E-Trade, Borders And Frontier May Vanish This Year

Get ready to say goodbye to the E-Trade baby and Frontier Airlines. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the two businesses are among their 10 picks for companies that will not survive the year. Others that may not be long for this world: Sara Lee, Gateway and Office Depot.

E-Trade is vulnerable because there are too many discount brokers, and the company is the weakest of the bunch, according to 24/7 Wall Street. The site picks TDAmeritrade or Charles Schwab as likely buyers if E-Trade goes on the block. Borders, already on life-support, is having trouble paying publishers for books, not exactly a good sign for a bookstore chain. And then there’s Frontier:

The carrier is owned by Republic Airways Holdings and was bankrupt when Republic bought it in 2009. Republic recently merged another of its holdings, Midwest Air, into Frontier. Denver-based Frontier is simply too small to compete in the domestic carrier market — which has become increasingly dominated by large airlines that are growing due to mergers. …

Airline mergers and buyouts like the Continental/United deal and Delta’s takeover of Northwest are popular in the industry because they allow for personnel reductions and route cuts — as well as trimming the number of aircraft that have to be maintained. Two airlines together can have a better margin than separately. Frontier is a buyout target; its brand is not.

Of course, 24/7 could be wrong, and some of these companies could be around a decade from now. But would you really be that upset if you never saw the E-Trade baby again?

10 American Companies That Will Disappear in 2011 [24/7 Wall Street]


Edit Your Comment

  1. GuJiaXian says:

    What E-Trade baby?

    I don’t watch television.

    • topcad says:

      Well, aren’t you special? Here you go:

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Amazingly, they are on the internet, too. I know you use that.

    • Alexander says:


      • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

        HUSH, Lindsey!

    • Alexander says:

      Can we be friends? I’ve always wanted a sophisticated friend. We can hang around, with our monocles firmly entrenched on our faces, and we can discuss stocks and how horrible it is they let women-folk drive and vote.

    • Krang Krabowski says:

      how did you know it was on tv? It wasn’t mentioned that the e-trade baby was on tv as a commercial.

      You sir are a phoney! a big fat phoney! Hey everybody this guy’s a phoney!

    • runswithscissors says:

      Here’s your post in song:

      “I’m better than youuuuuuuuu!”

    • phallusu says:

      no one asked

    • elvisaintdead says:

      1 for the lameness of your answer and
      1 for your general doucheyness.

      • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

        I think you mean -4 for the answer’s lameness and -4 for general doucheyness. We certainly don’t award doucheyness with points.

        • GuJiaXian says:

          And you, sir (or ma’am), are exactly why I rarely post here. My initial post wasn’t intended to be a “hey, look, I’m better than you are” post. It was simply intended to convey the fact that I don’t care whether these companies live or die, based on the fact that I’ve never even been exposed to their advertising.

          You know, I usually consider Consumerist to have a higher caliber of posters than most places on the Internet, but it’s times like this that remind me that I’m likely mistaken.

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            It was simply intended to convey the fact that I don’t care whether these companies live or die

            So you posted a comment to point out that you have no interest in this article whatsoever? Seems kind of pointless.

  2. Corinthos says:

    Sad because I actually like Borders. Of course as soon as I find something I like it goes away.

    • jpmoney says:

      You could always go to Barnes and Noble and add $5-10 to the price you pay. Thats about the only difference I see between the two.

      • coren says:

        And I see the opposite, hence my favoritism for B/N. Course their membership blows for online shopping

      • buzz86us says:

        I guess I am going to start hanging out in Barnes and Noble and checking stuff out and buying on Amazon from now on.

    • buzz86us says:

      me too Borders is awesome I have always liked their service and prices a lot better than Barnes and Noble you can actually talk to a customer service person without having to go to the cashiers stand at Borders and those 40% off coupons are SWEET!! NYCC just wouldn’t be the same without the Borders in Penn Plaza. They always carry these low cost sketchbooks that’d cost like 3x as much at a art supply store (I don’t get why I need a leather bound book THAT I’M GOING TO DRAW IN)

    • wutname1 says:

      I like borders as well but it seems alot of the books i have been looking for are not in stock at borders but are at B&N…

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Well, when you have trouble paying publishers, that might translate to fewer shipments of books :)

    • IMADV8 says:

      I used to like Borders. Then I worked there for two years. They deserve this.

  3. Kibit says:

    I like Frontier. We’ve been very happy with them and their customer service. I really do not want to see them go away and or be bought by a company that does not value good service.

