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(The New York Times)   Embattled Sears hires former Brookstone CEO. Because if anyone can convince people to buy useless crap like USB-powered nose hair trimmers with integrated coffee mug warmer, it's Brookstone   (nytimes.com) divider line 42
    More: PSA, Brookstone CEO, Brookstone, USB, Sears Holdings Corp., nose hair, Toys R Us, Hair clipper  
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470 clicks; posted to Business » on 03 Jan 2012 at 3:16 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-03 11:47:58 AM  
Since Brookstone seems to keep losing money, this should be a great hire for Sears.
 
2012-01-03 11:54:01 AM  
I thought Brookstone went bankrupt years ago. I haven't seen one of their stores in forever.
 
2012-01-03 11:59:44 AM  
Brookstone, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and SkyMall: Shopping for people who never got past the "I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" phase of development.
 
2012-01-03 12:07:10 PM  

Pocket Ninja: I thought Brookstone went bankrupt years ago. I haven't seen one of their stores in forever.


They are primarily in malls.
 
2012-01-03 12:25:30 PM  
Does anyone buy anything at Brookstones? Every time I go past the store, it seems like it's occupied by a few very lonely looking salesmen and women playing with toy helicopters or demonstrating a massage chair that nobody would possibly purchase.
 
2012-01-03 12:41:43 PM  

BKITU: Brookstone, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and SkyMall: Shopping for people who never got past the "I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" phase of development.


Christ I never hope I leave that stage. Toys are farking awesome, and as you get older and earn money you can buy cooler shiat.
 
2012-01-03 12:57:18 PM  

mitchcumstein1: BKITU: Brookstone, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and SkyMall: Shopping for people who never got past the "I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" phase of development.

Christ I never hope I leave that stage. Toys are farking awesome, and as you get older and earn money you can buy cooler shiat.


Liking toys isn't the issue. Everybody likes toys. I just bought smart phones for the wife and me primarily for the fun of playing with them. We don't really need the upgrade.

"I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" is when toys are all you care about, much like a three-year-old. Those companies target people in that particular mindset. It's one thing to like toys, it's another entirely to think, "Yeah, spending $35k on a personalized Whack-A-Mole game is totally worth it!"

If someone wants to spend that much money on such an item, more power to them, but I will definitely question their mental state.
 
2012-01-03 01:12:24 PM  

BKITU: mitchcumstein1: BKITU: Brookstone, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and SkyMall: Shopping for people who never got past the "I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" phase of development.

Christ I never hope I leave that stage. Toys are farking awesome, and as you get older and earn money you can buy cooler shiat.

Liking toys isn't the issue. Everybody likes toys. I just bought smart phones for the wife and me primarily for the fun of playing with them. We don't really need the upgrade.

"I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" is when toys are all you care about, much like a three-year-old. Those companies target people in that particular mindset. It's one thing to like toys, it's another entirely to think, "Yeah, spending $35k on a personalized Whack-A-Mole game is totally worth it!"

If someone wants to spend that much money on such an item, more power to them, but I will definitely question their mental state.


They target rich people. If I'm a multimillionaire and my kid wants a whack-a-mole, $35K ain't shiat.
 
2012-01-03 01:14:38 PM  

mitchcumstein1: They target rich people. If I'm a multimillionaire and my kid wants a whack-a-mole, $35K ain't shiat.


And if you're uber-rich, you just have one constructed and staff it with illegal immigrants wearing mole costumes!
 
2012-01-03 01:15:28 PM  

markie_farkie: mitchcumstein1: They target rich people. If I'm a multimillionaire and my kid wants a whack-a-mole, $35K ain't shiat.

And if you're uber-rich, you just have one constructed and staff it with illegal immigrants wearing mole costumes!


I think I saw that on Silver Spoons.
 
2012-01-03 01:20:35 PM  

RexTalionis: Does anyone buy anything at Brookstones? Every time I go past the store, it seems like it's occupied by a few very lonely looking salesmen and women playing with toy helicopters or demonstrating a massage chair that nobody would possibly purchase.


They sell these (new window) at Brookstone, though I've yet to pull the trigger.
 
2012-01-03 01:29:09 PM  
My great grandparents bought their house from Sears. They used to sell blueprints.

They also sold whole, modular houses.
 
2012-01-03 01:31:27 PM  
Walmart and Target kick the shiat out of Kmart/Sears in the baby department. Diapers, formula, wipes, etc. as far as price and selection.

When a family needs to make a Walmart/Target run every month for baby supplies, that's when they get all the other shiat they need, too. Shampoo, razors, shaving cream, sweetener, socks and Tshirts yadda yadda.

That's where I'd start. Get the young moms in there.
 
2012-01-03 03:07:27 PM  

Diogenes: My great grandparents bought their house from Sears. They used to sell blueprints.

They also sold whole, modular houses.


I live in a 1926 Sears Hathaway (new window), albeit one that has been extensively remodeled.
 
