updated 01:20 pm EST, Wed February 20, 2008
Sharper Image bankrupt
Gadget vendor Sharper Image has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, writes the Wall Street Journal. Most famous for selling products through unique retail stores and TV advertising, its assets are said to have dwindled to $251.5 million, while debts have reached $199 million. The California-based company is blaming a variety of factors, including increased competition, diminishing margins, and poor credit. It is also facing a lawsuit over its air purifiers, which have typically been a signature product with high margins.
To survive its present state, the company is arranging for a $60 million loan from Wells Fargo which (if granted) should let it continue operations. The company is also planning to close 90 of its 184 stores in the US, as soon these outlets have liquidated their inventory. It is not known how many people will lose their jobs as a result.