    • Mom says:

      Indeed. My worst fear is that they’ll get bought by United, essentially turning the Denver airport into a monopoly.

      • gman863 says:

        United is too mired in its ongoing merger with Continental. Although a done deal, it will take until early 2012 to combine everything from reservation centers and union contracts to the new merged artwork (United text, old Continental “Globe” logo) on planes and gates.

        At best, United may bid on a few empty gates. My guess (see above) is that Southwest will swoop in and try to buy gates and planes at the liquidation sale.

    • Magspie says:

      I really like them too. And they fly out of DCA which is a huge plus. I don’t want to see them go.

    • ninabi says:

      My daughter uses Frontier exclusively to come see us after “Untied” Airlines managed to screw up every flight she took out of Denver (who doesn’t like spending Christmas Eve alone in the airport? asks United). Planes always on time, decent leg room, polite service- she was going on and on about how different they were.

      If anybody would buy them up, I wish it would be Southwest.

      • gman863 says:

        They tried. According to news reports, the current owners (Republic Holding) made an inflated bid that Southwest didn’t think was worth besting.

        The main value to SWA would have been picking up Rebublic’s gates and flights to/from Denver, giving it a dominant position in that market.

        If Frontier bites it, Southwest will likely end up buying the vacant gate space and used 737s for pennies on the dollar versus their original offer.

    • packcamera says:

      Just purchased a ticket with Frontier for the 30th. The reason I went with them was they have not raised ticket prices yet in reaction to the fuel price increases. The next cheapest ticket fare for my trip is $175 more than Frontier’s price. Of course, this lack of reaction is probably why they aren’t doing well financially.

  4. Red Cat Linux says:

    But… but… Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.

  5. stebu says:

    I recently went to borders.com, to use up an old borders gift card I had.

    Prices much worse than amazon, and a very horrible website as well. I am not surprised to see borders circling the drain.

  6. cherveny says:

    When you say “Frontier” in a headline, you may want to be more specific, as there are other companies also named Frontier, besides just Frontier Airlines, one of the largest being Frontier telecom, a phone company who’s one of the biggest “non baby bell” local phone companies out there. In fact, they own the domain http://www.frontier.com even, bolstering their claim to being “the” Frontier.

    • johnmc says:

      Frontier Airlines are actually decent. Frontier Communications need to die a fiery death. They are awful.

  7. alana0j says:

    NOOO! I absolutely love the e-trade baby and the commercials make my daughter laugh as well

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Just a man and his thoughts…

      I love those spots!

    • Youngfrankenstein says:

      I just never liked them. I guess it’s weird for me to see babies portrayed as “adults” with girlfriends and things like that. To each his own!

  8. Rachacha says:

    What, No Blockbuster?
    Gateway makes sense as Acer has established themselves as a brand in the US, so keeping the Gateway brand as well serves no real purpose.
    Sara Lee has a powererful brand, so while the company may be acquired, I would suspect that the new owner would try to keep the brand for some time until they could transition the name over to one of its existing brands.

    • DJRanmaS says:

      I dunno. I still see people going to Gateway over Acer. I’d sooner see E-machines beuing phased out first.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Surprised Gateway is still around, aven’t heard from them in years. Never heard of a good computer experience by them.

    The loss of Office Depot might be a bad thing, by reducing competition and thus good customer support (Best Buy & Circuit City, anyone?). It’s only legitimate competitor I know of is Office Max.

    The loss of Frontier would be sad for me, they have treated me well (if they die, I’m praying it’s not in February. I already have a flight booked!)

    • Coelacanth says:

      Staples competes with Office Depot and Office Max in many ways.

      • TooManyHobbies says:

        With CompUSA gone from our town, and only Best Buy as direct competition, in the rare cases where I need to buy computer stuff (printers, mice, etc) quickly and can’t wait for online orders, I go to Staples. I’ve found very good deals there, and they’re half the distance from my house that Office Max and Office Depot are.

        • Megalomania says:

          Best Buy still has some competitors, although they’re unfortunately not really nationwide chains (yet); Fry’s is like what Best Buy wishes it can be, and HHGregg (I’ve heard) is more or less Best Buy with fewer warranty traps.

          • baquwards says:

            HHgregg is kind of an upgrade from best buy, with more focus on specific products and less variety. Unfortunately here they opened up a bunch a few years ago, they are all pretty much deserted every time I go by, I don’t know why they haven’t closed yet.

