Sharper Image intros color Literati reader
Sharper Image today took its turn at e-readers with the Literati. The MerchSource-made device takes its styling cues from Amazon's Kindle but uses a seven-inch, 800x480 LCD to show cover art and photos in books. The device has Wi-Fi to get online but uses it only for downloading books from Kobo's online bookstore; the company has deliberately omitted the web and apps.
Hilco, Gordon buy Polaroid
A joint venture led by Gordon Brothers Brands and Hilco Consumer Capital, along with private equity fund Knight's Bridge Capital Partners and other investors, was approved by a Minnesota Federal Bankruptcy court to acquire all assets of the Polaroid brand. In a Thursday announcement from the joint venture, which also recently purchased The Sharper Image, Linens 'N Things and Bombay, the companies promise to develop a full-scale global licensing and marketing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail and e-commerce business to make Polaroid competitive again.
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.