Interesting article from the controversy-stirrers at 24/7WallStreet that details which major brands they see as either getting killed off by the hand of management, or the invisible hand of the market.
So which of the brands were manufacturers?
Crocs: According to the writers, "Crocs sold the fastest growing footwear in America at one point. . . In the fourth quarter of 2008, Crocs lost $43 million after making $55 million in the same period the year before. Revenue fell from $225 million in the last quarter of 2007 to $126 million. Crocs won't make it through the year."
Saturn: This brand, which was created to be the company's platform for manufacturing and marketing innovation, is now in a situation where it's parent company GM "can't afford to support a brand with poor sales that are falling at such a rapid pace."
Gap: The writers call Gap, which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, is "a three-brand company living in a two-brand body. . . Old Navy is still the weakest brand of the lot. Gap will have to close it down."
Chrysler: According to the article, Chrysler is the Saturn of Chrysler LLC. "Dodge and Jeep both sold substantially more cars than the Chrysler brand even thought their sales were down 40%. When the company is restructuring Chrysler will be gone."
Palm: Palm is gambling it all on one last chance to become a viable competitor in handsets with the new Palm Pre. Needless to say, the authors aren't too bullish on the prospects of Palm capturing market share from RIM and Apple. "The launch of the Pre is a disaster in the making. . .Palm won't be in business in a year."
Normally, whenever I read one of these prophecies, I'll set a calendar entry and go back in a year to see if they're right or not. Since the banking geniuses just about ruined the economy, it's just too depressing.