15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009
February 11, 2009 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler. 15 US companies that probably won't make it through 2009.
posted by CunningLinguist (228 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Do not go gentle into that good night, Krispy Kreme.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:57 AM on February 11, 2009 [21 favorites]


Sbarro. It’s not the pizza that’s the problem...

Oh, yes it is.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:58 AM on February 11, 2009 [39 favorites]


How I miss the donut heydey of the 1990s.
posted by ORthey at 8:59 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


How I miss the donut heydey of the 1990s.

Remember the Cinnabun Hurrah? That was pretty great, too.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Rite Aid always seemed to be cheaper and better run than CVS.
posted by orthogonality at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2009


Yeah, there was a time in the late 90s when Krispy Kreme was on the local news a couple times a week. Big crowds this and new store openings that. It was a little ridiculous, but I hope they don't go under. My mom used to bring home a lemon-filled for me along with the Sunday paper a couple times a month. Good memories.
posted by penduluum at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2009


Trump Entertainment has gone bankrupt twice before. Somehow it manages to keep moving forward. Like The Donald's hair.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those companies could almost appear as a list in the Guide under "Mindless jerks who were first against the wall when the revolution came."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2009 [15 favorites]


Blockbuster, on the other hand, can burn slow as far as I'm concerned. What a terrible company. Thankfully technology evolved them right out of relevance.
posted by penduluum at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2009 [26 favorites]


Yay! Companies that "might" go bankrupt! Next can we talk about companies that "might" turn a profit? Then later we can talk about what "might" happen in next year's Superbowl??
posted by cavalier at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


Sbarro's pizza is...well, it's pizza in a pinch. I mean, I eat it if I'm in a mall and on the verge of starvation.

In my village, we've got two RiteAid stores competing with each other (thanks to the Eckard's acquisition)--next to two other pharmacies in striking distance, one of which is substantially cheaper. Hmm.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2009


The only one I'd miss would be Rite Aid, and only then because most of the other pharmacies in my neck of the woods have already gone out of business, except for the ones that are never open when I need them.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2009


It's too bad Denis Leary isn't shilling for Chrysler, because it seems like Ford is going to make it.
posted by Mister_A at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rite Aid always seemed to be cheaper and better run than CVS.

The Rite Aid closest to my house is usually a ghost town. I have, more than once, contemplated stealing from there because I couldn't find anybody to ring me up. At least CVS usually has some kid who doesn't know how to make change behind the register.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps if Rite Aid didn't staff its stores exclusively with mouth breathing lobotomized aquatic ape creatures they could have headed off this problem, I have endured natural disasters that were less difficult to deal with than buying a fucking tube of toothpaste at a Rite Aid. Fuck em.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2009 [27 favorites]


I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Sbarro's. It's right next to the stent.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2009 [74 favorites]


I used to work for Rite Aid. They mandated 50 hour work weeks for managers yet paid 40 hour wages. I shall dance upon the company's grave and I shall not dance alone.
posted by tommasz at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


That was the finest stent joke ever made!
posted by Mister_A at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2009


this article's prophecies are already coming true.

Sirius XM Radio May File for Bankruptcy
posted by Hat Maui at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2009


Sirius might not make it through the day. Down 50% (to a nickel).
posted by diogenes at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2009


Most of these companies, I really couldn't be happier to see them fail.

Rite Aid - Allows pharmacists to refuse filling prescriptions on "moral grounds." Also just always seemed like a trashier version of CVS or Walgreen's.

Claire’s Stores - Another bastion of the scourge of cheap mall piercings. Any company that encourages unsafe piercing with guns rather than needles deserves to die.

Chrysler - American motor companies as a whole dropped the ball and profitted massively at the expense of the American consumer and American progress. Sad to see people lose their jobs, but businesses need to fail sometimes.

Sbarro - Shitty and expensive, relative to mall food. Can't say that mall food in general is great, but the food court won't miss Sbarro.

Six Flags - I'd rather it was Disney, but I have a disdain for theme parks as a whole. Everything's too expensive for what you get out of the day.

Blockbuster - Extremely crappy selection, puritanical ratings/editing policy, and missed the boat on digital delivery.

Krispy Kreme - Their entire fortune was based on a donut that was only edible while hot. Every time I had a crappy Krispy Kreme donut, people would tell me, "oh, they're better when fresh off the line." Too bad people buy donuts in dozens and bring them places. Oh, and their coffee was worse than Dunkin' Donuts, which really says something.

Landry’s Restaurants - Won't be sad to see Rainforest Cafe gone. The requisite waterfall fixture always smelled horrible.

Sirius Satellite Radio - Free radio sucks, and you expected people to PAY for it? Maybe I miss the point because I don't drive, but once I had an iPod, I never wanted to listen to radio again.

Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings - Donald Trump's been hemorrhaging money for decades now. I don't know how his name ever maintained cachet, but I'm still glad to see him lose again.

The other companies, I didn't even really recognize them, but I didn't see a single one that deserved to succeed and was a victim of the times. It's good to see that sometimes the right people fail too.
posted by explosion at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2009 [13 favorites]


I've always thought it was apt that Blockbuster was started by a bunch of former executives from Waste Management Inc.
posted by adamrice at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


If Six Flags goes under, we should sneak in and have a secret meet-up by that ride where that kid died.
posted by Mister_A at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


Jinx!
posted by diogenes at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2009


Um, Rite Aid sells drugs and they acquired Eckard- a store that um, also sells drugs. They're not going anywhere, genius.
posted by Zambrano at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2009


Perhaps if Rite Aid didn't staff its stores exclusively with mouth breathing lobotomized aquatic ape creatures they could have headed off this problem

On the other hand, if you need to pick up prescriptions for any mouth-breathing lobotomized aquatic ape creatures in your life, going to Rite Aid saves two trips.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I love Six Flags. :(
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Sbarro's. It's right next to the stent."

Yeah, really, that's NOT funny.
posted by orthogonality at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2009


Yay! Companies that "might" go bankrupt! Next can we talk about companies that "might" turn a profit? Then later we can talk about what "might" happen in next year's Superbowl??

It's not merely that they might, but explicit in the article that then again, they might not:

It’s possible that none of the firms on this list will liquidate, or even declare Chapter 11. Some may come up with unexpected revenue or creative financing that helps avert bankruptcy, while others could be purchased in whole or in part by creditors or other investors.

These seems a lazy-ass scattershot way to get credit for predicting the bankruptcy of one or two firms by guessing about fifteen. After Rite-Aid has its teats in a skyward direction, this dude can claim to have foreseen it eight months earlier. Bra-VO.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:15 AM on February 11, 2009



Sirius Satellite Radio - Free radio sucks, and you expected people to PAY for it? Maybe I miss the point because I don't drive, but once I had an iPod, I never wanted to listen to radio again.


Sirius is about 8000 times better than terrestrial radio, they play MUSIC, lots of it, all the time, all different kinds of music. It's the best 11 bucks I spend every month and if they go under I am going to be hella bummed.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:15 AM on February 11, 2009 [12 favorites]


Like most New Englanders who long ago declared lifelong allegiance to Dunkin Donuts, I am pleased to see these filthy Dixie upstarts crumbling like an old cruller left too long in a pot of coffee. The bitter tears of Krispy Kreme shall glaze the donut of my smug contentment forever more.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:17 AM on February 11, 2009 [35 favorites]


I've actually never had pizza at Sbarro's. I also don't watch the American Office, but last night happened to turn on the TV to see a hilarious scene of Steve Carell on a trip to NYC going there for a "genuine New York slice." I'm going to have to try them at least once.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good riddance to Rite Aide and Blockbuster. Rite Aide has always given us crappy selections and lousy service, especially in the pharmacy. When I lived in Santa Barbara, the Rite Aide pharmacist was so incompetent that he screwed up my wife's color-coded contraceptive order, giving her pills that were 1/10 the proper strength. Beyond that, the stores were cramped, badly organized, and filthy. Good riddance.

And as for Blockbuster? They mastered the art of poor selection at higher prices than anybody else. I can't believe it's still in business. If the laws of the Free Market meant anything, it should have gone down years ago.
posted by happyroach at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2009


Personally I'd like to see Blockbuster go down. Tried to be a customer for years but got tired of renting horribly scratched and broken DVDs without any refund. Thanks, Blockbuster. And I won't go into the complaint and reply process.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:19 AM on February 11, 2009


Let the great weeding commence. Or, uh, continue. In any case, The Wall is about to get very crowded with the deserving.
posted by rusty at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2009


The only company on that list I'd miss at all is Rite Aid, and even then there are three other pharmacies about as close and with about the same (poor) service, so it's not like it'd be some great hardship for me to pick up prescriptions somewhere else.

I guess I'd be surprised in Krispy Kreme and Chrysler actually folded (rather than declared bankruptcy and soldiered on after restructuring) just because those are brand names with a fair bit of history and widespread recognition.

Blockbuster's demise, on the other hand, couldn't come soon enough. The day I got a Netflix membership and could toss my Blockbuster card was a happy, happy day. I'll be sorry for the laid-off employees, but the company itself was intensely unpleasant to deal with.
posted by Forktine at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2009


It's all very well to gloat over the demise of retail corporations that you didn't like, (I fucking hate Blockbuster like everyone else), but those are a whole lot of minimum wage jobs that won't have anywhere to go.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:21 AM on February 11, 2009 [20 favorites]


Sbarro's was great for a case of diarrhea and the rest of the day off work.
posted by dopamine at 9:21 AM on February 11, 2009


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with? I'm looking for creative, community-oriented ideas, but "Burn them in a great and glorious nationwide week of conflagration" will do.
posted by rusty at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2009 [6 favorites]


Krispy Kreme the company may not survive, but you can be damned sure that the donuts and the name will. Two top shelf assets, there.

Plus, maybe I'll end up with a HOT sign in my window. I see no downside.
posted by kosem at 9:24 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Blockbuster in my area just remodeled its entire store. They put in a prominent Blue-Ray section right in he middle packed with new releases. The Blue-Ray section came at the expense of a wider range of titles.

Not finding it on the DVD shelves, I asked the clerk if they had a copy of "The Sting." She no idea what I was talking about and looked it up. There was one copy in town, among seven different locations. Goodfellas? fuhgeddaboudit.
posted by clearly at 9:24 AM on February 11, 2009


I remember when Krispy Kreme first came to town a few years ago. I never imagined a donut could be so boring.
posted by tepidmonkey at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2009


Should add Borders to the list. I'd be surprised if they can keep floating along on a mountain of debt.
posted by mattbucher at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Krispy Kreme"?
"Rite Aid"?

Maybe if they'd learned to spell they would have had better luck.
posted by Shepherd at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


Um, Rite Aid sells drugs and they acquired Eckard- a store that um, also sells drugs. They're not going anywhere, genius.

