"The last car I owned while living in the U.S. was a Pontiac. I had previously owned Nissans, Fords, a Saab, an MGB and a Toyota. My Pontiac, though, had a real personality and sometimes I felt it almost had a soul. I and many others here in Australia are sad to see Pontiac go."
- Ken Geiberras, Great Western, Victoria, Australia
Richmond, Va.-based electronics retailer Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in November 2008 and began liquidating its more than 500 stores shortly thereafter. The founder of Circuit City opened the first store, then named Wards, in 1949. Last year, the chain employed nearly 43,000 people.
"Circuit City hits close to home. ... My son Cai [had] worked in the Milford, Conn., store and just received a promotion to manager the day before that news broke that they would be going out of business.
He really was proud of his accomplishment in such a short time at Circuit City. I will never forget the look of hurt and sadness at the news.
This is just one of the painful life lessons he and others will learn."
- Cathy Mayberry, Stratford, Conn.
"Circuit City definitely wasn't perfect, but it was one of Best Buy's key competitors. I suspect Best Buy and other electronics retailers will have less pressure to offer better deals going forward."
- Matt Wilcko, Erie, Penn.
"I very much miss Circuit City. I have loyally shopped there for years. Their prices were the best, their customer service was great. ... What a shame they couldn't make it."
- C. Meyers, LeRoy, N.Y.
"I'm not YET missing them, but if/when my laptop that I purchased from them takes a dive, I will be missing Circuit City. I am already missing the money that we paid for the warranty that is now no good! The nearest store was just down the freeway from us, and we made our purchase shortly before it was announced they were going out of business. Had we known, we would have gone elsewhere."
- Monica Morton, Universal City, Texas
Retailer Mervyn's filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2008 and closed its more than 100 stores by the end of the year. Founded in 1949, the Mervyn's stores were largely located in California, Texas, Arizona and other Western states. The Mervyn's name may not be gone for good. The sons of the chain's founder reportedly plan to open an online version of the store.
"I loved Mervyn's and will miss this store greatly. ... From gift cards and shoes [for myself and my daughter] to jewelry, it was once a wonderful store with a good selection. It's difficult to pass by the empty building, now on my way to Target."
- Lynn Nelson, La Mirada, Calif.
"For almost 10 years, I worked for the Hayward, CA department store chain, Mervyn's. I started during my senior year in high school and continued to work throughout my college career. It was a wonderful store, and the entire staff was an extended family, by having picnics, holiday parties, and such. I was sad to see Mervyn's go out of business."
- John, Alexandria, Va.