So That’s It For Sharper Image

We guess everyone saw this coming.

Sharper Image is shutting down all of its 180-some stores after battling dismal sales, bankruptcy and putting itself on the market.

Turnaround firm Hilco Consumer Capital, which has taken on Bombay Co.’s brand; disposition firm Gordon Brothers Group; and others now control the Sharper Image name.

According to a press release, the JV plans to sell the company’s products through “wholesale, direct-to-retail (DTR), e-commerce and catalog businesses which will exploit The Sharper Image’s heritage of quality, excitement, innovation and fun.”

Can you think of any retail brands that have survived in other channels after shutting down all of their stores? We guess there’s always a place for them here, where someone can purchase an air purifier in an Ambien-induced slumber.

On another note, many of Sharper Image’s stores are in high-profile retail venues. How easy of a time will landlords have filling up those spaces in today’s climate?

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2 Responses to “So That’s It For Sharper Image”


  1. 1 TeenyTiny June 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    The vast fear of the internet taking over bricks and mortar retail real estate, so widely touted in the 90’s, will alas come to pass, with projected gas prices of $8 per gallon by 2011. Sharper Image, Sears, struggling teen apparel retailers, will all follow this path to profitability. David Simon and the others need to consider alternatives for land use over the next 25 years for their malls.

  2. 2 Bear June 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Sharper Image is not dead for teh same reasons other reatilers are…liek Sears. No: SI has been exceptional at selling very slick-marketed total-crap for years. Thier profit margins (thanks to early and heavy tapping of China in thier case) were as wide as thier ethincal canyon, but the ethical canyon eventually proved to be the unbridgable gap. Sales of thier garbage dropped. SI was marketing as if they were speaking to the upper crust while actually serving up over-priced defective Chinese garbage to average-income U.S. Joe’s who felt just special buying thier own slice of a wished-for Sharper Image…It was illlusion going both directions. Consumers were fooled into thinking the produces were quality….but no. It finally bit SI in the ass though. ( overdue)
    And all of those totally bogus air filters shamelessly marketed next to a picture of the owner…horrid. Sold en masse to gullible paranoid Americans with too little to worry about ( evidently )and too little time to research the legitimacy of those over-priced ineffective units! For all of those years. Pathetic. Sharper Image had it coming on every level. Good riddance to an owner who touted his earnest face and his supposed effort to serve the dust-plagued and rich when he was really just picking pockets through good marketing.


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