Saturday, May 18, 2024

Company Man asks 'The Decline of Red Lobster...What Happened?' A tale of the Retail Apocalypse

Yesterday, I asked my readers "Retail Apocalypse, anyone?" That question was as much for me, so after looking at the latest hush money trial news and Armed Forces Day, I decided the answer was yes. Without any further ado, watch as Company Man asks The Decline of Red Lobster...What Happened?

America's biggest casual dining seafood restaurant may be filing for bankruptcy. This video outlines Red Lobster's history while identifying the main reasons behind their struggles.
While Red Lobster's current, but not for long, owner Thai Union Group is a publicly traded company, its previous owner was a private equity firm. I listed a who's who of retail chains gutted by private equity in CNN Business explains retail bankruptcies and how private equity is gutting retail, tales of the Retail Apocalypse and again in Business Insider and CNBC explain the rise and fall of Chuck E. Cheese, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic. That may not have been the case with Red Lobster, but the debt left behind by the leveraged buyout certainly didn't help the restaurant chain's cash flow afterwards. It also probably prompted its upper management to pursue promotions like Endless Shrimp to increase traffic. They achieved that goal, but at a loss. Oops.

Company Man Mike uploaded his video on Apr 24, 2024, so a lot has happened since. For that I turn to Inside Edition asking Could 'Endless Shrimp' Deal Cause Red Lobster's Bankruptcy?

Red Lobster announced it is closing 99 restaurants across the U.S. Last summer, the company said the endless shrimp deal would become a permanent fixture on the menu. However, way more customers took advantage of the deal than expected, which triggered an $11 million loss. When Inside Edition’s Les Trent ordered shrimp at a New York City Red Lobster, he found the ultimate endless shrimp deal was not being offered. Turns out, the all-you-can-eat shrimp deal is now only offered on Mondays.
I often write that Inside Edition is not the hardest news source, but the flip side of that is that it humanizes its stories and presents them in accessible and entertaining ways. This report served as a good example of all that.

I now turn to ABC News reporting Red Lobster closes dozens of locations amid financial struggles for a harder news take on the story.

The restaurant chain abruptly closed dozens of branches across the country and The Wall Street Journal reports that the brand is filing for bankruptcy.
Not only is Thai Union Group closing locations and looking to sell what's left of the chain, they're auctioning off the kitchen equipment. That will make the closed locations even less attractive for new restaurants to move in. That will be a problem for the new owners, the landlords, and the community, but not Thai Union Group. They're done with Red Lobster.

That's a wrap for today's tale of the Retail Apocalypse. Stay tuned for highlights of tonight's season finale of Saturday Night Live as the Sunday entertainment feature.

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