2015 年最可能消失的十大品牌，Lululemon點名榜首科技媒體 24/7 Wall St. 每年都會評選十個會消失的品牌，今年的名單反映出前所未有的併購規模，使得一些在產業掛車尾的品牌可能成為大企業獵物。
零售產業當中，24/7 Wall St. 點名處於高度競爭區間的瑜伽運動服飾 Lululemon Athletica Inc.，以及美國平價服飾品牌 Aeropostale Inc.，Lululemon 是遭到 Gap 積極進瑜伽服飾擠壓，Aeropostale 的年輕品牌服飾則是受到低價又前衛的品牌如 Forever 21 與 H&M 威脅。
寬頻產業的整併也會導致一些公司消失，時代華納有線很可能被賣給 Comcast，DirecTV 可能被 AT&T 併購，這個過程只是美國家庭娛樂商業走向寡占格局的一環。電信業者競逐勢力範圍，選擇併購絕對比自建光纖網路來的便宜得多。市場大可以讓 Comcast 和 AT&T 這樣的公司在與頻道商 Netflix 合作時握有談判籌碼。
而以替別人種菜一砲而紅的遊戲公司 Zynga 現在也面臨危機，風光過後，近年他們動作遲緩，且喪失和社群網站巨人建立特殊關係的機會。 至於販售線上賀卡和日曆的公司 Shutterfly，在免費照片分享服務如 Instagram 和 Facebook 興起，這樣的照片列印網站已經在尋求出售。
美國第三大巧克力品牌 Russell Stover 遠遠落後領導品牌 Hershey，其管理階層已經在市場尋找買主。食品公司 Hillshire Brands，今年也確定會售出。
2012 年 24/7 Wall St. 預期 RIM 將會消失，去年該公司改名為 BlackBerry Ltd.，但今年該公司問題纏身，因此持續被列入岌岌可危的品牌之一。第十個品牌是阿拉斯加航空，可能會遭受美國航空業整併潮衝擊，最可能的買家是達美航空。
24/7 Wall St. 已經連續五年發佈這樣的預測，49 個被點名的品牌之中，已經有 24 家退出市場，他們的判斷依據是：
下滑的銷售數字、該品牌的母公司可能倒閉、成本增加但售價難以提升、公司被賣掉、公司破產、公司流失大量客戶、市占萎縮。以上被點名的品牌都面臨不只一個問題，24/7 Wall St. 預期這 10 個品牌 18 個月內就會退出市場。
10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2015By Douglas A. McIntyre July 8, 2014 10:03 pm EDT
Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 American brands that we predict will disappear before the end of the next year. This year’s list reflects the fact that mergers and acquisitions are at unprecedented levels. While some of the companies on this list may disappear because they continue to be at the bottom of their industry due to weak products and management, many may disappear because they are doing so well.
Retail continues to be one of the sectors with several troubled companies that may have to be sold to survive. The 24/7 Wall St. list includes Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) and Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO). Both specialty retailers are in highly competitive spaces. While Lululemon is battling Gap’s aggressive move into the yoga pants space, Aeropostale’s teen line of branded clothes is losing out to low-cost, fashion-forward brands like Forever 21 and H&M.
The consolidation of the broadband industry may also cause some companies to disappear. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) will likely be sold to Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA). DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) will likely be bought by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). These transactions are part of a much larger movement to become the exclusive providers of entertainment to American homes.
While telecom companies interested in increasing market share have the option to install a fiber network to take market share from cable, that comes at a great cost. Merger trends in the industry indicate it may be better to buy than to build. Comcast and AT&T certainly believe so. Having a larger market share could also allow these companies greater price leverage with content providers like Netflix and premium cable channels.
Adoption of mobile and the massive size of some of Web 2.0 companies has also contributed to the list. Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was well positioned when it was able to market Farmville to Facebook’s users. But it is doing poorly after failing to come up with another hit, moving slowly on mobile and losing its special relationship with the social networking giant.
While Shutterfly Inc. (NASDAQ: SFLY) makes a tidy profit selling photos for greeting cards and calendars, it is also up against free photo sharing services such as Instagram and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). The photo printing site is currently looking for a buyer.
A number of the biggest food packaging companies are also in the market. Russell Stover is the third largest chocolate company in America. However, third place is miles behind the leaders, particularly Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY). Stover’s management has decided to give up operating on its own and has put itself on the market.
Hillshire Brands Co. (NYSE: HSH) will also almost certainly be sold this year. It has already signed an agreement with Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN). But Tyson did not get the prize without an expensive fight with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NYSE: PPC), which gives a sense of the value of food companies to their rivals.
In 2012, we predicted that Research In Motion would disappear. Last year, the company changed its name to BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY). The company is on the list again this year under the new name. The company continues to be in serious trouble after being wildly successful for many years.
Reviewing last year’s list, we have had some winners and some bad calls. We called Nook and Leap Wireless correctly. Last month, Barnes & Noble announced it would spin off its Nook e-reader as sales continue to plunge. Leap Wireless was acquired by AT&T late last year.
We have yet to be proven right — or wrong — about the balance of the list. Revenues for Martha Stewart Living and Road & Track magazines continue to be weak, but they also remain in the business. Sales of Mitsubishi and Volvo are among the lowest in the auto industry, but you can still buy their cars. Similarly, LivingSocial continues to offer deals, WNBA to sell tickets and Olympus to make cameras. While these calls haven’t proven right yet, we have until the end of the year.
After five years of making predictions, we are proud of our record. Out of the 49 companies that have made our list, 24 have disappeared. Given that these brands were chosen from a universe of thousands, we think it’s an impressive record.
We continue to use the same methodology in deciding which brands will disappear. The major criteria include:
- Declining sales and losses;
- Disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business;
- Rising costs that are unlikely to be recouped through higher prices;
- Companies that are sold;
- Companies that go into bankruptcy;
- Companies that have lost the great majority of their customers;
- and Operations with withering market share.
Source: 24/7 Wall St.