Consumer Electronics Show: The Sharper Image attempts comeback

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The Sharper Image at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, showing off mostly iPod and iPad docks this year, isn’t the same Sharper Image that was once found in upscale malls.

No, the Sharper Image at CES in Las Vegas is a rebooted brand, hoping for a successful comeback, with 25 new products mostly priced around $99 or less.

‘In the past, 90% of those people who walked in the Sharper Image stores didn’t buy anything,’ said Anthony Koperski, the Sharper Image’s national sales manager. ‘That’s not the way to run a business. And, especially with the economy the way it’s been, people don’t need overpriced products.’

Not quite a bargain brand, but not exactly high-end anymore -- the Sharper Image is trying to fit in somewhere in the middle.


The brand’s reset was decided on by Homedics, which licensed the Sharper Image name after the original company filed for bankruptcy and closed down all its stores in 2008.

Homedics also makes paper shredders for Black & Decker, and audio equipment under the House of Marley brand licensed by Bob Marley’s family, among other brands.

The new Sharper Image products will hit Best Buy, Kohl’s, Bed Bath and Beyond and Costco stores later this year, Koperski said.

Of the 25 new products announced at CES by the Sharper Image, 12 are docks for Apple i-devices, all but three selling for less than $100, with the highest priced Apple-compatible dock selling for $149.99.

One item, the Thrill, is a $99 pocket projector that displays images at a resolution of 320x240 -- not high definition -- and features an SD card slot and the ability to connect to other devices via USB.

‘The sub-$100 price point is really going to be our bread and butter,’ Koperski said. ‘We’re not going to charge too much for things people don’t need. That’s probably the reason the Sharper Image went by the wayside before.’


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Images: Credit: The Shaper Image/Homedics