What are 'Barriers To Exit'

Obstacles or impediments that prevent a company from exiting a market. Typical barriers to exit include highly specialized assets, which may be difficult to sell or relocate, huge exit costs, such as asset write-offs and closure costs, and inter-related businesses, making it infeasible to sell a part of it. Another common barrier to exit is loss of customer goodwill.

BREAKING DOWN 'Barriers To Exit'

A company may decide to exit a market because it is unable to capture market share or turn a profit or for some other reason altogether. High barriers to exit might force it to continue competing in the market, which would intensify competition. Specialized manufacturing is an example of an industry with high barriers to exit, because it requires large up-front investment in equipment that can only do one task.

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