Popular Brands That Are Now Gone For Good (11 pics)

Posted in INTERESTING       20 Jul 2018       5226       GALLERY VIEW


The iconic airline was a pioneer in the US airline industry, being one of the first companies to use the now widely employed computerized reservations systems and adding money-saving jumbo jets to their fleet.

However, starting with the 1973 oil crisis, the fortunes of Pan American Airlines went into terminal decline, culminating in bankruptcy proceedings in 1991 following the Gulf War.

Despite it being over 25 years since Pan Am serviced a single plane, the Pan Am brand can be found on numerous pieces of merchandise, its brand romanticised by the implicit nostalgia associated with the ‘Golden Age’ of flying.



The original company- famous for its instant film – was declared bankrupt in 2001, but its brand limps on, attempting to be something other than a description for an Instagram filter. Ever behind the times, the ‘new’ Polaroid company went fully digital in 2008 and was acquired by Polish investor Oskar Smołokowski in 2017.


Tower Records

Before the age of downloadable music, Tower Records was the place to be for all your music megastore needs. From 1960 to 2006, Tower Records operated over 200 stores in over 15 countries and made over a billion dollars in revenue per annum. Now only a few independent stores exist, none in the United States. On the upside, we did get the cult classic film Empire Records as a result; writer Carol Heikkinen was a former Tower Records employee.


Ritz Camera Centers

Now online only, Ritz has gone from being one of the largest camera retailers in the US to niche operation, having closed all 137 of its stores. Much like Polaroid, Ritz’s inability to adapt to a digital world caused the 100-year-old company to declare bankruptcy in 2009- and then again in 2012!

Still, at least they have pictures to remember it all by.


Zenith Electronics

The brand still exists as a subsidiary of South Korea’s LG Electronics after having gone bankrupt in 1999 and thus it’s easy to forget they were once one of the biggest makers of TV and radio equipment in the US.

Cool logo though.


Circuit City

Making a comeback after its spectacular collapse caused, in part, by the 2007 financial crash, it’s easy to forget that Circuit City was second only to Best Buy when it came to providing cutting-edge electronics to an ever hungry market. While many of the store’s iconic facades have been maintained in acts of 90’s nostalgia, the actual brand sits in corporate logo, no one yet able to implement a sophisticated enough brand strategy to reconnect with misty-eyed Generation Xers.



It’s easy to forget that before Amazon started trying to take over the actual world it started with the literary world and, unfortunately, Borders was one of its victims. At the end of 2011 Borders had closed all of its locations and sold its brand and customer details to fellow bookstore chain Barnes and Noble for just over $13 million. A mighty fall for a company once worth billions and billions of dollars.



You knew this was coming.

While one store is still plugging away in Oregon, the other 7,999 stores across America were victims of the rise of the Netflix behemoth (or, more pertinently, Blockbuster’s refusal to be part of it).

But hey, you can still find 11 locations in Australia. Which is nice.



The definition of a company buoyed by the ‘dotcom bubble’, Pet.com, which provided online pet supplies, existed for only 2 years but had a valuation of over $80 million at the time it went public. Fast forward 250 days and the company was liquidated. It’s ruff at the top!



The Pontiac brand was introduced by General Motors Co in 1926 and its Firebird model, in its many iterations, would go on to have massive cultural impact. So GM’s decision to retire the brand in 2009 as a cost-cutting measure was something of a sad day in American motor vehicle history.

Your grandad would have been furious!



At one time Texaco was the oil company, able to lay claim to being both the biggest and richest natural resources company on the world. A merger in 2001 with Chevron kept the brand alive as ChevronTexaco until 2005 when Texaco was dropped from the name. Likewise, almost all Texaco gas stations have been converted to Chevrons, meaning the iconic ‘star T’ logo that adorned race cars and even soccer tournaments is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.







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