Yes, because if we've learned nothing from the last two years, it's that there is absolutely no downside to over leveraging - takes money to make money, baby!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Plus, maybe I'll end up with a HOT sign in my window. I see no downside.

downside: 300lb people who know what the hot sign means lining up outside your door. You couldn't say "Get off my lawn!" You would have to say "Rascal off my lawn!" or "Jazzy off my lawn!"
posted by clearly at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, shit, Landry's. I'm sure Ike didn't help this out a bit.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2009


Chrysler should rebrand themselves as a coffin company. They'd barely have to retool the production line AND they'd keep the same customer base.
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on February 11, 2009 [20 favorites]


Krispy Kreme - Their entire fortune was based on a donut that was only edible while hot.

Oh come on. I literally just ate a cold one and it was delicious. Maybe that's because I chased it with two sticks of bacon.
posted by odinsdream at 9:31 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where's US News & World Report on this list? Oh, my, I love this:
"The global economy is mysterious, even scary. Chief Business Correspondent Rick Newman connects the dots. In addition to his writing for U.S. News, Rick is the co-author of two books: Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, and Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Tell him what concerns you ..."
Well, frankly, Rick, I'm concerned about the doughnuts.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:32 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?

Ooh! Ooh! One of those stores where you get to paint a piece of plaster that's shaped like something!

A Krispy Kreme replaced Bickfords in my hometown soon after I graduated from high school. I'm still mourning the loss a bit, but I was extremely excited to see the place boarded up a couple years later. Death to Krispy Kreme!
posted by giraffe at 9:32 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with? I'm looking for creative, community-oriented ideas, but "Burn them in a great and glorious nationwide week of conflagration" will do.

Strip malls are easy to repurpose -- the physical spaces and the zoning tends to be pretty flexible, so the space can turn into churches, office space, storage, higher- or lower-rent businesses, etc. Even housing isn't unthinkable, if either the building department turned a blind eye or the landlord brought them up to residential code. And they are individually quite small, so bulldozing one is no great expense, and then you have a nice street-front lot to rebuild differently. In most places, you can deal with them on a mostly ad-hoc basis, ideally guided by some sort of planning vision (eg better streetscapes, multi-use zoning, whatever).

But traditional, enclosed malls (like Mall of the Americas) are much, much harder to deal with when they start to fail, because the space is much less flexible, costs a lot for utilities and security, and they are so large that retrofitting or demolition costs serious money. (I think there was an FPP recently about dead malls, or photos of dead malls, or something like that, actually.) Older malls have all the problems that other buildings of that era have with asbestos, coupled with sometimes quite poor construction quality (because no one expected them to need to find a second life as anything other than retail, complete with rapid tax depreciation), so the costs of rebuilding can be enormous.
posted by Forktine at 9:32 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?

Uh, tanning spas and rent-to-own? No, wait a second, they're already there.
posted by crapmatic at 9:33 AM on February 11, 2009


The only one I don't like seeing go down is Krispy Kreme. They already closed the store that was 2 minutes away from my house last year, and then they closed the next closest one (which was a half-hour away) a few weeks ago. The only reason that it's annoying is that the only other choice around here is Dunkin Donuts (there are still plenty of those around everywhere) which are not nearly as good.

Blockbuster should have been gone years ago though. They have lost several class-action lawsuits that correctly called them on purposely screwing-over their customers, and their selection has always been worse than any other random video store I've been to.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


KRISPY KREME NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by FatherDagon at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler.

I'll say this to all my old relatives too, since some are bound to die soon anyway.
posted by swift at 9:36 AM on February 11, 2009


You know what killed Blockbuster? I have a suspicion. I can't be the only person remembering that before Blockbuster moved in and took over, the local video store had an "Over 18 Only" section.

Nobody seems to want to admit it, but that section of the video store surely did well, profit-wise.

(That and keeping movies in the "New Releases" section for way, way too long. Right. If it's on TBS already, you can't expect me to pay double to rent it, assholes.)
posted by caution live frogs at 9:36 AM on February 11, 2009 [14 favorites]


Oh come on. I literally just ate a cold one and it was delicious. Maybe that's because I chased it with two sticks of bacon.

Where do you live that bacon comes in stick form? Sticks are part of trees right? The only conclusion I can draw is that you live in some wonderful Shangri-La where cured pork belly literally grows on trees.

I must move there.

Now.
posted by dersins at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2009 [17 favorites]


It's all very well to gloat over the demise of retail corporations that you didn't like, (I fucking hate Blockbuster like everyone else), but those are a whole lot of minimum wage jobs that won't have anywhere to go.

That's true only in the short term. When Blockbuster goes under, any local video stores that managed not to get drowned can finally surface for a gulp of air, and flourish, and then hire more employees. While Netflix is pretty good, their selection of strange, foreign, cult, old, etc. movies is still lacking, and the local store used to fill that gap before Blockbuster came in.

When Chrysler goes under, the lobbyists go with them, and the union workers can find jobs doing something more constructive for America, like work on alternate energy, etc. Alternately, Honda, Toyota, or even a rejuvenated and forward-thinking Ford will hire the workers.

The thing in common with these companies is poor management and poor products, choking out competitors with sheer market share and massive bankrolls. When a shitty company goes away, the air is clear for better companies to prosper.

Think of it like occasional forest fires being good, not bad, for the overall health of the forest ecosystem. Yeah, some trees die, some squirrels are out of homes, but in the long run, it's good, and occasional reality checks on the retail market provide the same impetus.
posted by explosion at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, there was a time in the late 90s when Krispy Kreme was on the local news a couple times a week.

If only you lived in The South, you, too, could read all about Krispy Kreme several times a week in your local newspaper. The Raleigh News & Observer had 3 days of coverage on the annual Krispy Kreme Race-- you run 5 miles and eat a dozen donuts.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2009


Better yet, they should compile a list of American companies expected to survive.
posted by gman at 9:38 AM on February 11, 2009


You know what killed Blockbuster? I have a suspicion. I can't be the only person remembering that before Blockbuster moved in and took over, the local video store had an "Over 18 Only" section.

90% of the internet is an "Over 18 Only" section. Blockbuster doesn't need one.
posted by dersins at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


Thing about Krispy Kreme is that any Krispy Kreme you eat is worse than the first one you ate. Krispy Kreme is like a disease that you build immunity to - first time you have one, BLAMMO! it kicks your ass, next time, it's just real good, time after that you start to feel the grease on the roof of your mouth, and you realize that the coffee is just awful. And it just goes downhill from there.

Dunkin Donuts, on the other hand, won't ever kick your ass to the extent that your first Krispy Kreme will, but a fresh, well-made Dunkin Donut will be just as good each and every time you have it. And the coffee, for, you know, diner-y donut shop coffee, is excellent.

There's one Dunkin Donuts in Austin, and I make a special trip regularly. I drive by two Krispy Kremes to get there.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine Chrysler ever dying. I do believe that as an auto company you can design yourself back to being relevant, but that said, I can't stand any of their products aside from a soft-top Jeep Wrangler on a nice summer day, and I guess what's really ironic about that is the design hasn't changed for 40 years.
posted by fusinski at 9:41 AM on February 11, 2009


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?

I've always had this dream to buy some non-house and turn it into a house. Like turning a church into a cool home. Or lighthouses that people make homes out of. How cool would a strip mall home be?
posted by Sassyfras at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2009


The Blockbuster in my neighborhood is clean and well run by a staff of knowledgeable and helpful people. I hate going there because of the whole corporate schtick, and we have a truly awesome indie video store in town that is the zenith of craft video stores. But my wife has the "free" internet coupon every week? month? from Blockbuster that she insists we use instead of paying $3.00 at the indie place. Besides, did I say that the Blockbuster was clean and well run by knowledgeable and helpful people?

The Rite Aid not too far from aforementioned Blockbusters, on the other hand, is a place I thoroughly despise. We don't get our prescriptions there, we drive 20 miles into the next town to do that, at a local family chain that is fast and reasonably priced. We just consolidate out errands and get the meds when we are there. We used to have a really good local family pharmacy, but when Rite Aid went in, they shuttered their doors within a few weeks. Rite Aid has an ice cream counter, but it's not staffed, and the staff that is in Rite Aid - when you can find them - tell us "we don't know how to serve the ice cream".
posted by Xoebe at 9:45 AM on February 11, 2009


I stopped reading as soon as I read about how, in 2007, "megadiscounter Wal-Mart was starting to sell prescription drugs." On what planet?
posted by esoterica at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2009


Still, count me as shocked, if Krispy Kreme dies before its customers do.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2009


I'd be shocked if Krispy Kreme went - they sell bucketloads in London. They have big stands in Tesco, who are probably the UK equivalent of Wal-Mart these days. What can the profit margin on a £1.50 doughnut be?

Having said that, they were giving away free coffees a month ago when I walked past the Holborn store.
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on February 11, 2009


Stupid shit the local BB has pulled with me in the past few years:

1. Renting out scratched discs (although they tend to give me another copy with no hassle if there's one available)
2. Charging me late fees constantly, despite the "NO LATE FEES" signs everywhere in the store.
3. Almost never charging me what I expect for a movie, usually because it's unidentifiably a "two-day favourite" as opposed to a "seven-day favourite", or it's just blatantly mis-filed, and then always telling me what to do next time I'm "confused." I'm not confused you little fucking dickhead.
4. Sending me to collections for some late fees that didn't get paid because I was too busy to rent movies for a little while
5. Having the most shit-fuck-godawful selection of movies, especially when it comes to Blu-ray.
6. There will be a line up of ten people waiting to check out, but they almost only ever open one register, while the other three or four little drones sit there picking their asses talking to each other
7. Interrupt the process of checking me out in order to sort out your break schedule with your co-workers (this is epidemic in teen customer service from what I've seen)
8. Having all discs except one of any season of any TV series I have ever tried to rent from them to watch over the weekend. Twice I've rented a bunch of discs without reading too closely, because I had faith in the stupid BB employee to correctly answer the question "Do I have the entire season here?" It really takes you out of the power-vegging groove to have to drive over to the other video store when you figure out you're a disc short.. and then you ahve to return discs to two separate stores.
9. Accusing me of not returning shit I know goddamn well I returned.
10. The insistence on greeting me as I come in the store. Leave me the fuck alone and do your job!!!
11. Generally being apathetic pieces of shit who suck balls at everything they do
12. Asking me if I have a blu-ray player every time I bring a blu-ray up. Almost as annoying as back in the day when they'd "warn" you that the movie was letterboxed.

/Rogers Video FTW
//Go suck a dick, BB
posted by autodidact at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've always had this dream to buy some non-house and turn it into a house. Like turning a church into a cool home.

