Mike Elgan: 10 things that won’t survive the recession

Posted by Kendall Harmon

9. Half of all retail stores
Many retail stores are obsolete and will be replaced by online competitors. Entire malls will become ghost towns. By this time next year, most video game stores, book stores and toy stores -- as well as many other categories -- will simply vanish. Amazon.com will grow and grow.

10. Satellite radio
I'm sorry, Howard Stern. It's over. The newly merged Sirius XM Radio simply cannot sustain its losses. The company is already deeply in debt and would need to dramatically increase subscribers over the next six months in order to meet its debt obligations. Unfortunately, new car sales, where a huge percentage of satellite radios are sold, are in the gutter and stand-alone subscriptions are way down.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomy

8 Comments
Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jim K wrote:

Many of these predictions have been made before and have not been borne out, at least to the extent Mr. Elgan suggests.  WRT satellite radio, one thing that might give it a new lease on life would be the “Fairness Doctrine” which, if it was to be revived and it survived the inevitable legal challenges, would do away with much of the current “Talk Radio” programming.  In that case, satellite radio would likely become the main source for those who listen to Limbaugh, Medved, etc.

December 30, 8:58 am | [comment link]
2. Cennydd wrote:

Just leave my Barnes and Noble bookstore…...with its Starbuck’s…...alone!  I like it there!  Can’t very well browse through books, buy them, and have a good latte on the Internet, can we?  There’s just that “something” about a really good book shop, isn’t there?

December 30, 10:12 am | [comment link]
3. APB wrote:

Satellite radio will probably survive, but only after going through an Iridium-style BK to clean the debt off.  Once the debt is cleared, it should do well, and the existing infrastructure is too extensive to waste.  Many parts of the country depend on it for any sort of variety in coverage beyond the local farm report.  Also, satellite TV carries a significant portion their channels, and they may get some support there.

December 30, 11:04 am | [comment link]
4. evan miller wrote:

I suspect this is more the author’s wish list than a genuine prediction.

December 30, 11:19 am | [comment link]
5. Sherri2 wrote:

As to buying online - the convenience is certainly there. But have you ever ordered something online and found when it arrived that it was not at all as you imagined it would be? I don’t think the Internet is going to replace the chance to touch, see, smell… before purchasing. Or the greatest convenience of all, being able to walk out the door with something you need right now.

December 30, 11:50 am | [comment link]
6. libraryjim wrote:

I can’t buy clothes or shoes online.  They never fit right.

December 30, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
7. teatime wrote:

Exactly right, Sherri. The only time I buy online is when I’ve seen the item in a store, asked the appropriate and necessary questions of the sales associate, and found an unbeatable price online. If the store price is competitive, I’ll buy things there, on the spot. Online shopping is wonderful for specialty items that may not be carried locally but it’s not practical for necessities.

But the author is a techie and they seem to be most enthusiastic and comfortable with that world. I just lament the fact that it tends to promote social isolation and stymie real human contact and personal relationships in favor of cyber ones.

December 30, 6:41 pm | [comment link]
8. Harvey wrote:

Just think how nice it would be if we made a cellphone that would last for more than three years (or more).  Think of the lead, copper, titanium, et al we wouldn’t need.  O by the way, I refuse to buy anything on the internet.  I too like to look and feel the sample.

December 30, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
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