C&A was founded as a trading company in 1841 by brothers, Clemens and August Brenninkmeyer. They opened their first C&A store, in the Netherlands, in 1861 and expanded in to Britain with a London outlet in 1922. In 2000, the UK was devastated to find out that C&A, which had become a crucial high street store, was closing down its UK branch. Managing director Neil McCausland explained that although “C&A has been part of the British high street for over 75 years and was determined to remain so”, business conditions did not allow that to happen. He added that C&A had racked up £250m of losses in the UK in the past five years, and thus finally closed down the last UK branch in 2001.
2. Go Fly (trading as Go)
Founded by British Airways in 1998, Go was a low-cost airline alternative operating flights between London Luton and European destinations. When Bob Ayling, mastermind of Go, left BA, it wasn’t long before talks about selling the company began. In 2001 the company was purchased from BA in a management buyout led by Cassani and backed by 3i for £100m. In 2002, however, rival EasyJet bought Go, where it merged into the airline’s operations.
3. LYNX Express
Founded in 1955, LYNX Express, a parcel delivery company, was product of a merger between National Freight Corporation and Ocean Group plc. Although subject to a management buyout from Exel plc in 1997, the new company subsequently kept its LYNX brand. It was only in 2005, after becoming one of the UK’s largest parcel carriers and being acquired by UPS for £55.5m, that the LYNX name disappeared.
4. Opal Fruits
After nearly 40 years, the last packet of Opal Fruits vanished from the shelves of British shops in 1998. The manufacturers, Mars, had decided the sweets should be called the same name in Britain as in the rest of the world. By no means is Opal Fruits the first British brand name to face the axe under Mars. Why? By having one universal brand, the firm hoped to save costs by producing a single advertising and marketing campaign for all countries.
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