            • elvisaintdead says:

              A little tidbit on HHG-
              I went in the one in my town to see about a new microwave last summer – the salesman told me during our conversation that as soon as any item left the store, and problems you may have with it MUST be addressed through the manufacturer.
              They won’t honor any warranties, in-store.

              This sounded only slightly bizarre to me, so I went and asked the on-duty floor manager.
              He confirmed the policy – once we get your money, we.don’t.care.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        I don’t know, I’ve found stuff cheaper at Office Depot than at Staples.

        • jesusofcool says:

          My company buys more often from OD because their commercial pricing is generally better than Staples and their delivery is faster…and I live in an area pretty much dominated by Staples. I hope they do stick around.

      • jpmoney says:

        Unfortunately Staples is not nation-wide like OD and OM. For instance Staples is not in many areas of Texas.

        • Griking says:

          There’s over 50 Staples locations in Texas.

          • Doubts42 says:

            considering the size/population of Texas that is not very many.
            However a quick check show 12 staples stores in Dallas while office Depot has only 10.

        • gman863 says:

          Hmmm. I wonder if this is the reason Staples is taking its time expanding in Houston and other large Texas cities.

          When Office Depot stops taking care of business by declaring bankruptcy, every store lease obligation goes out the window. Shopping center owners will be desperate and Staples will be able to pick up the storefronts (with minimal remodeling costs) at a fraction of what Office Depot had been paying.

          This is the same strategy hh gregg used in their jihad against Best Buy on the East Coast – many of their “new” stores are former Circuit City or Linens N Things locations leased for a fraction of what the former (bankrupt) tenants were paying.

    • code65536 says:

      Gateway is no longer a company. It was bought by Acer some time ago and (along with eMachines) is now nothing more than a brand that Acer uses in markets where the Acer name is not as well known (e.g., the US).

      • Chaosium says:

        Just like Alienware for Dell, and Voodoo for HP.

      • gman863 says:

        At least half of home/personal use PC buyers don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground (or, for that, matter, care) about the name on a PC.

        Sadly, the decision is usually based on either price or sales pressure – not intended uses or quality.

        If a Chiniese manufacturer named “Yu Suk” entered the market at $40 less per unit of equal specs, they would be in the top three within a year.

    • wickedpixel says:

      I was in the airport last weekend and someone whipped out a gateway laptop with the little cowskin box logo on the cover. I chuckled.

      • Doncosmic says:

        They are owned by Acer, and they are still good machines. They sell them at alot of Costcos I think.

        • dangermike says:

          Yeah, they’re pretty much acer’s low end machines, kind of like compaq is to HP these days.

          Of course, that does say quite a bit, as acer’s flagship machine often have a lot of little aggravations. (like the 4820 I’m writing this on, which after 4-5 months of use, has hinges starting to crack apart and has a “t” key on the keyboard which doesn’t register keypresses 10-20% percent of the time. They’re kind of like the Lancia of laptops. Because despite those serious annoyances, with a core i5, 95 Wh batery, LED-lit screen, and thoughtful power management methods, and with an SSD I swapped in, I usually get battery uptimes of 10-15 hours.)

    • failurate says:

      One of those things where they were cool when they were fresh, young and still had heart. But with age, they got bloated, lazy, and ugly.

    • psm321 says:

      I was very impressed with Gateway’s tech support way back in the day (before they were bought out)

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Um, Staples?

    • 451.6 says:

      My 6-year old Gateway Desktop is still chugging along. Granted, I mostly use my laptop, but it still works fine when I do use it. My Compaq laptop, on the other hand, I would have gladly have taken a sledgehammer to that thing. It did have nice speakers. That’s the only good thing I can say about it.

    • TasteyCat says:

      Got a Gateway about a year ago to replace a Sager (a company I never heard of, and for that matter wish I hadn’t). Haven’t had any problems. Granted, not having had any problems, I don’t have anything to complain about with their non-response to my issues.

  10. code65536 says:

    Having been a fan of Midwest Airlines (and their warm, soft cookies!), I was very sad to see it be folded into Frontier. And now you’re telling me that Frontier might go too? Wow…

    • Magspie says:

      Frontier kept serving the cookies after they rebranded all the Midwest flights. I’m sad to see them go.

  11. oldgraygeek says:

    I don’t want to believe that Saab is doomed…
    My first car was a ’69 96 V4, and I still drool over them on eBay.

    • tbax929 says:

      I’ve always wanted a Saab. Now that I can afford one, I’m afraid to buy one. Are they still part of GM?

