This was due to the addition of a more diverse line of Barbie dolls that were different heights and weights, and had various ethnic features.

1. Budweiser

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Maksim

No longer in the top three beer brands in the country, revenues for Budweiser‘s parent company fell 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Consequently, Miller Lite has passed Budweiser in sales. The reason? Some speculate it’s due to the increased popularity of craft brew and more flavorful beers.

In an effort to boost sales, Anheuser Busch is launching more expensive Budweiser options such as Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. According to The Daily Meal, it “has a completely different formula than traditional Budweiser… It’s a classic American amber lager, brewed with two-row barley and aged on charred American oak barrel staves that had been previously used by Jim Bean.”


So, what do you think? Are these businesses in danger of closing or is this a mere bump in the road? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!