That's happening more and more in the UK - there's a beautiful converted church in Manchester that I would give the last Krispy Kreme to live in.
posted by mippy at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2009


I've always had this dream to buy some non-house and turn it into a house. Like turning a church into a cool home.

There's a really cool bed and breakfast in Stratford, Ontario that is a converted school house. Just beware of the skinny-dipping owners...
posted by fusinski at 9:51 AM on February 11, 2009


If Krispy Kreme goes under, how the hell am I supposed to make Luther Burgers?
posted by deadmessenger at 9:53 AM on February 11, 2009


Krispy Kreme met its waterloo in Canada; you don't mess with Timmies, people.
posted by scruss at 9:55 AM on February 11, 2009 [17 favorites]


Krispy Kreme should have focused on just being a regional treat place. Its doughnuts were exotic before the company expanded hither and yon, trying to become the New Starbucks after the craze developed.

Rite Aid sucks all manner of balls from the Animal Kingdom, as well as the balls of creatures existing on planets beyond Earth. Its empire was built on accounting fraud.
posted by raysmj at 9:59 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


How cool would a strip mall home be?
Ugh. Not too cool. For one thing most strip malls are butt ugly and smack dab in front of a major highway where you would be exposed to the sights, sounds, and smells of heavy traffic 24 hours a day. For another, you would probably be limited to a shotgun plan in which one room lead to another in a straight line: in order to get to the second bedroom you would have to walk through the living room, kitchen, and first bedroom.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Krispy Kreme is sort of mystifying. For years, I'd heard about this wonderful donut that was only available in Dixie and since I lived in the northeast, I'd never had one. And then finally they started building stores in the rest of country and could have a Krispy Kreme donut. And it kind of sucked. Way too sweet and mostly flavorless.
posted by octothorpe at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


Mad Magazine, Krispy Kreme, and Little Steven's Underground, all under the gun?

This is really getting to be murder.
posted by jonmc at 10:06 AM on February 11, 2009


Sirius killed Lucy and for that they deserve to die.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm pro Krispy Kreme, and I know a couple of 8 year old girls who will cry if there's no more Claire's in every mall in the world.

But I could live with losing those if you promise I can get a smoldering crater that used to be Blockbuster, one of the most customer-hostile firms I've ever seen thrive.

Speaking of which, why isn't TicketMaster on this list? Is there a petition I can sign?
posted by rokusan at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I worked at a Sbarro for years in high school, and if/when they close up shop I will actually be a bit sad. However pathetic that is.
posted by hexxed at 10:09 AM on February 11, 2009


octothorpe, out of curiosity, did you try Krispy Kreme when the "hot" sign was lit? Because the difference between a fresh and hot Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut vs. a cooled one is so dramatic it shouldn't even be considered the same product. Though to be fair I haven't had Krispy Kreme since they removed the trans fat (I moved and there's not one near me) so I don't know how that affected the taste.
posted by esoterica at 10:11 AM on February 11, 2009


I know a couple of 8 year old girls who will cry if there's no more Claire's in every mall in the world.

There will probably be a bunch of happy 8-year-old girls who don't get infected ears from the shockingly poor hygiene practiced and necessitated by gun-piercing, if Claire's is gone.

Actually, I'm really surprised more tattoo and piercing places haven't formed a lobby to governments to ban gun piercing. It's horribly unsanitary, and the banning of the practice would drive business toward their shops instead of the mall. On second thought, you have to wonder if those places want to make their shops 8-year-old and mother-of-8-year-old friendly.
posted by explosion at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2009


Blockbuster took me to a collections agency over $7 in late fees that they erroneously charged to my account for a movie I never rented, and I've never been able to get it removed from my credit. So fuck them and their shitty selection of movies.

Oh, and both they and Rite Aid were big Republican contributors. So I see this as more a come-uppance for supporting shitty fiscal policies. Way to go, assholes. Hope your minimum-wage employees kill you and eat you at your next regional meeting.

Six Flags I'd like to go to before they close. We always had Cedar Point near where we lived, so there was never any real reason to go to Six Flags (if we wanted a shitty amusement park, we could always go to Boblo), and Sirius is actually pretty decent.

I never understood the Krispy Kreme expansions, or why people go buck nuts for them in, like, gas stations. They're good when they're hot and fresh, but have a half-life like Uuq, and you only get brief stabs at getting them while they're fresh.
posted by klangklangston at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Speaking of which, why isn't TicketMaster on this list? Is there a petition I can sign?

There's been talk of them merging with Clear Channel's venue business. Piss and shit, together at last.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [11 favorites]


I worked at a Sbarro for years in high school, and if/when they close up shop I will actually be a bit sad. However pathetic that is.

On the other hand, if KFC ever goes under I will dance on their grave. My first job was at a KFC and I was introduced to the delights of sexual harassment in the work place; you had to let the creepy, middle-aged manager with a two-hair comb-over feel you up if you wanted to get hours.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trash talk Sbarro's all you want. But when you're in the Cleveland airport (as I was repeatedly as a college student), Sbarro's looks like fuckin' El Dorado.
posted by spamguy at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm really torn about Blockbuster. On one hand, it really is a crap store. Terrible, middle-of-the-road, selection and poorly organized, to boot. And, yeah, expensive-ish. On the other hand, there are many, many towns across the map in which Blockbuster really is the only decent place for DVD rentals.

Netflix has it's place, I suppose, if you actually watch enough DVDs for it to be cost-effective. For us, it isn't. And downloading movies really isn't ready for primetime, despite what the geeks think. It's really still more for people who enjoy the novelty as much as any movie they download.

KrispyKreme can die. No tears will be shed. Tooth-achingly-sweet, taste-free fluff. If your product can't survive 10 minutes after being pulled from the oven, you have a seriously flawed product. Especially when you sell the crap in boxes to be taken-away.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:15 AM on February 11, 2009


Rokusan, does a $500M class action suit count? Here's hoping!

I gotta say, though, I do like dollar rent-a-car. If only because they've been nice enough to rent me cars I'm not technically allowed, being under 25. But they've been good to me.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:15 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Like pretty much everyone else, I don't want anybody to lose their job, but I do want Blockbuster to crash and burn like a motherfucker.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:16 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


they removed the trans fat (I moved and there's not one near me) so I don't know how that affected the taste.

According to the News & Observer, removing the trans fat meant that the Krispy Kreme racers were less likely to toss their cookies donuts during the race.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:17 AM on February 11, 2009


I've had Sirius since late `05 and I agree with the commenter above that it is far more entertaining on a consistent basis than terrestrial radio from both a talk and music standpoint. It is one of the few products I am hugely enthusiastic about years after my initial purchase and anytime I am forced to deal with the alternative (like when I have to rent a car, for example) I miss it immediately. I will be seriously bummed if it goes under. It would be like going back to jerking off after having had daily sex with Angelina Jolie for 3 1/2 years.
posted by The Gooch at 10:17 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?

If it's like anything I've seen here, where the economy is still relatively "strong," they'll quickly be filled with pawn shops, payday loan shark outfits, Money Boxes and Dollar Generals. The ones that aren't occupied at all will turn into spontaneous free-for-all used car lots with prices & phone numbers spray painted in the windshields.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:21 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


You could make a really cool home out of a strip mall.

Build a wall surrounding the mall, including the parking space.
Turn the parking lot into a garden.
Add a veranda (In the Australian sense of the word, "a roof like structure built alongside of a building, especially one built over the pavement outside business premises")
Now you have a bunch of rooms with garden views, and you go from one room to the others by walking under your veranda.

I don't know how long it would take you to get rid of the smell of greasy donuts, greasy pizza, chemicals used on greasy hair and that as yet unidentified greasy smell that permeates strip malls.
posted by dirty lies at 10:25 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


All I care about is being able to get my grubby little hands on a FIAT 500 before Chrysler goes under.
posted by gyc at 10:27 AM on February 11, 2009


esoterica: "octothorpe, out of curiosity, did you try Krispy Kreme when the "hot" sign was lit?"

I've never actually been in a K K store, just eaten them when co-workers bring them in so no, I didn't know about the "hot" sign.
posted by octothorpe at 10:27 AM on February 11, 2009


There's been talk of them merging with Clear Channel's venue business. Piss and shit, together at last.

there's more than talk -- ticketmaster and live nation announced a merger yesterday. however, live nation was spun off from clear channel and is a separate company, and it's also not a "venue business" (SMG is the leader in that realm) but the largest concert promoter in the world. fyi.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:28 AM on February 11, 2009


Now, you're talkin', dirty lies.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:31 AM on February 11, 2009


Next can we talk about companies that "might" turn a profit? Then later we can talk about what "might" happen in next year's Superbowl??

CNBC and ESPN are thataway. I hear people actually watch them.

Obviously some of these represent properties that might be picked up by one or more competitors. CVS or Walgreens will compete to buy Rite-Aid, because they both want to be top dog in the pharmacy game. Six Flags parks will be sold. Chrysler brands may survive under a new parent.

The outlook isn't so good for folks like Realogy or BearingPoint, though. They don't have much that's worth selling in a physical sense and their brand names aren't worth much at this point. It's just going to be a whole lot of out of work professionals and a pile of lawsuits.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2009


You could make a really cool home out of a strip mall.

Nah, just leave everything intact and pretend you're a character in Clerks. On your days off you can wander around muttering "I'm not even supposed to be here today!"
posted by burnmp3s at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


esoterica: "I stopped reading as soon as I read about how, in 2007, "megadiscounter Wal-Mart was starting to sell prescription drugs." On what planet?"

Noticed that too. My guess is that they thought that Walmart's widely publicized $4 generic scrips marked the start of them selling prescription drugs.
posted by aerotive at 10:33 AM on February 11, 2009


I'm sort of surprised that these are all freestanding entities that can go bankrupt. I would have assumed they would be owned by some sort of MegaGiantCorps and would just be absorbed back into the mother ship when they became permanently unprofitable.
posted by yarrow at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't leave me XM/Sirius. I just discovered Jason Ellis (poor man's Howard Stern) and he's getting me through my commute every evening.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:36 AM on February 11, 2009


When I lived in Northampton, Massachusetts - back in the VHS era - one of the glories of life was Pleasant Street Video, which could be concisely summarized as the anti-Blockbuster. To highlight this fact, they had a sign in their store that contrasted their lack of uniforms with a certain Other video rental place: "We're capable of dressing ourselves."
posted by Joe Beese at 10:40 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Renting anything that wasn't a new release or an Academy Award winner from Blockbuster was like trying to find warmth in the frozen microgravity of space. And asking the employees for help was about as useful as asking HAL, while he passes in the Discovery One, not to be crazy.

And nobody at Blockbuster would have understood that joke, which is why they deserve to go out of business.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:40 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Good riddance, Blockbuster.

