Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

Two Minute Tips

WSJ looks at company buying defunct business names

March 24, 2010

Share this article:

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Systemax Inc. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal continues its series “The Road Back” looking at a company that purchased the names of defunct retailers and is bringing them back to life.

In Web Breathes New Life Into Failed Retailers, staff reporter Miguel Bustillo writes:

“The retail graveyard is filled with venerable names that were felled by the recession. Now, some risk-taking companies are trying to profit by bringing brands back from the dead. Systemax Inc., best known as the parent of Internet computer-parts retailer TigerDirect.com, gambled by buying the rights to the names of two deceased store chains, CompUSA for $30 million in 2008 and Circuit City for $14 million in 2009.”

The story includes details on how Systemax has rebranded the names as well as customer comments.

Keep your eye out for brand resurrections.

With the recession shuttering so many businesses, it will be interesting to see what other company names resurface.

To research a company name, see this Business Registry Database on the Oregon Secretary of State’s Web site. You can enter a name and learn when it was first registered and get location information. For more specific information about the sale of names, go to the U.S. Securities and Exchange site.

You can also search your state’s Division of Corporations for company name information.

More Like This...

Influencers at heart of new brand marketing approach

Log onto Instagram and you’ll find brightly-hued photos of influencers offering glimpses of their lives, enviable travels, and of course the products they promote to their adoring fans. These followers

A beginner’s guide to covering retail

The following is an excerpt from a Beat Basics Update originally by Ylan Q. Mui and updated by Yael Grauer on covering retail.  The good news about covering retail is that it’s one of

Don’t mail it in

The greeting card industry faced significant turmoil throughout 2020. National paper goods retailer Papyrus collapsed in January amid debt woes and was forced to close its 254 stores. In early

Get Two Minute Tips For Business Journalism Delivered To Your Email Every Tuesday

Two Minute Tips

Every Tuesday we send out a quick-read email with tips for business journalism. Sign up now and get one Tuesday.