Retail

Sharper Image Gets Back Into Brick-And-Mortar Retail, Albeit Temporarily

The Sharper Image is dipping its toe back into physical retail, according to news from CNBC. The gadget chain is opening brick-and-mortar pop-up stores in Times Square for the holiday season.

This is the first time in ten years that The Sharper Image has opened a retail location. The pop-up store is currently fronted by a sign that reads “Sharper Than Before,” according to CNBC, although the store itself is still sparsely filled with merchandise, which includes toys and drones. The retailer is best known for gizmos like massage chairs, talking bathroom scales and air purifiers.

“We wanted a lot of room to do product demos,” said David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands. “We wanted it to be an experiential place and have room for people to play (with our remote-controlled) cars and fly drones. We like the extra space.”

ThreeSixty Group, Inc. acquired The Sharper Image brand in 2016. While The Sharper Image website and catalog are separately owned and operated, ThreeSixty sells products to both, as well as to retailers throughout the U.S.

The showroom in Times Square contains what Conn considers the brand’s best products, including temperature-controlled memory foam pillows, remote control toys and robotic dinosaur dogs. More products are set to arrive for the store’s opening, including spa and sound equipment, gifts sure to catch the eyes of avid Christmas shoppers.

“We think this is what’s missing from retail today,” Conn said. “You have to give consumers a reason to come into the store, something they can’t do online. We want our customers to come in, be engaged, try products, ask questions and be entertained. Experience is critical, and that’s what this brand is all about.”

Conn would neither confirm nor deny the possibility of further brick-and-mortar openings. “It’s possible. We’re going to focus on this one first,” he said when asked.

The Sharper Image pop-up is expected to open on Nov. 9, just in time for the holiday season, and remain so through the middle of January.

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