2012-01-03 03:19:17 PM  
I've actually met the man - he's a major cock!
 
2012-01-03 03:21:35 PM  

Diogenes: My great grandparents bought their house from Sears. They used to sell blueprints.

They also sold whole, modular houses.


Give them enough time, and I'm sure Amazon will eventually get into that business. They are basically the 21st century Sears and Roebuck catalog.
 
2012-01-03 03:24:03 PM  
They need to have the plug pulled.
 
2012-01-03 03:25:51 PM  

RexTalionis: Does anyone buy anything at Brookstones? Every time I go past the store, it seems like it's occupied by a few very lonely looking salesmen and women playing with toy helicopters or demonstrating a massage chair that nobody would possibly purchase.


I think the death nell of them and Sharper Image was the day when your typical Apple or Microsoft store started having much cooler toys. There's just simply not much in a Brookstore that is quite as nifty as an iPad, Kinect, or Kindle.
 
2012-01-03 03:39:57 PM  
*death knell*

/damn autocorrect
 
2012-01-03 03:40:18 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Diogenes: My great grandparents bought their house from Sears. They used to sell blueprints.

They also sold whole, modular houses.

Give them enough time, and I'm sure Amazon will eventually get into that business. They are basically the 21st century Sears and Roebuck catalog.


O how the mighty have fallen.
 
2012-01-03 04:07:20 PM  
The last Brookstone catalog I saw gave special emphasis to their line of "personal massagers." And they've almost completely stopped being coy about it, too.

They didn't come right out and say "it's a vibrating dildo! jam it up your twat!"... but it was pretty clear they weren't talking about relaxing your shoulders after a hard day (except for the ones that are actually designed for that).
 
2012-01-03 04:11:26 PM  
Brookstone: For malls not cool enough to have a Sharper Image.
 
2012-01-03 05:01:15 PM  

RexTalionis: Does anyone buy anything at Brookstones? Every time I go past the store, it seems like it's occupied by a few very lonely looking salesmen and women playing with toy helicopters or demonstrating a massage chair that nobody would possibly purchase.


Last time I was at the mall, I wondered into Brookstone. The sales guy kept pushing me to buy the helicopter, so I asked him how many they sold.

He admitted they hadn't sold a single one.
 
2012-01-03 05:19:15 PM  

Mad_Radhu: *death knell*

/damn autocorrect


You've found the weakness. Should Brookstone or Sharper Image discover a way to invent devices with working Autocorrect, the market is theirs.
 
2012-01-03 06:58:14 PM  

RexTalionis: Does anyone buy anything at Brookstones?


They used to sell really nice canvas tote bags. My mother had one that she carried as a purse/catchall/diaper bag for about 15 years, until it more or less fell apart.
 
2012-01-03 07:03:01 PM  
Prefers SkyMall.

ori.bobandtom.com
 
2012-01-03 07:56:00 PM  

jayhawk88: Brookstone: For malls not cool enough to have a Sharper Image.


Sharper Image went bankrupt. All the stores closed. No, really. Go try to find one.

The current incarnation is a catalog company that also sells branded merchandise through places like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Best Buy.

So, technically, every mall is not cool enough to have a Shaper Image. Say what you will about Brookstone, but they have ~300 stores. They weathered the storm by focusing on the higher margin "health and body" and "lawn and garden" sections instead of buying heavily into the "men's toy store" layout of Sharper Image.
 
2012-01-03 08:32:52 PM  
Sears would do well to ditch KMart and let them die, then reducing all Sears stores to just hardware, lawn/garden, appliances and automotive.
 
2012-01-03 09:04:09 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Sears would do well to ditch KMart and let them die, then reducing all Sears stores to just hardware, lawn/garden, appliances and automotive.


Sears already has a chain of stores that sell nothing but hardware, lawn/garden and appliances -- Orchard Supply Hardware.
 
2012-01-03 09:06:51 PM  

The Dreaded Rear Admiral: So, technically, every mall is not cool enough to have a Shaper Image. Say what you will about Brookstone, but they have ~300 stores. They weathered the storm by focusing on the higher margin "health and body" and "lawn and garden" sections instead of buying heavily into the "men's toy store" layout of Sharper Image.


No, what killed Sharper Image is that "Ionic Breeze" fake air cleaner they were promoting so heavily. After they sued Consumer Reports -- and lost -- they were never able to recover.
 
2012-01-03 09:21:11 PM  

MrEricSir: The Dreaded Rear Admiral: So, technically, every mall is not cool enough to have a Shaper Image. Say what you will about Brookstone, but they have ~300 stores. They weathered the storm by focusing on the higher margin "health and body" and "lawn and garden" sections instead of buying heavily into the "men's toy store" layout of Sharper Image.

No, what killed Sharper Image is that "Ionic Breeze" fake air cleaner they were promoting so heavily. After they sued Consumer Reports -- and lost -- they were never able to recover.


