Many chains like Blockbuster and Claire’s enjoyed great success in the 1990s. But in many cases, the good times came to a screeching halt at the start of the 21st century.
Streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu sent Blockbuster into a death spiral. Declining mall traffic and the rise of e-commerce had a similar effect on other retailers that couldn’t quite compete.
Read more: 5 fast-food chains that went extinct in the US but survived internationally
However, some stores have managed to hang on tight, even if by the skin of their teeth.
Toys R Us, the beloved toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017 and then liquidated several months later, but it was revived this year in a new entity called Tru Kids. Payless had 3,295 stores in 1991, but it is currently in the process of closing all its US stores.
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