The Sharper Image

case study

Transformed The Sharper Image business model to a licensing structure, disposed of hard assets and maximized returns for investors.

Client The sharper image

By The Numbers

The Sharper Image is best known for its high-end leisure electronics and gadgets. The company filed for bankruptcy as a result of competitive pressures in the marketplace. After thorough due diligence, we purchased all of the company’s assets as part of a joint venture, including intellectual property, inventory, furniture, fixtures & equipment and e-commerce.

In an effort to transition the business model from “build/sell” to “license/royalty” due to ongoing customer demand, we undertook store closing sales for all 183-stores including $40.5 million of at cost inventory. The shift to the “license/royalty” business model allowed the company to continue capitalizing on its strong name recognition and customer base without the intensive working capital needed in traditional operations.

The joint venture secured over 30 agreements with licensees, bringing over 200 SKUs under the brand and resulting in a significant increase in interest. Gordon Brothers has continued to provide strategic oversight post-acquisition, ensuring that brand integrity is protected. Gordon Brothers and our partners sold The Sharper Image brand resulting in a significant return for previous investors. The company remains a successful brand today.