Krispy Kreme--I <3 you. Plz don't die.
posted by sperose at 10:40 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't honestly say that I'll miss any of these outfits, although the only one I'll be happy to see go under is Trump's outfit, because he's a loathsome scumbag. The only thing that I remember about Rite Aid, although I used to live across the street from one in Memphis, is that they stocked beer and Walgreen's didn't. Chrysler hasn't made a car that I've looked at twice in years, except for the new Charger and Challenger, and I can't afford those anyway. I can't remember if I've ever eaten at Sbarro's--I probably did, back when I spent more time in malls, but "memorable food-court Italian cuisine" isn't a phrase that gets used often. And I have had the good luck to almost completely avoid Blockbusters, thanks to the few remaining indy video places and various local public libraries and lately Netflix.

Oh, and what to do with those empty strip mall places? Whorehouses.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:47 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now you have a bunch of rooms with garden views, and you go from one room to the others by walking under your veranda.

I, for one, could not live some place where I had to go outside every time I wanted to go from one room to another. For one thing, I'm often nude or nearly-nude and for another even paradise has the occasional hurricane. Another consideration is location. Most strip malls in America are located along a major highway or boulevard-- meaning most of your neighbors are going to be fast food places and other strip malls.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:48 AM on February 11, 2009


Ut! Forgot Krispy Kreme. Hey, if you miss their warm donuts, nuke some Karo syrup for a few seconds and soak it up with a sponge. Same diff.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?

Tear em down, recycle the materials (copper, metal, lumber, glass) and make a nice park. Or community garden (you could reuse some materials for a greenhouse/fencing). But most likely, it will be depressing dollar stores + boarded up windows as far as the eye can see.

Here in Dallas, there are big stretches around every suburb just like that already. We built too many damn strip malls.
posted by emjaybee at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I stopped reading as soon as I read about how, in 2007, "megadiscounter Wal-Mart was starting to sell prescription drugs." On what planet?

Earth. What planet are you posting from?
posted by DU at 10:53 AM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


dirty lies: You could make a really cool home out of a strip mall.

And, bonus, they're apparently the best place to be when the Zombie Apocalypse comes.
posted by mkultra at 11:01 AM on February 11, 2009


Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler.

Goodbye!
posted by mr_book at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2009


Yeah, yeah, yeah, good riddance xyz corp, yadda, yadda, yadda. It sounds like a bunch of teenagers dissing pop bands. Do you have any idea what the demise of these businesses is going to do to local economies, not to mention the broader economy? Good lord, many of these businesses suck, but they pay taxes and employ people. For an idea of what 20+% unemployment is like go back and watch Roger and Me. I have lived through this and it is depressing. At least those people had the option of moving to other areas of the country with better employment opportunities.
posted by caddis at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


While having enjoyed Krispy Kreme donuts in Florida (and man they are freaking good when you get them when the HOT NOW sign comes on), there really is no better donut than south-central Pennsylvania's Maple Donuts!

(oooh and Fasnachts Day is coming up soon!)
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2009


I'd be (just a little) sad to see Dollar Thrifty go. Thrifty saved me a lot of dollars over the last few years on a couple of bigger rentals. Also their employees were totally cool and hassle free when the brand new jeep liberty my wife wife was driving was rear ended and suffered significant damage. I think it took less then 2 minutes at their counter to clear that up and have us on our way (I know most people think car insurance is a rip-off - but I've got to say - driving back to a rental car yard with the tailgate of a brand new rental all smashed up is a whole lot less stressful when you have a signed CDW in your pocket meaning zero liability)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:06 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Netflix has it's place, I suppose, if you actually watch enough DVDs for it to be cost-effective. For us, it isn't.

$15/month is something like 3-4 rentals at Blockbuster, and none of the hassle of going out or worrying about late fees. I suppose if you just don't watch that much, then you don't watch that much, but Netflix seems so cheap in comparison, it's no wonder to me that Blockbuster is going out of business.
posted by explosion at 11:07 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I stopped reading as soon as I read about how, in 2007, "megadiscounter Wal-Mart was starting to sell prescription drugs." On what planet?

Our local WalMart has had a full pharmacy for quite some time.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2009


Some of these companies (Blockbuster) I can't stand, but I also know some really good folks who work for some of them and this makes me sad to watch them worry, although some of these companies I do expect to come out of this alive.
posted by pointystick at 11:10 AM on February 11, 2009


One good thing to say about Rite-aid is a that they are often the only store in distressed areas that don't have a supermarket. It's not the greatest place to buy milk and bread but if the alternative is a half-hour bus ride to the actual supermarket, it's a handy place to have around.
posted by octothorpe at 11:17 AM on February 11, 2009


Include me in the "I dont understand Krispy Kreme" category.

A) They can't spell, that just bugs me.
B) The donuts are crap, even hot. The coffee is an atrocity upon mankind.

As for Blockbuster's, I say good riddance. They single-handedly forced all of the small video-shops to close down and they have very poor selection.

For Chrysler I say this: you're not going to sell enough $60 000 muscle cars to make a profit, you nimwits!

For the rest I couldn't care less, since they don't operate in Canada, thank goodness.
posted by Vindaloo at 11:26 AM on February 11, 2009


I used to work at Blockbuster, round about the end of high school, first year of college. Man, I hated it. I hated the khaki pants and the customers, I hated the awful bright yellow walls illuminated by flourescent lights, I hated the refusal to carry anything deemed too risqué, I hated pretty much everything about the place. But I loved watching movies, and I got tons of free rentals as an employee, and they were the only video store in my town that was hiring, so that was the job I went for.

Shortly before I stopped working there, we had a storewide meeting in which the manager told all the employees about Blockbuster's plan to expand and take over a much bigger section of the home video rental market. That's just standard corporate practice, of course, expanding and driving out the competition, but the thought of lots of little video stores going under and Blockbusters taking their place was pretty depressing. The fact that they were trying to sell it as a good thing, as a desirable thing, made me feel wicked grossed out for being complicit.

So I stopped working at Blockbuster, and got a different job. After that, I wished fervently for Blockbuster's demise. Whenever I thought about the company, I developed a habit of appending the thought with, "Man, I hope they go out of business." And now that's what's happening! Awesome!

The best part about wishing for something's death is that, given a long enough timeline, one gets to witness it!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:27 AM on February 11, 2009


Earth. What planet are you posting from?

On my Earth, Wal-Marts have had pharmacies for decades.
posted by esoterica at 11:27 AM on February 11, 2009


Claire’s? Nooooooooooooooo!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:28 AM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I haven't done business with any of these companies pretty much ever except Rite-Aid which bought my local drugstore and is the only place to get prescriptions filled within 20 miles of my house.

While I share caddis' concern that this mostly just means a lot of minimum-wage-ish workers out of work and screwed, teaching American to make do with less consumer choice might not, in the long run, be a bad thing. It seems to mostly work out well way up here in rural America.
posted by jessamyn at 11:29 AM on February 11, 2009


To append, in case it wasn't clear, I was taking issue with the article's pronouncement that it was 2007 when Wal-Mart started selling prescription drugs, not the fact that Wal-Mart sells prescription drugs at all.
posted by esoterica at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2009


I blame the non-consumers. We must consume and consume well. Non-comsumation is a sin against the Big Consumer God. Thou shall consume. Amen!
posted by doctorschlock at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2009


Um, Rite Aid sells drugs and they acquired Eckard- a store that um, also sells drugs. They're not going anywhere, genius.

As someone who watched every Eckerd in the city turn into a CVS, I can safely say you have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by oaf at 11:32 AM on February 11, 2009


Count me in the "Underwhelmed by Krispy Kreme camp." I had them fresh and cold, and both were meh. Though, I actually preferred the cold ones.

A Krispy Kreme opened in the parking lot of the Roosevelt Mall in Northeast Philly in the early '00s, maybe '99. A few years later, went out of business. Now it's a Dunkin' Donuts. Karma is slow, but effective.
posted by SansPoint at 11:36 AM on February 11, 2009


A lame google search for strip mall converted to housing gives 43,000 results.

We are not breaking any new ground here.

And back to the topic, I still remember when Blockbuster was new in my city. Zafra video, something like the Criterion Collection of movies in Spanish, closed their store after a few months, then all the other independents went broke. Only one video place with old, weird and foreign movies reminded, and they had to downsize. They moved to a strip mall and went from 6 or 7 new titles per week to 2 or 3 per month.

There was a period between Blockbusters arrival and broadband internet were all I had to watch were "safe" movies from Blockbuster and half-erased VHS tapes from the library. I remember getting Eraserhead from the library after a 5 week wait. The closer you got to the better scenes, the crappier the quality got, until you got a blue screen just as the good stuff started, from so many people rewinding and replaying the same parts.

So yeah, no tears for blockbuster.
posted by dirty lies at 11:41 AM on February 11, 2009


As much as I hate, hate, hate Blockbuster, there is one thing that's awesome about them: They're freaking everywhere, and a card from here is good way the fuck over there. I rented day-vay-days in Australia without a hitch.

Granted, there are only ever two movies in the whole store I want to rent at any given time (in addition to a whole wall of whatever formulaic Hollywood blockbuster--heh--everyone has already seen), and they're nearly always filed in the wrong section, usually on that bottom shelf that you actually have to crouch down to see. The staff, god love 'em, although forced by HQ to "act helpful," never know enough to actually be helpful. "Can I help you find something?" Probably not, but thanks for trying.

And, yeah, despite the convenience, maybe it's not the greatest thing in the world to have my personal information made available to an international network of sixteen-year-olds forced to wear visors and smile for minimum wage.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:46 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK, it appears that what was left over after CVS ate most of Eckerd went to Rite Aid. But, then, Kmart technically bought Sears, too.
posted by oaf at 11:47 AM on February 11, 2009


epsilon Blockbuster - Extremely crappy selection, puritanical ratings/editing policy, and missed the boat on digital delivery.

Blockbuster online has more movies, and more indie movies in stock, than netflix; take "Man in the Sand", an excellent documentary by Billy Bragg. Blockbuster-online has multiple copies, netflix doesn't carry it at all. The only thing blockbuster won't carry is true porn (they do carry alot of soft-core gaysploitation movies lately, at least locally), neither does netflix, and in my town, there is a 24-hour porn store directly across the street from blockbuster, so they probably couldn't compete on that front if they tried. They even throttle my account less annoyingly than netflix; with in-store returns working the way they do, I sometimes end up with twice the number of movies at home, as I have to pay for.

They did take their time on digital delivery, and still only support one hardware device, so you got them there.
posted by nomisxid at 11:47 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, doctorschlock, America is dying of non-consumption.

