Forty years ago, when shopping malls bustled with traffic, Sharper Image was the go-to place for the gadget obsessed. The stores closed in 2008 and the company was relaunched the next year as primarily an online merchant and with a selection of products sold in stores such as Target, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Now, the legendary logo is looking to regain its appeal through a series of new licenses, including several in the beauty industry. Next year, in a partnership with Conair Corp., Sharper Image will roll out Conair-produced grooming products such as shavers, razors, trimmers, nail care and body care. Additionally, there will be hair tools including curling irons, curling wands, flat irons, hot air brushes, specialty stylers, hot rollers and hair dryers. Sharper Image is targeting distribution in major retailers. Conair is the leading producer in hair care appliances, according to industry data. The timing could be fortuitous. According to research from Kline, tool sales are on the rise, especially in hair care.
“Partnering with Conair will allow us to expand into the beauty space, while manufacturing a Sharper Image branded line of hair care and beauty products for both men and women,” said David Conn, chief executive officer at Sharper Image brand owner ThreeSixty Brands. “These partnerships allow for continued growth in product innovation while further expanding the Sharper Image product offerings across different lifestyle categories, including beauty, home comfort, air purification and pet care.” Sharper Image is working in conjunction with other manufacturers for products in other categories. Other licensing deals are with Allstar Products Group, Aerus LLC, Mystic Apparel and Vornado Air, which ThreeSixty Group acquired.
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“We are expanding the categories we are in and the Sharper Image product offerings as a means of diversifying our business, retail partners and retail placement — and this includes both new and familiar categories for the brand ranging from beauty and home comfort to air purification and pet care,” Conn said.
In addition to broadening its merchandising scope, Sharper Image is eyeing opportunities to showcase its innovations. Last holiday season, the company staged a pop-up shop in Times Square. “The pop-up shop was a great way to offer hands-on, try-before-you-buy fun with our newest tech goods, and we are certainly keeping it in mind as we launch even more products in 2019,” Conn said.