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        No, GM sold Saab to Stryker Motors as part of their reorganization last year.

        • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

          Sorry, should be Spyker. Knew I should have checked before submitting.

      • ARP says:

        See below. Check back in a few years, after the GM designs are run out and Spyker takes over.

  12. majic2516 says:

    They said E Trade and Borders were going to disappear in 2010.


    Guess they are still hanging on by a thread.

    • edosan says:

      Yeah, their batting average on that 2010 list isn’t that great so I wouldn’t stop flying Frontier just yet.

    • BlazerUnit says:

      I get that they’re making guesses based upon their business prospects, but I can’t forgive them for actually believing Kia Motors would be gone in 2010/2011.

      I remember them saying the brand would go the way of Mercury, Pontiac, and Saturn. If anything, Kia is part of the reason there is no more Mercury, Pontiac, or Saturn.

  13. SG-Cleve says:

    I think we can rest easy, he doesn’t seem to be very good at this.

    If you’re wondering who this guy predicted would disappear in 2010 and 2009:

    Here is his list for 2010: Newsweek, Motorola, Palm, Borders, Blockbuster, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ambac, Kodak, Sun Muicrosystems, E-Trade.

    Here’s his list for 2009: Avis, Borders, Crocs, Saturn, Esquire, Gap, Architectural Digest, Chrysler, Eddie Bauer, Palm, AIG,

    He’s been predicting the demise of Borders for the last three years.



    • coren says:

      And he didn’t pick hard targets either in many cases.

    • Doncosmic says:

      So pretty much only Saturn was right then?

    • Megalomania says:

      Several of those companies ARE gone; HP and Oracle bought Palm and Sun respectively, and GM shut down Saturn, and Motorola* is technically gone. Several others are still around for honestly no good reason; Kodak has negative equity, Blockbuster and Borders are both bankrupt and that they’re still around is almost inexplicable.

      *Motorola no longer exists; the company split into into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. It happened about two weeks ago, so he was a week off for projecting the company ceasing to exist in 2010.

  14. Chaosium says:

    Thank goodness on eTrade, I hate talking babies. I like real ones. I don’t like CGI babies of any type, for that matter.

  15. CrankyOwl says:

    Nooo, not Office Depot! They have some cool, fun office supplies. (Yes, there is such a thing. And I have a thing for office supplies.)

  16. evilpete says:

    how did their predictions from previous years play out ?

    ( i’m too lazy to look it up )

  17. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    Funny. I just saw someone flip open a gateway computer here in the coffee-shop. First thought? “They’re still around, huh?”

    Then I see this.

  18. Cyniconvention says:

    Borders – I will not miss you, or your books that cost 8$ more than B&N.

  19. Dr.Wang says:

    When they say Sara Lee, are they referring to the junk cakes/pastries or the huge company that owns lots of other brand names? Unknown to many but Sara Lee is a large company, not unlike ConAgra, that owns lots of brand names that are totally unrelated to pastries/cakes.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      The article refers to them as “The company that makes Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean breakfast foods..” so I assume the later and they’re referring to the whole company.

  20. FrugalFreak says:

    OD doesn’t suprise me, been waiting for years due to bad coupon policy and questionable managers.

  21. Megladon says:

    I had nothing but problems with the Esop my company had with etrade, and i wasnt the only one. As soon as i quit the company i cleared out my account and told them to get fisted and never looked back. Plenty of better discount brokers out there.

  22. Nick says:

    No, will not miss the obnoxious infant. I can understand why Border’s is going down though I think their stores are better so I hope B&N literally cleans up their act because their stores are disgusting. I like a nice clean environment in which to peruse the latest architecture periodicals and preview my Amazon purchases.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I guess YMMV with that. I love the B&Ns in my area. They’re all very clean, welcoming, and organized. This is in stark contrast with the Borders, which (before it closed) was disorganized and wasn’t welcoming at all.

      • Doubts42 says:

        My experiences were similar. the B&N across the street from my office is clean, and welcoming. The Borders 2 blocks away is dirty, poorly organized and staffed with the rudest booksellers i have ever dealt with.

        of course i won’t buy books at either one since borders makes me want a shower and B&N tries to shove a $25.00 “discount” card at me every time I go to the register.
        Half Price for the win

  23. packcamera says:

    After watching the Frontline piece on aircraft maintenance failures and shortcuts made by these discount airlines, this does not add to my level of confidence. I have a flight booked with Frontier on the 30th. Pray for me…

  24. Salty Johnson says:

    “But would you really be that upset if you never saw the E-Trade baby again?”

