Another Failed Retailer Does Not Equal an Apocalypse

Singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson made her mark on the pop charts from the late 1980s through the early 1990s. During that span, she had two hit albums, a number of popular songs, and a perfume line … she was a pop culture superstar. Just a few years later, basically the end of 1990, it turned out the public could, in fact, shake their love for the pop singer. She never had a major hit after that year and remained on the edges of fame.

Gibson was a pop star who had a moment, some might even say a long one by pop standards. In the end, however, she could not keep up with trends or maintain her standing. But when her albums started selling in the thousands instead of the millions, nobody called it a musical apocalypse. They noted correctly that pop culture changes and very few artists manage to stay relevant for more than a few years.

That’s what’s happening in retail, and it’s fair to equate the recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Forever 21 with Gibson’s downfall. The fast-fashion retailer was not a victim of the internet or declining mall traffic. Those things didn’t help, but the mall staple was forced into bankruptcy because it’s in a business that requires constant new hits, and, well, Forever 21 stopped having those… The Motley Fool

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