For the last five or six years now, every time I've walked past a Blockbuster I've wondered if it would be the last time. They just seemed so anachronistic and otherwise out of place in New York (although I guess Kim's isn't faring much better, which is truly a tragedy.) I'm happy to see the company die, but I'm worried about the employees. Mind you, I'm just picturing Brooklyn there, where a lot of the BB minimum-wagers seemed to be young parents and the like. I know that in a lot of places, perhaps even most places in America, the low-level staff for most of the places on the chopping block here are going to be a revolving door anyway - high school kids who are part-timing it until college. So that makes me feel a little better about the creative destruction of it all.

Krispy Kreme always made me feel kind of ill right after I ate it. Sbarro's always made me feel kind of ill just walking by it. Just driving past Rite-Aid is enough to depress me (I deal with CVS now that I'm in Virginia, but I'll always be a Duane Reade fan in my heart of hearts.) I don't know what to think about Chrysler. I figure they can weather this, but it would've been nice for them if they'd seen this coming down the pike and scaled back on their spending quite a bit. If they're truly in trouble, maybe they'll find a way to hold onto and license out their high-quality brands (most notable Jeep) for a while until they can get back on their feet.

As for the union workers going to work for Ford, Honda, or Toyota, though, I think that might be a pipe dream that would take way too long to turn out in practice anyway.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2009


Sassyfras asks: "How cool would a strip mall home be?"

Very cool. Picture window in every room.
posted by Forrest Greene at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2009


I haven't walked into a Blockbuster store in over a decade, but I have to say that their turnaround by mail blows Netflix out of the water. They have it set up where each DVD mailer has a barcode, and as soon as the post office gets it, they scan it to tell the company it's on the way; then Blockbuster sends out the next DVD right away rather than waiting to receive the old one. Really, at this point it is a matter of sending out the DVD today and getting the next one tomorrow. It has been perfect for cycling through shows like 'The Wire'.

But I've never understood the desperation that would drive one to shop at a Rite-Aid. I walked in exactly once, saw a couple prices, and never walked back in.
posted by troybob at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2009


Oh, and Tim Hortons chocolate-dip donuts are not anywhere near as good as the Krispy Kreme equivalent. Their coffee is fantastic, and the coffee and donuts at Tim's are far superior to those at Dunkin'.
posted by oaf at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2009


Netflix didn't kill Blockbuster-- Netflix killed all of the really good video stores with great selections that competed with Blockbuster. Everyone who really liked movies switched to Netflix, leaving Blockbuster to serve the demographic of people who don't watch movies that often and tend to stick to mostly well-known mainstream movies. That demographic is large enough that I can imagine Blockbuster will end up staying in business. Not everyone can get good use out of Netflix, and Blockbuster is really the only game in town any more when it comes to retail movie rental.
posted by deanc at 11:51 AM on February 11, 2009


Crap, I guess this means I shouldn't be seeking investors for my concept Rite-Aid store with a Blockbuster and a Krispy Kreme inside. Maybe instead I should put the whole Rite-Aid in a Chrysler dealership!
posted by rand at 11:53 AM on February 11, 2009


No no no. Put the Rite-Aid in a Chrysler.

The pharmacy that comes to you!
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2009


Oh, and Tim Hortons chocolate-dip donuts are not anywhere near as good as the Krispy Kreme equivalent.

Tim Hortons hasn't been "Always Fresh" in a long, long time. Many locations have their donuts trucked in. So, yeah, they're especially terrible. But it's donuts and coffee: Ambrosia of the proletariat. It's not supposed to be decadent. I don't think Krispy Kreme really ever got that.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:00 PM on February 11, 2009


Netflix killed all of the really good video stores with great selections that competed with Blockbuster.

I guess this depends where you live. Everyplace I've lived for the past decade, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video -- with their crappy, made-for-the-masses selection -- killed all these stores well before Netflix became popular, so there was no competition. Good riddance to Blockbuster, for that reason.

At least Netflix -- unlike Blockbuster -- carries the uncensored versions of movies NC-17 and vintage exploitation movies, as well as a good selection of indy, horror, foreign, and TV series.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2009


I would definitely miss Rite Aid's ice cream (formerly Thrifty ice cream). I can't be the only one?

Cheap, and delicious. Plus those strange rectangular scoopers they use at the ice cream counter. Fantastic.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a huge love/hate thing with Blockbuster- I currently live in a smaller town in Central Texas and I have a three-year old. Kid's movies are .99 each at Blockbuster and it's a big deal for my daughter to pick out her own movies. It's a great rain day activity in a town where there's not much to pick from for getting out of the house in bad weather. While we're library regulars as well, you don't have to whisper at the Blockbuster and they have candy. If we still lived in Austin, I'd probably never set foot in any major video chain store. I don't know if Vulcan Video is still in business or not, but I do know that I miss that store and Blockbuster will NEVER carry a copy of this film:
posted by PuppyCat at 12:08 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


What to do with the empty strip malls?

Two words:

Zombie. Movies.
posted by Mister_A at 12:08 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Make that http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088821/ ...
posted by PuppyCat at 12:09 PM on February 11, 2009


deanc: Not everyone can get good use out of Netflix, and Blockbuster is really the only game in town any more when it comes to retail movie rental.

Call me Mr. Outlier then: I have never used Netflix (or rather, their Canadian equivalents: zip.ca, Canflix, or CINEMAil.ca) and haven't rented anything from Blockbuster in between five and ten years now. I can think of at least three kick-ass independent DVD rental places within a ten minute walk from my front door, in a not-especially-major city.

And I have eaten two Krispy Kreme donuts in my life, and that was about two more than I enjoyed. The first I ate in Toronto and found it something like a Tim Horton's donut that had been left to marinate in honey for an hour. I figured, "Okay, they can't that dismal and still retain the following they have; maybe the Canadian recipe is changed in some waym from the donuts that made them famous." I tried again six months later in New York and found the second even more dire. Fare thee well, I say.

sys rq: Tim Hortons hasn't been "Always Fresh" in a long, long time. Many locations have their donuts trucked in.

You may have noticed at the time of their rebranding a decade ago (the same time the apostrophe evaporated and Tim Horton's became Tim Hortons) the word "donuts" vanished from the signs. I find it odd indeed, because if you asked a hundred people who grew up in Canada to name a donut shop, 98 of them would say Tim Hortons. And yet, they are barely in the donut business any more. I just now went to their website and I had to click four layers deep before I found the word "donuts," and then listed only as an aside under "Snacks and baked goods." As a Hamiltonian, this pains me in my soul.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:16 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


how is it possible that Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the company where a reservation is not a reservation, is not on this list? they're almost as evil as blockbuster is was.
posted by krautland at 12:27 PM on February 11, 2009


While Blockbuster is overpriced, I genuinely wish the two closest stores to me hadn't closed in the last several years. But the nearest store is now 2.5 miles away, and I don't drive.

I joined Hollywood, which was closer, just to have that store go under six months later. Netflix isn't cost effective enough for me. Sure, it's convenient and a monthly standard plan is equivalent to 4 Blockbuster rentals, but I don't really rent 4 movies a month on average.

I've had minor issues with Blockbuster before (once they had me down for never returning a movie I had already returned), but they were resolved fairly painlessly. whenI rent now, I rent from Redbox. If they can do $1/night rentals (and I've seen several similar models, including in a Soho storefront), why can't Blockbuster figure something out? (Wages and advertising aside for a moment)

Claires I'd miss too, simply because they have a nice selection of pretty jewelry that doesn't look too 'old' and is very affordable.

They're also a good source of affordable, nickel-free hypoallergenic earrings, which I require.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2009


how is it possible that Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the company where a reservation is not a reservation, is not on this list? they're almost as evil as blockbuster is was.

I rented from them a few months ago for just a 24 rental. They were supposed to pick me up, but were about an hour late. They said they'd pay to refill the gas to make up for it. Sweet. So between that (plus the fact gas was around $3.50 at the time), and the fact it was cheap to begin with thanks to a coupon from the internets, they actually paid me to rent a car from them. Sweet!
posted by inigo2 at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2009


While we're library regulars as well, you don't have to whisper at the Blockbuster and they have candy.

This thread has all kinds of depressing or frustrating comments, but this one is perhaps, uh, the winner.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:37 PM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


For many years, the nice folks at my local independent video store would dress up like Blockbuster employees on Halloween because they could not imagine anything scarier.
I agree with them and I say good riddance!
posted by HappyHippo at 12:45 PM on February 11, 2009


PuppyCat: Vulcan Video is still around, and, uh, still the same.
posted by bluishorange at 12:46 PM on February 11, 2009


Mister_A: "What to do with the empty strip malls?

Two words:

Zombie. Movies.
"

That makes no sense. You need to be in an enclosed mall to be able to withstand a zombie attack. What kind of defense does a strip mall give you? And where would you land the helicopter?
posted by octothorpe at 12:48 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


While we're library regulars as well, you don't have to whisper at the Blockbuster and they have candy.

I am yelling and eating candy at the library RIGHT NOW. Seriously, I am.
posted by jessamyn at 12:51 PM on February 11, 2009 [23 favorites]


And, oh, Chrysler. What is their brand supposed to be? What do people think when they hear the name Chrysler?

I remember when Chrysler meant K-Cars and Caravans: Cheap, no-frills, point-A-to-point-B people-movers; America's answer to the Volkswagen. Their cars were just plain cars rather than status symbols or a reflection of the driver's personality.

But when they got rid of their pentagon logo and traded it for that old-timey gold seal; when they went from "cars anyone can afford" to "cars that anyone would be embarrassed to ride in," they totally lost their way. Overnight, Chrysler's brand identity went from Look, mom and dad, I bought a car! to I am not too old to drive!

I guess maybe they were going for the Chrysler of the Chrysler Building: A classier, more sophisticated image--the exact opposite of what they were. Not an entirely impossible task, but doomed to failure in the suppository-sleek nineties. (The new big'n'boxy style would have been more on the money, I think.)

So they invite Daimler over to lipstick a pig saying, "We like what you do; help us do that." A Daimler-Chrysler merger would never be permanent, and Daimler knows this, so the German translation of Chrysler's plea is, "We would like a cut of your market share." And what does Daimler do? They accept the offer, run Chrysler into the ground, and laugh their asses back to Germany. Duh, Chrysler. Duh.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:51 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I tried again six months later in New York and found the second even more dire.

Your mistake here was not that you were eating at a Krispy Kreme. Your mistake was that you were eating in Penn Station.
posted by oaf at 12:51 PM on February 11, 2009


Blockbuster online has more movies, and more indie movies in stock, than netflix; take "Man in the Sand", an excellent documentary by Billy Bragg. Blockbuster-online has multiple copies, netflix doesn't carry it at all.

Netflix has this for both DVD delivery and Online Viewing.
posted by Benjy at 12:54 PM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


No no no. Put the Rite-Aid in a Chrysler.

