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Companies That Closed Due To One Bad Decision

Reddit user Qing92 asked: 'What large company was shut down because of one bad decision?'

Closed sign hanging on a door

Whether or not a company succeeds or fails usually depends on a variety of factors.

Sometimes, people just came up with a terrible idea that was essentially doomed to failure and only got off the ground thanks to one benefactor with deep pockets.

Then there are promising ideas, which just didn't have time on their side, opening during a fraught economy, or simply a time that rendered their product unnecessary (rest in peace Quibi.)

In some rare occurrences, a company's sustainability was thrashed entirely owing to one single decision.

Be it a minor change to the product, or movement in management, this seemingly minor change was all it took to cost all the employees their jobs or turn their office space into a temporary "Spirit" Halloween store.

Redditor Qing92 was curious to hear which companies found themselves closing their doors for good entirely owing to one poor decision, leading them to ask:

"What large company was shut down because of one bad decision?"

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It...

"Schlitz beer once tried to increase their bottom line by using cheaper ingredients."

"Result: poorer quality (including a slimy mucus at the bottom of the bottles), which in turn caused sales to drop hard."

"They reversed back to the old ingredients, but the customer base never trusted them again, and Schlitz died off."- F19AGhostrider

Sometimes You Just Have To Keep Up WIth The TImes...

"Once upon a time I worked at a Barkers department store."

"It was a lower mid level discount store chain a'la Kmart, occupying the mid-Atlantic states."

"They went under in the mid 80's or so, but in 1978 I could read the writing on the wall."

"I think they failed to catch the bus in not adopting some sort of scanning technology when everyone else was going there."

"They used a 9 digit inventory control system, compartmented by department number."

"This meant front cashiers had to punch in ELEVEN numbers before the price."

"This was an extraordinarily SLOW checkout process."

"I can remember standing at the register, fingers flying, sweating bullets with a line going back into the store with impatient people."

"I was one of the fastest on the register line."

"Ticked off customers along with the common mistakes of mis- entered (or purposeful mis-entering for speed) inventory numbers."

"I'm sure had great deal to do with Barkers demise."- dsez5tsry

Some People Just Talk Too Much

"A radio station I used to listen to recently changed their format from 80% music, 20% talk show to 100% talk show."

"Then they were like 'oh you can still listen to the music but it’s only going to be on our app'.”- Anyingsiate

Talk Radio GIF by Real TalkGiphy

They Didn't See It Coming...

"Radio Shack trying to compete with Best Buy in bigger ticket consumer electronics rather than sticking to what they did best."

"I worked there in the early/mid 00s and you could feel the downfall as it was happening."- HoopOnPoop

Expenses Over Experience...

"Circuit City when they decided to fire 3400 seasoned employees and replace them with high school kids (who will work for less) thinking it was a smart business move."- greenturtle

Some of Us Still Miss The Keyboard Though...

"RIM thought iPhone were no threat to the more business-oriented Blackberry."- smurfsundermyb

"Blackberry had killer phones but never adapted to smartphone era."- Gotprick

Ahead Of It's Time, Maybe?


"Vine was the Tik Tok of its day and then Twitter bought it and decided there was no profit in it."- Avicii_DrWho

Say Cheese!

"Eastman Kodak’s decision to not get into digital come to mind."- Mzunguman

Film Miami GIFGiphy

Consolidate Before Collecting...

"Yellow trucking bought out a bunch of smaller companies and never bothered to consolidate them into a single entity (each one would operate independently as a subsidiary)."

"Not only did this force them to take on loads of debt, but it also put them at odds with the Teamsters, who had active agreements with each company prior to the buyouts."

"They never recovered from this move and relied heavily on the Teamsters to negotiate pay/benefit cuts for its members for the next decade and a half."

"When the union rejected the latest concession proposal earlier this year, the company shut down and blamed the union for it's own incompetence."- rock_like_spock

Choose Your Words Wisely...

"The Ratner’s jewellery shop chain in the UK, because its chair Gerald Ratner chose to speak off the cuff at a major business speech in 1991:"

"‘We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95'."

"People say, "'How can you sell this for such a low price?'", I say, 'Because it's total crap'."’

"The company’s valuation collapsed, Ratner was forced out, and the high street shops all closed."- iCowboy

Safety First...

"Blitz USA Inc - they made gas cans, car ramps, that sort of thing."

"They refused to add a simple screen to their gas cans that would prevent flash over, even after multiple lawsuits."

"Even after not being able to use their own fuel containers on their own production floors due to OSHA regs."

"Now they don't exist."

"It's almost a case of corporate suicide."- Constant-Bet-6600

homer simpson arsonist GIFGiphy

And It Wasn't Even Insider Trading...

"Barings Bank was around from the 1700s until the 1990s when some kid in Singapore made a trade that cost them >1 billion USD."

"I think that's my best example that comes to mind."- macolaguy

Beware Corporate Giants


"Walmart made them lower their prices so much they went bankrupt."

"Someone bought the trademark."

"I believe Walmart is the reason lots of smaller companies went under in the late 90's early 2000's."- wino12312

JFK once famously said, "change is good".

One imagines that the former employees of all the above-mentioned companies might disagree...