Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Has the number of family businesses declined in recent years?

Asked by Jeruba (47958points) 3 months ago

A small truck passed me today with a commercial name and logo painted on the side: Starkey Bros. It made me realize suddenly that I see far fewer business names of the form “X—— Bros.” or “Y—— & Sons” than I used to.

Is it just my imagination, or are there really fewer “brothers” and “sons” business names these days? And if there are fewer, does that mean a change in business organizations or just a change in names?

Bonus question: Have you ever seen a business name with “and Daughters” in it?

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6 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would say “Yes,” thanks to all the bigger stores. Not just Walmart, but grocery stores, shoe outlet stores, you name it.
No I have never seen a ”....and daughters.” Interesting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ricks grandfather and grand mother used to own a very small, local grocery store. Super small. About the size of a small house. Rick remembers it from the 50s and into the 60s.

canidmajor's avatar

I still see a lot of service businesses (builders, construction, bakers, restaurants) that are family owned around here, but many fewer retailers.

When I lived in the Pacific Northwest I saw a lot of TV ads for a window company that was called Henderson and Daughter. It was 25 years ago, it was different and interesting.

JLeslie's avatar

What I remember reading (don’t necessarily trust my memory) is that over 90% of retailers are businesses with less than 50 employees. A lot of them are probably much less than 50 if I had to guess. I’m not sure what is counted as a retailer. I have a golf cart repair business, and technically we sell parts at retail when we do a repair.

Also, keep in mind that “and sons” or “brothers” sometimes is just a name, and might be a large company.

Big box retailers I think do drive some small businesses out of business, but they also can coexist in a lot of instances too. Where I live it’s very much both big and little businesses in the market place.

I don’t know if this is still true, but back in the day some states had laws to protect mom and pop, like laws preventing stores from selling loss leaders.

I’ve seen stats that women very much are involved in small business. I don’t remember the numbers.

I personally know more husband and wife teams running businesses than parents and children. The children don’t always work in or take over the business. I wonder what the stats on that are.

canidmajor's avatar

OMG, it’s still there! I’m so glad to see this.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I saw small family businesses tanking, but it seems like in the past five years or so they are making a comeback. There are newer ones popping up, but there are still several family businesses advertising fifty years or more of success.

I think the loss of several family businesses had little to do with economy or competition with corporations. Lots of them were outdated. I am thinking of some I knew like a cobbler, mechanics, seamstress. Although there is still need sometimes for those services, most people replace shoes rather than repairing, mechanics for the most part nowadays need to have computer training, and seamstresses are now for very special occasions only.

My theory about the low number of and daughter advertising, is ego. Women want an appealing, attention grabbing name, like If The Shoe Fits, or Captivating Smiles Photography.
Men have boasted title and heir for centuries.

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