YO DAWG WE HEARD YOU LIKE RITE-AID SO WE PUT A PHARMACY IN YOUR CAR SO YOU CAN DRIVE-THRU WHILE YOU DRIVE
posted by spamguy at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


With all these chains (hopefully) going under, I would think that might reopen the need for small, locally owned rental stores, donut hawkers, and pizza tossers. One can dream.
posted by Big_B at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2009


I just now went to their website and I had to click four layers deep before I found the word "donuts," and then listed only as an aside under "Snacks and baked goods."

That's nothing. Next time you're at Tim Hortons, take a look at the big board with all the prices. Does it seem like something is missing?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2009


esoterica: On my Earth, Wal-Marts have had pharmacies for decades.

Moreover, I just assumed this (and Target doing the same) was the main reason Rite-Aid was getting squeezed out.
posted by mkultra at 12:56 PM on February 11, 2009


Rite Aid, Blockbuster AND Sbarro? That's like 1/20th of the real estate in NYC!

Room for more banks, I guess.

And I'll jump on the Blockbuster hate bandwagon. Sad to see the jobs lost, but the asshats who work in the one I go to a couple blocks away are some of the most bovine mouth-breathers I've ever had the misfortune to have transactions with.
posted by papercake at 12:59 PM on February 11, 2009


Don't cry over the jobs lost at Blockbuster; no one ever works there more than a few months anyway.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:00 PM on February 11, 2009


While we're library regulars as well, you don't have to whisper at the Blockbuster and they have candy.

This thread has all kinds of depressing or frustrating comments, but this one is perhaps, uh, the winner.


Why? Have you ever taken a three-year-old to the library? Most of them don't read yet, and they're too young to turn loose entirely (our library has automatic doors, so convenient for him to run out into traffic). My son in particular likes to yell HEY MOM I SEE YOU down the aisle at me when I try to browse for videos or do anything but read kid's books to him. And yes, I could punish him, but it would not be a quiet process and we'd have to leave anyway to keep from disturbing the other patrons.

I love libraries, lived in them as a kid, and hope my son grows up to feel the same. But he's not there yet. When he is old enough to read and to be safe when not in my eyesight, the library will be a lot more fun for us both. Till then, I totally understand what that poster was saying.
posted by emjaybee at 1:01 PM on February 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Why? Have you ever taken a three-year-old to the library? Most of them don't read yet, and they're too young to turn loose entirely (our library has automatic doors, so convenient for him to run out into traffic). My son in particular likes to yell HEY MOM I SEE YOU down the aisle at me when I try to browse for videos or do anything but read kid's books to him. And yes, I could punish him, but it would not be a quiet process and we'd have to leave anyway to keep from disturbing the other patrons.

Yes, we thank you for keeping this out of the library and introducing it pretty much everywhere else.
posted by troybob at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have you ever taken a three-year-old to the library?

Yes. I work in a public library & have three children, so I know the score.

I could punish him, but it would not be a quiet process and we'd have to leave anyway to keep from disturbing the other patrons.

Honestly, seeing parents quietly reprimand their children for not respecting the rules of library is one of the highlights of my workday; that's civilization at work, that is.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:13 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have we come to a time in US history when mediocrity means failure? BLESSED DAY! *Eyes Applebees, Chilis, TGIFs, Subway, and Quizno hopefully*
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:16 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Three-year-olds are not dumb. If you can teach them that the toilet is for pooping then you can teach them that the library is for their indoor voice. You did teach your kid the notion of "indoor voice," didn't you?
posted by explosion at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


While we're library regulars as well, you don't have to whisper at the Blockbuster and they have candy.

This thread has all kinds of depressing or frustrating comments, but this one is perhaps, uh, the winner.


And you are perhaps, uh, a moron. Please don't take yourself quite so seriously. From a three year-old's perspective, let's see - whisper and drink from the water fountain? Or run around and get a new PEZ dispenser and a film. It's not a surprise what a 3 year-old might pick some of the time.

We are patrons of the SINGLE LIBRARY in my town, and support them as much as possible. However, when you visit every 2 weeks and take out 10 or so books on average each visit from the limited children's section, you eventually run out of decent, well-written, age-appropriate books.

I love MeFi with all my heart, I do. But I hate it when some toad has to go totally off-topic just to insult someone, and today was the wrong day for me to be the target.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:19 PM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's necessarily off-topic. Many here are talking about how much Blockbuster sucks, which meets disagreement from parents who find it an ideal spot for kids to run rampant and be subsequently chastised and beaten, without impunity. These points might not be unrelated.
posted by troybob at 1:22 PM on February 11, 2009


Oh, and Explosion? You're right - three year-old children are NOT dumb. But they are impulsive and most lack the ability to maintain self-control for more that brief periods of time - they're KIDS, and they're LEARNING and they have good days and bad days, just like you. So while we do teach our kids about indoor voices and keeping hands to ourselves and all that good stuff, they reserve the right to forget occasionally BECAUSE THEY'RE THREE. Holy fucking shit- I never saw such self-righteous dribble in all my life.

For the record, I accept full responsibility for destroying this thread and derailing it beyond redemption. Back to your regularly-scheduled dribble...
posted by PuppyCat at 1:24 PM on February 11, 2009


Put me in the "Dancing on Blockbuster's grave" camp. However, they do hold a special place in my heart: they were the first company I ever chose to stop doing business with for political reasons.

As far as Krispy Kreme goes, I'm indifferent. I've never gotten the donuts, there's so much glaze on them that they make my teeth hurt, and the one time I asked for one without glaze I realized that there is, literally, no taste to their donut but grease. The donut exists exclusively as a medium to transport the glaze, which is the only source of flavor involved in the thing. I don't hate them, but I've never seen the fascination.

I do, however, remember when the first Krispy Kreme opened in Tokyo. It opened in Tokyo Sky City, just outside Shinjuku station, and for the next month there were so many people lined up for the donuts that the line was five layers deep and stretched from the store at least 100 meters. Thousands of people, all lined up to buy disappointing and meh donuts.
posted by sotonohito at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2009


I think PuppyCat needs some Twizzlers.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2009


I am yelling and eating candy at the library RIGHT NOW. Seriously, I am.

SSSssshhh. * frown *
posted by everichon at 1:32 PM on February 11, 2009


Ribbit ribbit.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:33 PM on February 11, 2009


If there's ever two words that can't go together better, it's donut and heyday.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:33 PM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Re: Ticketbastard, here's an article on Why a Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger will cost you. Depressing.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:44 PM on February 11, 2009


I mourn the death of Rite Aid for one reason: the small town in Ohio I lived in has two pharmacies. One of them is a Rite-Aid with a really cool pharmacist who actually remembered me after my first visit. The second is a creepy drug store/radioshack/Christain bookstore that overcharges for radioshack products. I would be incredibly happy to see those fucks go out of business and the Rite Aid thrive. Also, where do you think people went for birth control pills? (I never heard of the Rite Aid refusing a prescription.)
posted by Hactar at 1:52 PM on February 11, 2009


F'em.
Sbarro's. Jesus. I'd rather have a shotgun enema than eat at Sbarro's.

I went into Blockbuster a while ago and asked for "The Road Warrior." Guy at the counter had no clue what I was talking about.
"Road House? Arlington Road?"
No, it's a
"Ghosts of Mars?"
*blink* Ghosts of Mars?
"There's a guy in it named 'Warrior'"
No, this is an older movie.
(Disingenuously)"Who's in it?"
Uh...Mel Gibson. Sound familiar?
"Maverick?"
Maverick? Does it have a guy with a mohawk in a post-apocolyptic Australian wasteland?
"...uh, it's about a riverboat gambler"
Yeah. See ya.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:58 PM on February 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fuck Ticketmaster. I go see live shows all the time, but I haven't given them a dime in almost 15 years. Would I like to go see the occasional stadium gig? Maybe, but I ain't willing to get fucked by them in the process. Instead I go see smaller acts at smaller venues...granted, the quality of the shows can be hit and miss, but look at it this way. If you go see a top-level act these days (and by "top level" I mean "expensive"; Madonna, U2, Springsteen, the Stones, etc.) you pretty much know what you're gonna get. Shows like that are the McDonalds or Subway of the live music experience. Whereas smaller gigs are like a box of chocol...no, wait. You know what I mean. Putting up with the lame gigs is worth putting up with when you hit those "HOLY SHIT WHAT WAS THAT I WAS THERE" shows you'll be telling your kids about. Whereas, say, U2 at a hockey arena? "I remember it well...I was in row RR7, between two lawyers and their trophy girlfriends and a couple of drunk guys. They played...well, all of the songs on the greatest hits album and a few from their latest album at the time. Yes."
posted by you just lost the game at 2:00 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like most New Englanders who long ago declared lifelong allegiance to Dunkin Donuts...
?
DD>KK!?
!
posted by whiterussian at 2:03 PM on February 11, 2009


Yey! woot! Well, I actually much preferred the Rite Aid in Highland Park, NJ over the overpriced local liquor store across the street. Indeed, almost a full 20% of Rite Aid was dedicated to useful stuff besides alcohol, while the local place sold most junk.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:12 PM on February 11, 2009


I'm actually fairly neutral about the possibility of Blockbuster imploding and vanishing up its own fundament like Nibbler fleeing a doomed universe, beyond sharing vague surprise it hadn't happened years ago.

But if there's a party over its grave, I'll still come and bring some drinks. Because who doesn't like a party?
posted by Drastic at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2009


But it's donuts and coffee: Ambrosia of the proletariat.
'Zat you Ron James?
posted by zarah at 2:36 PM on February 11, 2009


I can't believe people subscribe to XM radio. I could kind of understand it when there were no ads, but last time I rented a car with XM, it was stinking with "make money fast on the INTERNETS" commercials that physically hurt to listen to.
posted by Laen at 2:38 PM on February 11, 2009


Fuck Ticketmaster. I go see live shows all the time, but I haven't given them a dime in almost 15 years.

Me too. I remember back in 1997 a big act came to town and that one time I struggled to get good seats and paid a premium. In the end, about 70% of the seats were better than mine. I don't know what the damn problem is; I never had a problem getting good seats in the 80s. Now you won't catch me dead buying from Ticketmaster or going to see an act at any arena with a corporate name, much less.
posted by crapmatic at 2:39 PM on February 11, 2009


'Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with?'

