Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Sharper Image's New Owners Make Hay While The Sun Sets

The investment consortium that acquired The Sharper Image last week for $49 million in a bankruptcy auction said it will close the chain’s remaining 86 stores and will leverage the brand under a new licensing strategy.
The partners, which include liquidator Gordon Brothers, private equity firms Hilco Consumer Capital and Windsong Brands, and investment group Bluestar Alliance, said they have developed a global licensing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail, e-commerce and catalog businesses that will “exploit The Sharper Image’s heritage of quality, excitement, innovation and fun.”

It would ill-behoove the proud new owners of The Sharper Image to delay too long in seeking to capitalize on the value of their acquisition's brand.

To be blunt, beyond whatever value their inclusion in the SkyMall catalogue carries, The Sharper Image's brand value can be likened to the sand running out of an hourglass. I am keen to see what they do to revive a brand that I only associate with ludicrous kitsch that runs on AA batteries, and outdated 80's chic.

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