Great American Companies in Serious Danger of Disappearing Forever

Pan American World Airways, Standard Oil, F.W. Woolworth, and Circuit City were once giants of American business. Today these companies exist only in people’s memories. Changing consumer tastes, evolving technology, corporate complacency, and bad business decisions ended these iconic brands.

The collapse of companies may seem abrupt. But plummeting revenue and leadership change can predict a company’s deaths. Of course, some, like Apple and IBM, step back from the ledge. But for every success story, there’s a bankruptcy. These 20 companies, including a beloved family-friendly restaurant (page 9), are among the walking dead.

1. Campbell’s Soup

Cans of Campbell's soup are displayed on a supermarket shelf

Campbell’s ingredients don’t appeal to young adults. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

You’d think the hipsters and young adults would appreciate the vintage look of Campbell’s Soup. However, the company’s throwback labels and long list of unpronounceable ingredients scare away millennial grocery shoppers. Many would rather make homemade soup or buy organic, better-marketed brands. In fact, Campbell’s isn’t even in the top 25 brands they recognize favorably. If this company doesn’t adapt to the times, it will surely lose in the long run.

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