There's a natural tendency to assume that everything will last forever, I guess. Even after all these years, I'm surprised when long-established businesses change names, or go under, or product lines cease to exist.
I read an article earlier this week about the potential failure of Circuit City, and it got me thinking about the changes in the electronics field over the years. A couple of decades ago more or less, Hi Fi Buys was the 800 pound gorilla of Atlanta electronics, Circuit City was doing well, Lechmere moved a fair amount of electronics, both Macy's and Rich's had extensive electronics sections, Service Merchandise was thriving, Best Buy was just entering the market in this area. Now there is no Lechmere in this area (do they still exist at all?), Hi Fi Buys is moribund and likely to die at any moment, Rich's is gone, Macy's is a hollow shell of its former self with no electronics section at all, Circuit City is all but dead (and it has the upbeat atmosphere of a flea market in a construction zone), and Best Buy is apparently taking control of what's left of the market, with Fry's and HH Gregg scrambling for position.
Remember when B. Dalton's and WaldenBooks were the major sources for reading material? Now it's Border's and Barnes & Noble, and both of those are in so much trouble that a buyout is a possibility.
Food Giant and Winn Dixie and Bruno's and Harris Teeter were major grocery store chains with viable Atlanta locations a decade or two ago; now they're all gone, and we're left with the largely-abysmal Kroger chain and the first-class Publix, along with deep discounters like WalMart.
Local drugstore chains are a thing of the past. Local furniture stores are struggling. Full service locally owned gas stations are all but dead.
Makes you wonder what'll happen to comic shops in the next twenty years...