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It’s a familiar story: Squeezed by big-box stores, online competitors and debt, this once-dominant sporting goods chain went under in 2016.
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S&H Green Stamps
If you are of a certain age, you might remember getting bundles of these stamps at stores as a reward for shopping. Collect enough of them, and you could visit a nearby S&H Green Stamps store and redeem your stamps for valuable (and not-so-valuable) merchandise. The Green Stamps stores are gone, but there is a survivor: S&H Greenpoints, which can be redeemed online for gift certificates.
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It wasn’t long ago that seemingly every neighborhood had its own Blockbuster (or Hollywood Video). The chain once topped 9,000 stores, according to the technology news website GeekWire. But the chain was bankrupt by 2011, and Dish Network began licensing the Blockbuster name to independent retailers. Only a handful remain — victims of the ease of online streaming.
PHOTO BY: Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/MCT/Getty Images
You once could tell a lot about a person by his or her record collection. But like other physical media, record stores have been buried by the online alternative. Tower’s history is so fascinating that it was the subject of a 2015 documentary. The company was liquidated in 2006. Other chains, such as Camelot Music and Sam Goody, met the same fate.
PHOTO BY: Ian Dagnall/Alamy
It’s not the only five-and-dime chain to meet its demise — although it would be accurate to say it evolved rather than simply disappeared. Amid competition from big-box discounters, Woolworth’s declined from the 1980s into the 1990s, closing its last U.S. stores in 1997. But another brand launched in the 1990s by Woolworth’s, Foot Locker, remains today — with the company officially changing its name to Foot Locker Inc. in 2001.
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Waldenbooks? Borders? B. Dalton Bookseller? They’re gone, swallowed by competition from Amazon and other online merchants.
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The name comes from the nickname amateur radio operators once assigned to the places where they broadcast. RadioShack was where you went to buy electronic parts, cables, kits and — eventually — mobile phones and even computers. But price wars with online companies were brutal to the chain, which once topped 7,000 stores. Only a handful remain, along with an online presence.
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