Circuit City, which filed Chapter 11 in November 2008 and closed several stores, gave up the fight this week and announced it would liquidate and close.   It could not find a lender or buyer and had no choice.

This will be a common theme according to the Washington Post article:

With the economy in the tank, companies are doing all they can to stay afloat. For many, though, even the most desperate measures have not been enough.

Former giants in American business have recently tilted into extinction. Circuit City announced Friday it would follow Linens ‘n Things and Sharper Image into liquidation and sell its assets. Over the next two years, analysts say, countless other businesses will simply fade away.  "This is now an unprecedented time as far as how bad things have gotten," said Scott Peltz, managing director of RSM McGladrey, a consulting firm that helps turn around troubled companies.

The number of business bankruptcy filings rose sharply in 2008, with 31 percent more companies looking to liquidate — instead of just restructure their debt — in the third quarter than in the first…

Many of the headline-grabbing bankruptcy filings recently have come from retailers. But analysts are seeing filings rise across a broad range of industries such as hospitality, gaming and automotive suppliers. This month, Nortel Networks, one of the nation’s largest makers of phone equipment, filed for bankruptcy. So did the U.S. operations of petrochemical giant LyondellBasell.