The first quarter of 2017 has been a rocky road for some of America’s best known brands. The struggles range in sectors from media, to fast food to hospitality and hundreds of workers have already gone out with the trash.
Some of the struggles include pressure from new rising markets like the up-and-coming “fast-casual” space in fast food. Other businesses have been hit hard by online shopping and cyber security. Here’s a list of six household name brands that are off to a shaky start this year.
Sports broadcasting stalwart ESPN shocked the media world last month when they revealed plans to drop around 100 employees. The cuts include a long list of veteran on-air staff as well as producers and analysts. The beloved premium cable channel has lost around 10 million subscribers as in the last two years as more and more Americans riding the cable-cutting wave. The network is likely to remain an albatross for its parent Disney.
The GOP’s Fox News network has dealt with bad PR and host of legal issues thus far this year, including the termination of their leading news host Bill O’Reilly. The anchor was cut free from Fox after as many as 11 employees of the network filed a class action lawsuit against O’Reilly claiming “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.”
Roger Ailes, the founder as well as former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, died this week at the age of 77. He left the company in July 2016 following allegations that he sexually harassed female colleagues.
The mobile accessory firm has come under fire in recent months after safety claims have emerged surrounding their fitness tracking arm band. A Wisconsin woman named Dina Mitchell came forward claiming that her FitBit Flex 2 device burst into flames on her arm and resulted in second-degree burns. Thus far FitBit has said that they are “extremely concerned” about the incident but also said that there is “no reason” for customers to discontinue use of any FitBit products.
The Subway restaurant chain closed more locations than it opened last year and has continued to struggle moving in 2017. Subway is the largest restaurant chain in the U.S. and has proudly touted its status having the most restaurant chains worldwide. Last year the chain dropped 359 U.S. locations, bringing their total down to 26,744 stores. The company holds around 40,000 locations globally. The company declined to cite specific reasons for the decline but said they will “continue to relocate some shops to better locations and look for new sites.”
Coke has teetered in the first quarter of 2017, announcing a plan to cut as many as 1,200 jobs at the corporate level. The company currently employs around 100,300 workers worldwide, so the new cost-cutting measure will represent about 1 percent of its manpower worldwide. According to a statement from the company the firings will save company about $800 million annually and most of those saving are expected to materialize starting in 2018 and 2019.
InterContinental Hotels Group Plc has found 2017 less than hospitable thus far as they have faced a major cyber security breach. The data breach was discovered late last year after customers were routinely reporting credit card fraud after visiting one of the company’s 5,000 hotels. The company, who owns Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo, later confirmed that about 1,200 of its locations had been affected by the breach. They also later confirmed that the breach was likely due to malware in their data systems that had been designed to collect credit card data from customers.