Product Losers: What’s Not Selling

  • Stuck on the Shelves

    We’ve covered the success stories in this recession; now here are the sob stories of the recession. These twelve  products have performed poorly all year. However, if you’re looking to get an early start on holiday shopping, this is a good place to start. Take pity and buy one of these goods (most of these items have big discounts now anyway). Photo Credit: encompassing
    Flowers
  • Flowers

    You might think more flowers would be selling well these days to help cheer up people bummed about the bad economy. But with the exception of good sales around Valentine’s Day, it’s been a bad year for bouquets. 1-800-Flowers (Stock Quote: FLWS) revenue was down 8 percent during the summer compared to the previous year. Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet
    Sporting Goods
  • Sporting Goods

    When you lose your job, one of the best things to do with your newfound free time is exercise.  But according to sales reports, if people are exercising, they aren’t buying any equipment. Sales of fitness equipment fell by nearly 10 percent last year. Meanwhile, sporting goods sales have decreased as well. Dick’s Sporting Goods reported declining profits in the first and second quarter of this year.  And Eddie Bauer, a popular menswear and outdoor goods company, declared bankruptcy over the summer. Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
    Prescription Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs

    Americans have been skimping on doctor’s visits during the recession but they’ve also been cutting back on prescription medications. According to the New York Times, the prescription drug market is facing “anemic growth” this year and projected to be sluggish in the years to come. Last year, the growth rate was just one-sixth what it was two years earlier. This decline has hurt sales at stores like Rite Aid and Eckerd. Photo Credit: Amanda M Hatfield
    Jewelry
  • Jewelry

    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, except in a recession. Zale Jewelers third quarter earnings fell by 20% this year. In related news, the number of people popping the question has also dropped because of the recession. So there’s less reason to buy diamonds anyway. Photo Credit: amagill
    Furniture
  • Furniture

    These days, consumers are more worried about keeping their homes and less about furnishing them. Fortunoff went bankrupt and Furniture Brands reported a 36 percent drop in second quarter sales this year. Photo Credit: shioshvili
    Cars
  • Cars

    The entire auto industry is slumping. Saturn just got discontinued and Chrysler went bankrupt earlier in the year.  So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that businesses related to cars are suffering too. Hertz (Stock Quote: HTZ), car insurance, and Good Year, tires, were both listed on a recent list of companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Photo Credit: IFCAR
    Imported Beers
  • Imported Beers

    Beer is supposed to be recession proof, but it depends on the brewer. People are drinking more during the recession, but their drinks of choice have changed. Counter-intuitively, many are willing to pay more to get the beer they want. Inc reports Anheuser-Busch (Stock Quote: BUD) sales were down 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2009, while craft beer companies like Smuttynose saw an increase.  Still, beer drinkers do have a limit. According to the Beer Institute (it’s a real institute, amazingly), shipments of imported beer declined by 8 percent in July. Photo Credit: viZZZual.com
    Hotels
  • Hotels

    Luxury hotel chains like Starwood have seen profits decline in America and abroad. Even hotels in big destination spots abroad like the Caribbean have seen falling revenue. And in New York, profits have been bad enough to spark significant sales on once pricey hotel rooms. Photo Credit: kevindooley
    Electronics
  • Electronics

    Consumers may be dishing out money for the iPhone, but by and large, most are cutting back on electronics. Sales were down at Sony (Stock Quote: SNE), Samsung, TomTom and many other companies this year. Photo Credit: hyku
    Transportation
  • Transportation

    Cars weren’t the only thing to suffer this year; much of the transportation industry has been sidelined by the economy. Airlines worldwide have been fighting to survive.  In America, several airlines have offered incredible deals to boost consumer interest. And trains haven’t fared much better. Ridership has been down on Amtrak, forcing them to cut prices by a quarter all summer-long, and the MTA, which runs New York City’s subway system, lost millions in tax revenue as a result of the housing crisis. Photo Credit: jurvetson
    Amusement Parks
  • Amusement Parks

    Six flags filed for bankruptcy, and Cedar Point reported a 12 percent revenue drop this year. Many Americans may have more time for fun, but apparently they don’t have the cash. Photo Credit: robertpaulyoung
    Retail Clothing
  • Retail Clothing

    Macy’s, perhaps the world’s signature retailer, has issued mass layoffs and store closings. Dozens of other chains like Payless and Sears have faced store closings this year, too. When you add up all these statistics, consumers are apparently trapped at home, lying naked in their unfurnished bedrooms. But at least they drink good beer. Photo Credit: alistairmcmillan
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