Which businesses are vulnerable to technology?

Business can’t stop the march of technology, no matter how hard it might try.

At Movies Worth Seeing, the video-rental institution in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood, the walls are growing increasingly bare, AJC reporter Arielle Kass writes.

After 25 years in business, owners Jerry and Anne Rubenstein have finally succumbed to the pressures of Netflix, rental kiosks and premium movie channels, Kass reports. They announced this week they would be liquidating more than 6,000 titles and closing their doors.

“People have so many ways to get movies and TV shows,” Jerry Rubenstein told Kass.  “We have a lot of customers, but they don’t come in as often.”

What other businesses are facing similar pressures or fates — now or fairly soon? For starters, the newspaper industry has been greatly affected by advancing technology.

What else?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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4 comments Add your comment


March 25th, 2011
7:31 am

Well, I’ve been trying to get the AJC to stop the presses for years. You folks must be a glutton for punishment. The cost and labor to distribute old news is reason enough. If you can’t create, innovate!

Public education is another area that needs to come into the 21st century. We’re spending $5 million a year just to bus the students to school in this “poor” county of 100,000.

This is something investors need to be keenly aware of. What’s popular today might be nonexistent tomorrow. You need to be ahead of the curve.

Can’t think now. Be back later if the fog clears.


March 25th, 2011
7:40 am

Everyone must have started the weekend early! Have a great one!


March 25th, 2011
3:02 pm

Not tax accounting!


“While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.”

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

March 26th, 2011
2:41 pm

Many types of retail establishments are at risk, including book stores, music stores, video stores, electronics stores, and to a lesser degree, clothing and apparel stores. These items can be ordered and/or delivered online with little effort, which will increasingly put pressure on the brick-and-mortar stores.

In addition to retail, virtually all publishing companies are at risk; not only newspapers, but also books, magazines, music, and video productions. Furthermore, a number of manufacturing companies may see their markets diminished, including furniture manufacturers (who needs an entertainment center anymore), sports equipment companies (because kids are busy playing indoors with their electronic devices), and even cellular telephone manufacturers (as the rapid pace of change can make a new product obsolete within weeks of its introduction).

Of course, the U.S. Postal Service is already severely strained, as its “service” is frequently not needed. Likewise, stock brokers, bankers, and even lawyers are needed much less often than in the past, as people have the ability to conduct their business and do their own research online.