Sharper Image Acquired for $100M
ThreeSixty Group, which recently bought FAO Schwarz, has made another big-name purchase, this time acquiring gadget retailer Sharper Image for $100 million. Sharper Image was owned by Iconix Brand Group. Sharper Image closed its U.S. stores in 2008 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection, and has operated as an online retailer and by selling Sharper Image-branded goods through major retailers like Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Total Retail's Take: This is yet another new beginning for Sharper Image, which has been trying to reinvent its business over the last handful of years. The brand has moved primarily online (its products can still be found in Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond stores), and is targeting consumer electronics as it primary merchandise category. With new ownership seemingly willing to pump more money into Sharper Image, particularly for advertising and marketing, perhaps the brand can see somewhat of a revival. In fact, ThreeSixty Group is reportedly interested in opening some flagship stores for Sharper Image. In the crowded consumer electronics space, particularly with Amazon.com focusing more on this category, Sharper Image has a tough task ahead of it.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.