Thursday, February 20, 2020

Company Man examines the rise and decline of Sbarro, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

Hot on the heels of Pier 1 Imports filing for bankruptcy, I have another tale of the Retail Apocalypse to share with my readers.  This one ties into Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, in which I pointed out "everything is connected to everything else, so dead malls no longer bring in foot traffic, which means the restaurants inside them no longer have customers, so they close."  Company Man uploaded a video yesterday about another restaurant chain that has a lot of mall locations, The Decline of Sbarro...What Happened?

Sbarro is a major U.S. pizza chain that you probably know best from their delicious smelling pizza stands inside shopping malls. Well, they haven't been doing well lately, evidenced by their multiple bankruptcy filings over the past decade. This video attempts to explain what happened.
Sbarro's dependence on malls was helpful until the Great Recession but is hurting the chain now, as more than half of their stores have closed since the company's peak.  One of those is the Sbarro I first encountered and which my kids and I ate at regularly during the 1990s in Briarwood Mall on the south edge of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  It closed sometime during the past decade, after I last stepped foot in Briarwood Mall.  A Panda Express now occupies its location.  Honestly, I think that's an improvement.  At least if I want to eat at Sbarro, I can still go to the one in Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi or Somerset Collection in Troy.  Given my diabetes, I probably won't.  Other people will have to support Sbarro by eating there.


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