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24/7 Wall St.: America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains

5. TCBY

Pct. of stores closed: 77.2%
Total stores: 405
Stores closed: 1,372
2011 sales: $98 million
Pct. decline in sales: -60.4%

TCBY started in 1981 in Arkansas as “the country’s first frozen yogurt shop.” The chain was purchased by Mrs. Fields Holdings in 2000. At the time, the Chicago Tribune noted that “both TCBY and Mrs. Fields have considerable [brand] equity among consumers,” and that “in the still-escalating fast-service wars, it makes sense for operators to offer more than one product in order to create more traffic.” Despite this optimism, the combined company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008, and again required a restructuring deal to avoid bankruptcy last year. Between 2001 to 2011, TCBY shut well over 1,300 stores, leaving just 405 locations as of 2011.
(iStock)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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