Wake up and smell the coffin, Sharper Image
However, once you tack that on to the 31% decline in same-store sales in February of 2006, you will find a concept that has seen store-level sales plummet by 48% since February of 2005.
Sharper Image realizes that it's broken. The company's founding CEO stepped down back in September, and the board brought in a turnaround specialist. The one thing that the chain may not realize is that just because you're broken, that doesn't mean that you can be fixed.
If you're a thick-headed bull, now would be a good time to slap on a pair of Sharper Image's noise-cancellation headphones. I'm not going to back down.
Sharper Image had its time in the sun when consumers flocked in for its techie gadgetry. The landscape has changed dramatically since then. If you want consumer electronics, you go to Best Buy
Sharper Image used to be the funky store in the mall with all of the cool trinkets. It was like stepping into the future. These days, it's like stepping into a prehistoric museum. You know who saw the future? Rival chain Brookstone proved to be the true visionary, cashing out while it could two years ago.
Jerry Levin has been at the helm for only a few months, so let's give him another quarter or two to suffer through the corporate realignment before holding him accountable. He has the pedigree to excel, having cut his teeth at the top of Revlon, Sunbeam, and Coleman. That helps, but will it blur the reality that Sharper Image's best move is to gut its stores and start from scratch? In the end, there are really just two ways out here: extreme reinvention or lonely casket.
Some earlier nails in the Sharper Image coffin:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't recall the last time he felt compelled to set foot inside a Sharper Image. Really. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.