    Yes. I think those commercials are hilarious.

  25. gman863 says:

    Here are a few more nominees for this year’s Retail Dead Pool:

    * A&P. They’ve been imploding for 30 years, from over 3500 nationwide in the 1970’s to less than 400 today (A&P, Waldbaums, PathMark). They are in Chapter 11. I wonder WhAt Large MegAstoRe is salivating over The thought of becoming NYC’s #1 grocery store chain by picking up their leases without the messy union contracts?

    * Many other regional grocery chains will either close or be bought out. Bruno’s? Definitely. Marsh? Likely. Winn-Dixie? Think Winn-Kroger or Winn-Safeway by the end of 2011.

    * The “new” CompUSA retail stores. Although in limited markets, these stores owned by Systemax (a.k.a. TigerDirect.com, CompUSA.com and CircuitCity.com) are going over like a turd in a punchbowl paired against the likes of Best Buy and Fry’s.

    * The Great Indoors (yes, a few still exist). Sears failed attempt at an upscale Home Depot will finally be put out of its misery as the parent company attempts to stop the bleeding red ink frrom these plus countless Sears and Kmart stores

    • Thorzdad says:

      Marsh was already purchased back in 2006 by MSH Supermarkets, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners.

      • gman863 says:

        This is part of my theory on why Marsh will bite it.

        In the ’70s and ’80s (when I lived in Indy and Muncie), Marsh was it for freshness and quality. Their prices were usually lower than Kroger and most of their stores were nicer.

        I was back in Indy last year. I went into a Marsh and immediately thought WTF? The store had gone to Hell.

        Investment bankers and buyout experts have tanked other grocery chains recently that were as large as Marsh (Jittney Jungle/Delchamps: gone. Bruno’s/Food World: Passed around like a prison bitch between owners as it shrunk from 300+ stores to its current 20 or so). Ditto for other “it seemed like a good idea at the time” investment banker purchases such as Linens & Things, TWA and a host of others.

        It’ll be sad to see Marsh go. Had they kept up their quality and innovation they could have been another Publix or Wegmans.

  26. cromartie says:

    Jesus, I’ve already lost airTran to the craptastic cattle herders at Southwest. Now you want to take Frontier away from me to?

    • gman863 says:

      Compared to the other major players, Southwest isn’t as bad. At least they don’t rape you with baggage fees and other bullshit charges.

      Knock on wood, Southwest also has the best safety record. Even excluding the 9/11 incidents, they are the only major player that has not had a catostrophic crash.

      Personally, I could never get over the nickname “ScareTran” achieved when they bought out “ValueDeath”.

  27. jenjenjen says:

    I’m sure Borders’ problems are multifaceted, but they sure didn’t do themselves any favors this past shopping season with their eReader choices. Amazon and B&N made it dead easy to give them money for content pretty much anywhere.

  28. PortlandBeavers says:

    The bookstore chains are on the same conveyor belt that the music store chains and the video rental chains were on. They just happened to be a little farther back on the belt. The business model will survive on a much smaller scale, as hobbyists will keep some independent stores open. Borders is going down now because they are smaller and weaker than B&N. We lost a small chain called Joseph Beth in recent years. They were smaller and weaker still than Borders.

  29. DanKelley98 says:

    Its really too bad about Frontier. I never had a bad experience with them and would fly them whenever possible. At the Denver hub, they sure beat the crap out of United with good customer experiences….

  30. PriceIsWrong says:

    Borders can suck it for firing so many employees after setting them up with physically impossible tasks and goals. Goes to show you what happens when you hire so much of your regional middle management from a failed company like Circuit City.

  31. gman863 says:

    Maybe several of these companies could merge for cost savings.

    I’m picturing a large bookstore serving Land O Lakes and Sara Lee product in their coffee shop, located in between the discount stock trading kiosks and the rental car counter.


  32. Baron Von Crogs says:

    But you spend your free time on the internet? Lets dial back the doucheyness a bit next time on whats acceptable and unacceptable forms of entertainment alright?

  33. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’m not in Borders or B&N enough to know which one is more expensive around here, I only know that the Borders is closer but smaller.

    I’m more concerned about the loss of jobs than any particular brand disappearing.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      I agree. Sometimes people develop biases toward certain retailers, and hope that some fail. Unfortunately, this often costs jobs and reduces competition.