|By Carol Hazard, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Consumer electronics retailer
It was enough to have two
But then, Qimonda, a
Circuit City couldn't survive, making the decision in
LandAmerica sold off its core title insurance business to a
The legal cases involving the liquidations of Circuit City and LandAmerica are winding down. Big buildings vacated by the giants are filling up again.
Although the region has emerged from the painful closings, it has yet to fully recover.
"The latest employment numbers show
"It's hard to measure the exact impact the losses from Circuit City, LandAmerica and Qimonda had on the
Some people who lost their jobs left the region to find work, she said. Others found jobs here or started companies.
"There is no way to know how many of those people are earning as much as they did at their former jobs," Chmura said. "If they are making less money, that impacts the
The bankruptcies of two of the region's largest employers occurred as the financial markets imploded, the stock market tanked and some of the nation's powerhouses were in serious trouble.
Yet, on another level, their unwindings were coincidental.
The business model at Circuit City wasn't working anymore. The chain had taken a number of missteps and missed opportunities over the years, continuing to lose market share and profit to rival
LandAmerica fell victim to the financial calamity, not a failing business model.
The company got stung first by the freezing in
LandAmerica used the investment for its 1031 exchange subsidiary, parking people's money who had sold nonresidential investment properties into the accounts.
Auction-rate securities to this day have not recovered.
But depositors of LandAmerica's 1031 exchange company, at long last through the courts, soon will be compensated in full for their investments.
The second fatal hit was to LandAmerica's core business.
The title and real estate services company within four months in the latter part of 2008 lost 70 percent of its revenue, as the real estate bubble burst and banks unilaterally stopped lending.