I was thinking of remodeling one into a really cool art-deco nightclub/roller disco combo. I bet it would totally catch on.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:52 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, fuck Blockbuster. Blockbuster karmically deserves to die for killing off most of the little fire hazard corner video stores I loved so much as a kid. Fangoria nerds, you know what I'm talking about. Subtitled Lucio Fulci in the horror section. The clerk was a film student who would rent you "The Last House On The Left" or "Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend" even though you're 13. And yes, a porno section in the back behind a curtain. I loved those places so much and spent so much time in them as a kid. All the schlock culture of all the world at your fingertips. I get all my movies from USENET and BitTorrent now, and the selection is much better of course, but I still miss those places. And Blockbuster, with their depressingly middle-of-the-road, censored selection of bland crap, was what killed them. They've had this coming.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:09 PM on February 11, 2009


When Blockbuster came to town in the eighties, we were giddy. That illuminated blue canopy that was its facade made it look like a spaceship full of goodies had plunked itself down. I enjoyed the panic in the eyes of the asshole who ran the rental shop just up the street that it quickly killed. (He once tried to tell me I couldn't leave his store until he went through his paper receipts to be sure I had paid an old late fee or something.)

I have not been to blockbuster since Netflix came along.

I never understood Krispy Kreme. Gross name, little insubstantial doughnuts WAY overpriced - I mean, do you have a real bakery in your area? They're going to have real doughnuts. The large KK that opened to extensive local media coverage in this area a while back caused a frenzy and traffic jams at first. Krispy Kreme had promised it would not be used as a large scale production facility serving multiple stores and supermarket outlets and proceeded to do exactly that, loading huge trucks all night.

Then they said they would stop doing that and they didn't stop.

Then sensible New Englanders must have realized ther was no big deal about their crappy expensive little doughnuts because they are gone.
posted by longsleeves at 3:19 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Will the Unemployment offices close down too? Guy works at post office told me that stamps are getting so expensive they were told to buy better guns if any of the workers planned to run amok.
posted by Postroad at 3:37 PM on February 11, 2009


I will also miss the Thrifty Ice Cream at Rite-Aid; good ice cream and still relatively cheap. And yeah, I like the weird scoopers they scoop it with -- if you can find anyone to wait on you who knows how to work it.
posted by OolooKitty at 4:52 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll miss Sbarro because it's usually the only pizza option at the malls I've been too, but aside from the out of work employees, I'll never miss Blockbuster. I stopped using them after they charged for a video I returned on time, but that they didn't scan in (and was clearly sitting on their shelf).

Not to mention the edited copy of Dead Alive we had to endure once.
posted by drezdn at 4:55 PM on February 11, 2009


"I mean, do you have a real bakery in your area? They're going to have real doughnuts."

I have, like, three real bakeries within two blocks, but none of them have doughnuts.

They have El Salvadoran pastries full of dolce de leche, which is better.

(Though it does suck that it's impossible to find good bread around here.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:16 PM on February 11, 2009


Add me to the Kripy Kreme is Krappy Kamp 'K?.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:16 PM on February 11, 2009


posted by CunningLinguist Say goodbye to Blockbuster, Sbarro's, Rite Aid, Krispy Kreme and Chrysler.

Goodbye, you bland, crappy, middle-of-the-road companies run by Puritanical nincompoops. On your way out, don't let the door hit you in the enormously fat ass you've grown from eating Sbarro's and Krispy Kreme while sitting in your Chrysler SUV at the Rite-Aid drive-thru and watching censored crap rented from Blockbuster.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:16 PM on February 11, 2009


Sbarro. (Privately owned; about 5,500 employees). It’s not the pizza that’s the problem.

Really? That's certainly the problem with Sbarros for me. (well, all of the food actually).

I will be sad if Chrysler goes for 2 reasons: they make one of the only "cheap" hardtop convertibles, and my wife's car is still under warranty. My Chrysler is old, so their continued existence or lack thereof won't affect it.

Well, that and all the jobs --- as others have said, as much as I might dislike, say, Sbarros, I'm not going to gloat over 5k more people out of work.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:19 PM on February 11, 2009


Krispy Kreme sells franchises, not donuts. I would expect a lot of companies on that model, like Subway, will have weird activity in current times - on one hand jobless folks with a nest egg might try a wild leap, on the other hand, current times.

I don't know what CVS is up to, but their shelf-space to real-estate ratio is way, way off. I wish they would die.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:26 PM on February 11, 2009


on one hand jobless folks with a nest egg might try a wild leap

The nature of this emergency is that people aren't going to do that unless it's a guaranteed moneymaker. However, if you had a profitable liquor store, I'll bet you could get a premium price for it right now...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:38 PM on February 11, 2009


> To append, in case it wasn't clear, I was taking issue with the article's pronouncement that it was 2007 when Wal-Mart started selling prescription drugs, not the fact that Wal-Mart sells prescription drugs at all.

2007 is when Wal-Mart drastically cut their cash prices for certain common generic drugs, forcing all the other major pharmacy chains to follow suit.
posted by neckro23 at 6:49 PM on February 11, 2009


The second is a creepy drug store/radioshack/Christain bookstore that overcharges for radioshack products.

Never heard of such a thing. Wouldn't really want to shop there, but it would be interesting to visit, sort of like the McDonald's on the Utah side of one road which crosses the Nevada/Utah border, which has a bookcase full of the Book of Mormon in practically any language you could think of. And then on the Nevada side there's a giant casino. And that's pretty much all there is for many miles in any direction. Can't remember the highway, precisely, but it was on a crazy, spontaneous road trip about 12 years ago ...
posted by krinklyfig at 7:00 PM on February 11, 2009


Oh, to add to the chorus, yes, fuck Blockbuster. They certainly were everywhere for a while. Killed almost all my favorite video stores. Along with some others here, I stopped doing business with them years ago due to their censoring of movies, but the stores sucked anyway and the clerks were beyond clueless, about as sharp and useful as parking lot attendants, so I didn't do much business with them anyway. But it seemed like a losing battle after a while, as every average middle class family seemed to flock to the places, and I saw their rental boxes everywhere. I hope they have to pack it in. Good riddance.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:19 PM on February 11, 2009


Is this where I can vent about Blockbuster? Sweet.

Ok, first off, yeah, they suck. I've been to Blockbusters that didn't have any classics. Not even All About Eve.

But recently, I've been feeling bad for them, and their reasonable new no late fees policy is (was) very nice. So I started renting games with some frequency.

I'll admit, I was gaming the system. Here's how it work(ed)
Rent a game for a week for ten bucks
They gave you an extra week grace period
And then 30 days in which to return it, with a small restocking fee.

It worked out to a 6 week rental for 13 bucks. Excellent, but I'll admit, kind of taking advantage. But hey, it's their policy, right?

Not anymore. I rented a game this week, and was told now it's a week rental, and then a dollar a day late fee after that. I won't have time to really enjoy the game before I have to return it, and I don't think I'll be renting again. So even if I was taking advantage, they've lost their cash flow from me.

I understand that a lot of people were probably gaming the system like me, and they had to adjust the policy. But they've scaled back way too far and harshly. I would have been ok with a tighter window, but as is they've lost my business.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:23 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, yeah, yeah, good riddance xyz corp, yadda, yadda, yadda. It sounds like a bunch of teenagers dissing pop bands. Do you have any idea what the demise of these businesses is going to do to local economies, not to mention the broader economy?

I'm not sad to see bad businesses fail. One thing about economic bubbles is that they give rise to all sorts of financial foolishness, including booming businesses which would never be able to withstand an economic downturn, and that's always the other side of the bubble. A big bubble will take down a lot of retail service operations which pop up faster than bad acne on a 14 year old. I don't like to see people's lives turned upside down, but lamenting the loss of a business like Blockbuster just ain't within me. Perhaps there will be opportunities for others to do it better. Netflix beat them to the punch for their home delivery. And perhaps other businesses wouldn't make me loathe being around them as much. Maybe we'll see less franchises and more local businesses run small and conservatively, without seeing the need to franchise or go public. Well, that wouldn't be so bad, really.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:31 PM on February 11, 2009


posted by caddis Do you have any idea what the demise of these businesses is going to do to local economies, not to mention the broader economy? Good lord, many of these businesses suck, but they pay taxes and employ people. For an idea of what 20+% unemployment is like go back and watch Roger and Me. I have lived through this and it is depressing. At least those people had the option of moving to other areas of the country with better employment opportunities.

I bet this is exactly what people said when Blockbuster, Sbarros, and Rite Aid moved into small towns and put the mom-and-pop stores out of business.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:51 PM on February 11, 2009


Krispy Kreme and Blockbuster had serious problems with their business models well before the current recession.

Krispy Kreme was almost totally dependent on income from first-time franchise fees. The company sold way too many franchises, so those franchises had to compete with each other instead of other fast food chains. Then they charged their franchises way too much for equipment and materials (dough), so it became an unpopular choice for new franchise owners. Even though their donuts are undeniably popular, this mismanagement meant the company has been on the skids for years.

Blockbuster never really negotiated the transition from VHS to DVDs. With VHS, Blockbuster could buy thousands of copies of the latest titles at the cost of the tape itself, then pay studios a royalty per rental. During the transition to DVDs, the studios eliminated this practice, so Blockbuster pays a flat fee per copy (often higher than the cost of the same DVD to a consumer).

Under the royalty model, it makes sense to have a zillion copies of the latest new releases, since you only pay when they're actually rented. Under the flat cost model, it makes sense to keep a couple of copies of new releases, and a healthy selection of old favorites. Blockbuster continued buying a zillion copies of the latest new releases long after doing so stopped being profitable (who wants 200 copies of Rocky LXVIII a month after it's released?). One reason Netflix is more successful is that its users tend to rent old favorites as well as new releases.

Both these companies had outdated and poorly-planned business models. The recession was just the last straw.
posted by miyabo at 9:21 PM on February 11, 2009


I'm sure the Krispy Kreme brand/branding will stay alive and well, what with its popularity outside of the US.

And wracking my brain, I'm almost positive I've never eaten Sbarro's. There's one in the DC train station, and it was the saddest thing I've ever encountered.

I used to live near a Rite Aid that usually had decent sales on beer and wine, so I guess I won't dance a jig on their grave.
posted by bardic at 9:35 PM on February 11, 2009


"I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Sbarro's. It's right next to the stent."
Yeah, really, that's NOT funny.


Yah, really, it was, a little.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 PM on February 11, 2009


All the comments about how bad Sbarro's pizza is are freaking me out. The best pizza I've had in Korea in more than a decade has been at a Sbarro's in the food court at Coex in Seoul.

I guess that says more about pizza in Korea than it does about Sbarro's. And how long it's been since I've had decent pizza, I guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:54 PM on February 11, 2009


Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with the thousands of deserted strip malls the next year or two will leave us with? I'm looking for creative, community-oriented ideas

Use them as locations for a chain of sci-fi-themed laser-tag centers set in a post-apocalyptic future now.

