It's the end of The Sharper Image era, with a consortium of investors agreeing to buy the company for $49 million, a reduction from the earlier agreed upon price of $51.25 million. At its peak, Sharper Image had a market capitalization of more than ten times that amount.
The company can still earn up to an additional $1.5 million depending on the success of the deal, but the earn-out is unlikely to be achieved. The company filed for bankruptcy in February, and the cash from the sale will be distributed among the creditors, with stockholders expected to receive nothing. The buyers include Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC, GB Brands LLC, Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Hilco Consumer Capital LLC.
The St. Petersburg Times quotes a Hilco representative suggesting that this is not the end of the company: "We see a lot of potential expanding this brand, especially internationally."
Of course, actions speak louder than words, and the firms are liquidating the company's remaining inventory and plan to close every one of the remaining 86 stores.
Lawsuits surrounding the Ionic Breeze products combined with declining sales sank this company, and a turnaround in the current retail environment would be impossible for this purveyor of intriguing -- but useless -- gadgets.