I worked for both companies back in the day. Don't get me wrong, you're right. But the Ionic Breeze catastrophe was kinda the nail in the coffin. SI had been functioning for far too long with far too many low-performing stores and far too many "toys".

From my perspective: besides the holidays and other assorted gougeable, gift-giving holidays, people would indeed actually buy stuff at Brookstone. SI, not so much.
 
2012-01-03 10:07:43 PM  

mitchcumstein1: BKITU: Brookstone, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and SkyMall: Shopping for people who never got past the "I want to stay in the toy department, Mommy!" phase of development.

Christ I never hope I leave that stage. Toys are farking awesome, and as you get older and earn money you can buy cooler shiat.


I'm pretty sure that's the only reason most of us want money.
/Right?
 
2012-01-03 10:37:32 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Sears would do well to ditch KMart and let them die, then reducing all Sears stores to just hardware, lawn/garden, appliances and automotive.


That, and Toughskins. Those farking things would probably outlast an atomic apocalypse!

We were poor as kids, got cheapie jeans, invariably ending up with iron-on knee patches after a long summer riding bikes, building forts, poking shiat with sticks, etc. Back-to-school time was brutal.
 
2012-01-03 11:37:37 PM  
It is clear that Subby doesn't understand the finer points of running a successful business. Of course a USB-powered nose hair trimmers with integrated coffee mug warmer would be a total flop. But a USB-powered nose hair trimmers with integrated coffee mug warmer AND iPod dock...now THAT'S gonna fly off the shelf like hot cakes!
 
2012-01-04 12:02:59 AM  

sigdiamond2000: Diogenes: My great grandparents bought their house from Sears. They used to sell blueprints.

They also sold whole, modular houses.

I live in a 1926 Sears Hathaway (new window), albeit one that has been extensively remodeled.


May I use the word "precious"? Because looking at that illustration, I really want to. In a good southern way.
 
2012-01-04 12:06:22 AM  
What pisses me off about Brookstone, Sharper Image, etc., isn't the novelty items, which mostly suck, but the quality of most of the items. Everything = plastic, poor quality at high cost. When I think of Brookstone or Sharper image, I think of that dad from Gremlins. Cheap, shiatty novelty inventions manufactured at the lowest cost possible which fall apart within a year.

It would be nice if they had a few, really high quality items that are designed well. But instead going into a Brookstone is a trainwreck. At first it's kind of novel but within 5 seconds I don't even know why I'm there, everything is a cheap piece of shiat, there's no name brand stuff, and the name brand stuff they have is poorly made knockoff-quality off-brands.

In the end, I shop for stuff on Amazon. Much easier to order at home and have it delivered.
 
2012-01-04 12:33:01 AM  
Just a gripe: I went into a store that sold camping stuff, looking for flint and steel. Now somebody could throw those two simple things in a bag, sell it for a couple bucks and make a handsome profit. But no. They had Bear Gryls branded flint and steel, with an SOS light built into the steel rod. Which would be handy if you couldn't walk or talk and help was 20 feet away. Thirteen dollars. And that was by far the cheapest thing on the Bear Gryls display rack. Did I buy it? Hell, no. And now I like that store less.
But that's not so much Sears problem. As someone wrote in an earlier Sears obit, shopping at Sears is depressing and they're not doing anything about it.
I went into a Sears garden center last month and they had, no lie, over 150 feet of shelf space stocked with bags of bean bag filler. Good God.
 
2012-01-04 03:43:58 AM  
I may need a nose-hair trimmer. Now that I think about it, that is something I worry about daily. What my nasal canal grows so much hair I can't handle it with scissors?

Maybe it's not a bad investment.
 
2012-01-04 09:38:18 AM  

davidphogan: I may need a nose-hair trimmer. Now that I think about it, that is something I worry about daily. What my nasal canal grows so much hair I can't handle it with scissors?

Maybe it's not a bad investment.


Welcome to middle adulthood.

Wait until you start getting earlobe pubes..

Now excuse me while I go yank those farkers out while inspecting my work in a lighted, magnified mirror.
 
2012-01-04 10:44:47 AM  
Brookstone is the perfect store to buy someone a gift without putting any thought into it, or to buy stocking stuffer/Secret Santa gifts. Everything in their store is marginally interesting at best, and I've only ever seen one or two items thre that I would possibly purchase for someone - but never have.

If you're in the market for Gaydar, though, you could always stop there if The Sharper Image is out of stock.
 
2012-01-04 04:41:00 PM  
I picked up a Brookstone coffee mug warmer on clearance at Staples the other day for $15. My wife loves it, and It's better made than the usual junk. Score 1 for me!
 
2012-01-04 05:22:38 PM  

BKITU: it's another entirely to think, "Yeah, spending $35k on a personalized Whack-A-Mole game is totally worth it!"


Jeebus. I don't care how rich you are, there's always another car you could buy or awesome vacation you could take with that money instead.

Whoever buys that thing should go on a special "total asshole" list.
 
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