You can probably even find ones equipped with authentic-looking beggars, at no extra charge.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:29 AM on February 12, 2009


I grew up a few blocks away from the first Sbarro's. It was in Bensonhurst (Bklyn) right on 86th street, you know, that same street that John Travolta walks down during the opening credits of Saturday Night Fever. If you were to see the original Sbarro's, you would find it unrecognizable to the chain of bad restaurants that bears its name today. The original was a family owned deli and believe it or not, they didn't even serve the atrocity that they call their pizza today. I think there were already too many other good pizzerias in that area so instead they concentrated on other dishes, I think it was famous for their hot sandwiches. I would go there all the time and order the eggplant parmesan or some other such thing. And it was DELICIOUS. I know it seems as though I must have grown up in Bizarro world, but there really was once a time when Sbarro's made excellent authentic Italian deli food. Oh and I remember you also had to take a number before you ordered your food as if you were at the DMV or the post office. The waiting was terrible but once you got your food you quickly forgot about it.
posted by cazoo at 1:18 AM on February 12, 2009


I don't have a bitching-about-Blockbuster story because I've never had the requisite amount of ID when I've asked for a membership application. At one point, I think it was something absurd like 3 credit cards and a driver's license? And me, I'm like, fuck that. Esp. when I could get almost any DVD from BCCLS for FREE (here in MA it's like a dollar and the network is nowhere near as awesome, but that's a different rant). Plus, like, oh hey, internet. Yes, I buy the movie if I liked it. I just cut out the middle-man.

I've never enjoyed a KK donut. They seemed like Dunkin Donuts squeezed like so much PlayDoh until they were smaller and more dense. I preferred the larger, flakier Dunkin Donut. I don't know about the freshness thing, but since I rarely have the chance to sit down and enjoy a donut fresh off the line, I doubt it matters. Donuts are an "on the go" food for me. "Always Fresh" or not, for my money, Tim Hortons' old-fashioned glazed donut is one of the best things I've ever tasted. But then, I always thought Hostess' orange cupcakes were vanilla, because the other one was chocolate, right? So what do I know? I still stop at the ones in CT every time I drive down to NYC, and I keep stopping til I find one with old-fashioned glazed (I've pretty much written off the one in Meriden as they never seem to have them).

I stopped eating Sbarro's around the time I pretty much stopped eating all fast-food. I didn't do it intentionally or to make a point; I guess I also just grouped them in with the Mickey D's of the world. Plus, living in NJ meant access to plenty of decent pizza.
posted by Eideteker at 1:25 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh, and RiteAid is, aside from the lack of a Sovereign Bank ATM, completely indistinguishable from CVS/Walgreens to me. They might as well be the same store for all I know/care.

Fun fact: When looking for a place to buy toiletries from your phone's googlemaps app, search for "pharmacy" not "drug store." There are apparently no drug stores in Saratoga Springs, but a hell of a lot of pharmacies. For me, the CVAidGreens experience = pharmacy, but for true coolness, you want that local drug store. You know the one; it stocks questionable merchandise that looks like it's been sitting on the shelves for decades, is staffed by people who were standing there when the motherfucking edifice was erected, and always has what are simultaneously the best and the worst sunglasses by the spinny rackful. Pharmacies are cold and sterile, yes, but I always feel like they harass me with their presence from the moment I enter and I can never leave fast enough. Drug stores, on the other hand, always make me feel like I am five years old and up to no good. I always wish I still carried pocket change so I could figure out how much candy I could buy.
posted by Eideteker at 1:35 AM on February 12, 2009


Sbarro's: There is something about the mall pizza place. The new Edward Hopper view of the corridor of red booths with people sitting, eating their pizza, their mirrored doppelgangers right next to them. I'd always pass by the Sbarro's, perhaps once in my life electing to eat there.

I had a Netflix subscription for a bit, but let it go, my gal deciding to use the BB version of that service. Her plus was that we can return the movies to the store if we want... I am not sure if we have ever actually done that, but she gets videos via the mail constantly. Will their stores be going under with the continuation of their v-mail operation? Going to the Blockbuster store was always weird... I loved seeing the one lonely VHS cassette still resting on some shelf, say a copy of Slapstick 2.

There is an old, abandoned Eckard's right on the corner of a major intersection by our place and the architecture is so specific. In some places, Rite Aid took over those blue and tan, tiled atrocities. Rite-Aid is opening up fresh right next to my old high-school a few towns away.

Krispy Kreme. There is a reason, some strange reason you can't get Cheerwine or Bingles up north.. perhaps Krispy Kreme broke some unspoken oath, some unwritten law? Now, the bad juju has come to hit them.
posted by RubberHen at 2:13 AM on February 12, 2009


Add Muzak to the list.
posted by caddis at 8:17 AM on February 12, 2009


caddis Wow, and here I was about to say nothing could make me happier than seeing Blockbuster go under. Its only too bad that when Muzak goes down all their crappy "music" won't vanish as well.
posted by sotonohito at 8:39 AM on February 12, 2009


Add Muzak to the list.

Elevators everywhere ring with the sound of rejoicing!

Funny, I drove past a Muzak office while running an errand yesterday morning, and thought to myself "Self, there's a company whose days have got to be numbered." Got back to work, and the first thing I see on CNN at lunch is this news. I'm a freaking financial prophet. Buy Krugerands and toilet paper.

Out of this whole list, the only one that vaguely effects my life is Blockbuster, because Vulcan Video (exactly 100 yards from the Blockbuster) has had me on their "do not rent" list for 10 years because I lost a copy of The Little Mermaid for 3 weeks, and when I finally found it, and brought it back, I was already on the "bad" list, and only a manager could remove me from it, and there was no manager present. I was advised to leave with the movie and try again later. Came back with the movie again 3 days later, a Wednesday at 5:30 PM, and same thing. No manager. Regular employee can't take you off the "Bad" list. I said fuck it -- here's your movie. Make a note on it, and leave it on the manager's desk -- I'm not coming back a third time. This was apparently a monumentally insurmountable task for the surly, disaffected girl behind the counter who had blown her last 23 paychecks in a row on tattoos and piercings. Haven't been ABLE to give them a cent of my business since 1999. It's a much further drive to Hollywood Video, but I'm not a big movie watcher, and my kids can understand the word "No."

Ken's Donuts is, and will continue to be, my fried dough with sugar emporium of choice.

The Eckerd's here somehow turned into a CVS instead of a Rite Aid. I was amazed that someone could worsen the Eckerd's experience. I would not go there for prescriptions for fear of immediate death. There's two great local pharmacies within easy reach from my house, People's on N. Lamar, and Medsavers on Medical Parkway, in case any Austinites are listening.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


What about I Luv Video, Devils Rancher? They're pretty good. Is that one at North Lamar and 183 still there, or did they go under?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2009


Add Muzak to the list.

Elevators everywhere ring with the sound of rejoicing!


In fairness, Muzak isn't just the cheesy string arrangements of light jazz and classical pieces that you're thinking of.

This 2006 New Yorker story really opened my eyes about them:
All of Muzak’s other programs are drawn from the company’s huge digital inventory, called the Well...
...The Well includes seven hundred and seventy-five tracks recorded by the Beatles, a hundred and thirty by Kanye West, three hundred and twenty-four by Led Zeppelin, eighty-four by Gwen Stefani, a hundred and ninety-one by 50 Cent, and nine hundred and eighty-three by Miles Davis. It also includes many covers—among them, versions of the Rolling Stones’ song “Paint It Black” by U2, Ottmar Liebert, and a late-sixties French rock band with a female vocalist (who sang it in French) and approximately five hundred versions of the Beatles’ song “Yesterday,”
Basically, they program in-house, commercial-free radio stations for retail stores like those of the various Gap brands, and other commercial establishments. It's still pretty cynical, designed more to affect consumer psychology and influence buying habits than it is to entertain, but it's not (just) "elevator music."
posted by dersins at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


What about I Luv Video, Devils Rancher?

I don't want to have to explain to my 9 yo kid what's in "that other room," if my recall of how they section off the "Adult" videos is correct. There's one on Airport still, but it's a few miles, where as Vulcan's practically walking distance. Maybe I'll go plead my case again, someday.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2009


Oh, and apparently, I've done grievous injury to Mrs. Johnson's Bakery by preferring Ken's to hers. A thousand apologies to her fervid acolytes, who are legion. You can all stop stalking me, now. :-)
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:30 PM on February 12, 2009


I havent finished reading the thread yet, so I hope I don't duplicate others comments...

Speaking of which, why isn't TicketMaster on this list? Is there a petition I can sign?

Ticketmaster was just dumped by ClearChannel's spun off venue division called Live Nation. They moved ticketing in house a few weeks ago, and buying three tickets on the web right as they went on sale took me five hours. Their servers just can't handle a load. Their service fees were significantly higher than TM as well, try $20 on a $49 ticket! Live Nation is in dire financial straits and may go under. They are probably unable to buy Ticketmaster outright, but I'd guess a merger is possible. I hope they both rot.

As to Sirius/XM

The company will probably go under, but the technology will continue to be used, IMHO. Those satellites were wicked expensive and can provide a service people like. I don't think anyone will buy the company, as then they get the debt too. Someone will buy the infrastructure during the bankruptcy auction and either use the same business model with much lower debt, or someone will come up with a new business model. One would be run it like regular radio, free but with advertisements. Market share would go up if it were free, and ads would surely sell. I am sure someone smarter than I will come up with something that works.

My main point is fully functional insanely expensive satellites won't be abandoned. Purchased cheap enough there will be an economic upside.
posted by jester69 at 3:46 PM on February 12, 2009


My main point is fully functional insanely expensive satellites won't be abandoned. Purchased cheap enough there will be an economic upside.

true, but do they own the satellites or do they just rent bandwidth on them?
posted by caddis at 5:48 PM on February 12, 2009


WSJ blog article seems to imply that they own both Sirius and XM satellites, and that one of the satellite networks could be repurposed to other uses.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:28 PM on February 12, 2009


'The best pizza I've had in Korea in more than a decade has been at a Sbarro's in the food court at Coex in Seoul.

I guess that says more about pizza in Korea than it does about Sbarro's. And how long it's been since I've had decent pizza, I guess.'


We need to start a "Bring good pizza to stavrosthewonderchicken" or "Bring stavrosthewonderchicken to good pizza" fund.

Chicago meetup, anyone?

That was just to piss off the New York contingent - everyone knows the best pizza (and the worst web design) is at The Pie Pizzeria in Salt Lake City.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:24 PM on February 13, 2009


I see something like what happened to Iridium in XM's future which is essentially exactly what jester69 said above: someone will buy their assets at auction, and without the burden of having actually launched the satellites, etc., they'll be able to make a go at it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:54 PM on February 14, 2009


We need to start a "Bring good pizza to stavrosthewonderchicken" or "Bring stavrosthewonderchicken to good pizza" fund.

I strongly approve!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:56 AM on February 15, 2009


Circuit City is dead.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:22 PM on March 8, 2009


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