Apparently, we've had our fill of massage chairs, Ionic Breeze air purifiers, and digital picture frames. That, or we have collectively decided not to buy such technogadgetry at Sharper Image
Unfortunately, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Some companies, like Wal-Mart
Its mail-order sales are off an equally horrendous 32%, but at least the company can point to a reduction in catalog mailings for that decline. You can't defend the lack of traffic at its physical stores, or to a lesser extent, its website.
To be fair, Sharper Image is a company in transition. Its founding CEO stepped down just two months ago, so we can't pile on the new guy -- turnaround specialist Jerry Levin -- just yet.
Unfortunately, many of the high-end leisure gadgets that seemed so identifiable with chains like Sharper Image and Brookstone are now available elsewhere. If you want an iRobot
The Sharper Image concept needs reinvention, and the company knows it. Two key executives stepped down earlier this month. This is Levin's ship to steer back into warmer waters now. A portable GPS system would be nice to navigate the rough currents, but -- wouldn't you know it -- you can get a decent GPS system just about anywhere else these days, too.
For more from the world of gadgets, check out:
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't recall the last time he felt compelled to set foot inside a Sharper Image. 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.