Match Made In Mall Heaven: Spencer May Be Buying Brookstone

Earlier this year, we told you about the questionable future of mall mainstay Brookstone, which has been mulling over the need to file for bankruptcy protection in order to keep selling massage chairs and gadgets that break a week after you buy them. That fate still looms for Brookstone, but its salvation may ultimately come from another mall mainstay that gives me flashbacks to endless hours spent perusing Iron Maiden posters and flipping through the pages of Truly Tasteless Jokes books.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Spencer Spirit Holdings, the parent company of Spencer’s (aka Spencer Gifts, depending on how old you are and whether you remember the ’80s and ’90s) is part of Brookstone’s plan to eventually get out of bankruptcy, for which it is expected to file in the next few days.

Spencer Spirit would pay around $120 million for its more gadget-obsessed mall brethren, which would take care of all but around $20 million of Brookstone’s substantial debt.

Before becoming icons of the mall era of American history, both Brookstone and Spencer began as mail-order businesses. During my formative years, Spencer’s was where you bought posters your mom hated (and would subsequently threaten to rip down), rude birthday and holiday cards, novelty “massagers,” whoopee cushions, and hilarious T-shirts with crude puns your teachers obviously were too old and out-of-touch to understand.

If it acquires Brookstone, Spencer Spirit reportedly has no plans to reduce the number of Brookstone stores or employees.

Maybe these two could join forces with the sagging Sbarro to form some sort of mall supergroup that could go on a cash-in reunion tour, maybe record a new album, and film a reality show or two.