From 1977 to 2008, you could walk into a mall and buy a high-end nose hair trimmer or the Ionic Breeze air freshener in a Sharper Image store. Just how much purity the Ionic Breeze provided came into question and helped push the retailer into bankruptcy by early 2008. When the company chose to liquidate, a consortium of buyers spent $49 million to buy its name and license products through a new company called SI Products.
Today, you can find Sharper Image travel products, kitchen and bath accessories and electronics in Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Bed Bath & Beyond. At the CES show in Las Vegas, Sharper Image unveiled a host of new audio products, including speakers and sound systems. Iconix Brand Group acquired the licenses from the original buyers in November 2011 for $65.6 million, noting that the brand currently generates $12 million in royalties.
Iconic brands live on even after bankruptcy and liquidation, More buyers are making bets on the resuscitation of dead brand names.
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