Our free market system has a Darwinian nature to it. The strong get stronger and the weak die off.
It is always sad to see a company close its doors. Employees loose their jobs, and in this market the effect of those job losses can be far reaching.
Then there is another aspect to the failure that hits home. Popular businesses and their products will no longer be there to cater to our wants and needs.
As silly as this seems, the demise of Mother’s Cookies in the fall of 2008 was the business failure that tugged at my heartstrings the most. There was just something magic about Mother’s Cookies. Oreos are great, but Mother’s Cookies were greater.
I am a cookie connoisseur and Mothers Cookies always scored a 97 on the cookie rating scale for me. Not only did they taste great, but their packaging made you think there were a bunch of little old ladies working hard in their kitchens making each bag of cookies by hand. My wife thought Mother’s made the best iced oatmeal cookies in the world. I was partial to their “Animal Parade,” which was a big bag of all the different flavors of cookies they made. Somehow the chocolate cream cookies always seemed to disappear from the bag first.
Mother’s Cookies started life in 1911 as a one person bakery in
They cited rising cost of raw materials, high fuel costs and a tough competitive marketplace as the reason for closing. I read about the demise of Mother’s Cookies the day it happened and as soon as it was announced, I jumped into my car to go and buy all the remaining bags of cookies from my favorite grocery store. I found a big hole on the shelf where Mother’s had been stocked and a grocery store guy filling in the hole with one of Nabisco’s products. Out of curiosity, I surveyed my favorite store isle to see if there were any other small company brands on the shelves. Alas, I couldn’t find any. The big three cookie makers (monsters) owned the whole isle.
2009 will be a year for many more companies like Mother’s to close their doors. Many of them like Mother’s will be companies that couldn’t compete with the mega conglomerates of the consumer product world. I read this morning that Circuit City finally decided to close its doors completely this week. 30,000+ employees will be looking for jobs and prospects in retailing don’t look promising for the whole year.
When the fallout is over, there will be far fewer choices of consumer products and retailers to buy them from, but then that business expansion and contraction is what our market is all about.