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New Sharper Image Owners Shut Stores

New York — The investment consortium that acquired The Sharper Image last week for $49 million in a bankruptcy auction said it will close the chain’s remaining 86 stores and will leverage the brand under a new licensing strategy.

The partners, which include liquidator Gordon Brothers, private equity firms Hilco Consumer Capital and Windsong Brands, and investment group Bluestar Alliance, said they have developed a global licensing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail, e-commerce and catalog businesses that will “exploit The Sharper Image’s heritage of quality, excitement, innovation and fun.”

In a statement, Hilco CEO Jamie Salter said the partners are “proceeding immediately with our plans to partner with world class licensees and retailers to introduce innovative high-quality products that will satisfy both the needs and enjoyment of The Sharper Image customers. The Sharper Image brand will be extended internationally in existing and new categories that consumers want and need.”

A Gordon Brothers spokesman added that the group plans to “transform [The Sharper Image] into a global, multichannel platform of diverse and unique consumer products using leading technologies and trend-setting innovations … [We] look forward to working with existing and new licensees to grow the brand worldwide and in multiple categories.”

The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and put itself up for sale in April after shutting about half its store base. According to a Reuters report, the new owners will try to liquidate over $50 million in remaining inventory.