Assignment: What Is Killing Our Business?

Preparation

Quickly think of a brand you used to buy or a store where you used to shop that no longer exists. Do any of these names ring a bell?: Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Wachovia Bank, Circuit City? Businesses like these fade from memory soon after they close as the business environment replaces them with bigger, better, or newer products, goods, or services.

What is it that causes formerly “top” businesses to fail? While every business and its circumstances are unique, the cause of failure can usually be traced to big changes in the external or internal environment.

Your Task

  1. Research a business that financial analysts predict will be gone in the very near future. You may choose one of the following companies or research another company that business analysts think is on its way out. Note: If you select a company that is not on this list, you must provide the source for your research.
    • J.C. Penney
    • Sprint/Nextel
    • The Container Store
    • New York & Company (Retail Clothing)
    • Jamba Juice
    • Elizabeth Arden (Cosmetics)
    • Sears
    • Aeropostale
    • Rosetta Stone
    • PacSun
  2. Based on what you find, determine whether the business is declining on account of an an external factor (i.e., shift in demographics, competition, consumer demand) or an internal factor (i.e., poor management, poor quality, lack of cost control). It may be a combination of both, in which case you should include this insight in your paper. Either way, be sure to explain in detail how this factor has negatively impacted the business.
  3. If you discover an external factor, was there anything the company could have done to adapt? If you discover an internal factor, why do you think the company didn’t address it before it got so serious?

Be sure to include properly formatted APA citations of your research.