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on July 21 at
An idea: The death of Sharper Image marks the completion of the future’s movement from specialization to generalization. The future can no longer be isolated; it is everywhere, it is the now of it all.
Does this mean I'm going to have to buy my personal submarine at Costco?
Sharper Image is a victim of its own success. It was a key part of the marketing of superfluous crap in the 1980s that really solidified a shift in pop culture toward worshipping yuppie power and new forms of conspicuous consumption (despite growing inequaliies in wealth that make such consumption more and more reliant upon consumer debt).
Who needs one show called lifestyles of the rich and famous when so much pop culture is essentially just variation on the theme? What defines sharper image, when up-selling of unnecessary amenities in basic goods and superfluous consumer gizmos is everyone's modus operandi now?
But I don't think this is a triumph of generalization. It's the fragmenting of niche markets with their expansion. Made possible by the internet.
As long as Brookstone, SkyMall, and Hammacher-Schlemmer are still in business, I don't think it means anything at all.
I thought Sharper Image closing was the result of poor financial planning along with a buisness plan that lacked flexability to adapt to changing economic conditions. But you know...
Don't make me tell your mother to take your McLuhan books away from you.
I saw them haul the submarine out of there, unsold.
It was fake--FAKE!
I've never met anyone that actually bought anything at Sharper Image. I've also never understood buying goods to impress people unless there was a functional purpose like vibrators or ti calculator
the future is everywhere? really charles? don't you feel just a little bit silly?
@7: Philistine! One can simply not explain the joys of owning ion-purifying suit-hangers to the likes of you!
The real problem for the Sharper Image was that they dont carry enough Ohio State or Notre Dame branded merchandies while skymall has and always will.
Insomnia can lead to mixed tenses on your verbs!
@11- meaning it should be "the future can NO longer be isolated"?
there is only now.
But where will upper class ladies buy their ... massage devices?
Sharper image had a really strange niche - it successfully marketed average-quality (Bose), in many cases well below average (Ionic Breeze, oh God I feel bad for anyone that actually needed a purifier that got duped into one of those) consumer electronics and somehow thrust them into the realm of status symbol.
With their death, rich people can go back to having better stuff than me. Sorta.
Sharper Image had pretty much degenerated into a "as seen on TV" store lately. I'd rather shop at Brookestone...if I had any money.
I could have sworn Charles was making sense last week.
Sharper Images problem? They didn't have any Elvis in them.
Elvis is everywhere!
Elvis is in everything!
I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I've been following retailers filing for bankruptcy on savvywallet.com. My advice? Go spend your gift cards, you may not know how long they will be accepting them. Don't forget The Sharper Image incident: $75m in unused gift cards.
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