7 Big Brands That Are Struggling

PHOTO: In this file photo, a Sbarro restaurant is pictured on April 4, 2011 in Chicago, Ill. Scott Olson/Getty Images
In this file photo, a Sbarro restaurant is pictured on April 4, 2011 in Chicago, Ill.

intro: Easy come, easy go. Companies that were once the darlings of malls and shoppers recently have made headlines for financial struggles. Some were hit by changing consumer tastes and technological changes, while others have cited a tough winter for store traffic.

Here are seven companies that are either closing locations or reported to be struggling financially.

quicklist: media: 22803249 category: title: Sbarro text: Sbarro LLC, the pizza fast-food chain, is considering bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Citing unnamed sources, the Journal said Sbarro has about $140 million in debt.

Last month, the chain said it was closing 155 of its 400 restaurants in North America to cut costs.

A spokesman for Sbarro said the company "cannot comment on market rumor or speculation."

"But during the past nine months, our new management team and its advisers have been thoroughly evaluating the business. We are making significant progress. Sbarro continues to be a strong brand with a bright future," the statement read.

quicklist: media: 22803776 category: title: Barnes and Noble text: Other book stores would shudder at news of a Barnes and Noble store opening nearby during the chain's 1990s heyday. Eventually, competitors such as Borders fell to the wayside - but Barnes and Noble has had its struggles, as well, despite remaining on top.

The Motley Fool has reported that the company may have over-invested in its Nook e-books but failed to compete effectively with Amazon's Kindle when the mega online retailer introduced its own tablets.

Barnes and Noble made a $63 million profit last quarter after reporting a loss previously, so things appear to be improving at the book chain.

The company still has a sizable number of stores: 700, in all 50 states, according to the company website.

quicklist: media: 22803534 category: title: Blackberry text: Back in December, Blackberry announced that it lost $4.4 billion in its third quarter, and bruising competition drove restructuring at the company.

Though it no longer may be the corporate smartphone maker of choice, the Canadian company could be experiencing a turnaround under CEO John Chen since November, as Blackberry stock has risen more than 50 percent.

Chen said he hopes to focus on Blackberry's devices, server business and Blackberry Messenger, its chat service.

quicklist: media: 22802998 category: title: Staples text: On March 6, Staples announced it would close 225 stores of its 1,846 locations in North America. As part of the announcement, the company said almost half of its sales are made online. The company may save about $500 million in its cost-cutting efforts.

Read More: Staples to Close 225 Stores as Sales Move Online

The company, based in Framingham, Mass., began in 1985.

quicklist: media: 22803459 category: title: Quiznos text: Quiznos may be considering filing for bankruptcy, according to a report last week by the Wall Street Journal.

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal said the sandwich chain may be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy within weeks, and is saddled with $570 million in debt.

The chain has closed thousands of Quiznos franchisee locations in the last few years. It has about 2,100 locations, according to the Journal. That's compared to Subway's 41,391 restaurants in 104 countries, according to Subway's website.

quicklist: media: 22803315 category: title: RadioShack text: On Tuesday, RadioShack announced it was closing 1,100 stores, leaving the company with 4,000 locations. RadioShack reported a quarterly loss of $191.4 million for the three months that ended Dec. 31. The company has revamped its image from a place to buy electronics to a wireless provider.

Read More: RadioShack Closing One-Fifth of Its Stores as Troubles Grow

"Our fourth quarter financial results were driven by a holiday season characterized by lower store traffic, intense promotional activity particularly in consumer electronics, a very soft mobility marketplace and a few operational issues," said CEO Joseph C. Magnacca in a statement.

quicklist: media: 22803197 category: title: Sears text: After closing hundreds of stores over the last few years, Sears Holdings Corp., which owns its namesake Sears department stores and Kmart, reported a $358 million loss in its fourth quarter, the company said last week.

CEO Eddie Lampert called the holiday season "tough to terrible," the Associated Press reported.

Read More: Sears 4Q Loss Narrows as It Lowers Expenses