Sharper Image Files Chapter 11, Will Close Half Of Their Stores

Hey want to buy an “ionic air filter”? You don’t? Is it because of that annoying class action lawsuit? Hey guess what? You’re not the only one! After losing a class action lawsuit Sharper Image ” said in court papers it fell victim to “negative publicity” as it fought lawsuits over its Ionic Breeze air purifiers.”

What court papers? Bankruptcy court papers!

From Bloomberg:

Sharper Image Corp., the seller of $300 electric shavers and $1,999 massage chairs, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it was running low on cash.

The retailer will shed 90 of its 183 stores and is seeking a $60 million loan from Wells Fargo & Co. San Francisco-based Sharper Image plunged as much as 80 percent in Nasdaq trading.

“Sharper Image is in a severe liquidity crisis,” Rebecca Roedell, chief financial officer of San Francisco-based Sharper Image, said in court papers filed last night in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. “The foregoing has been compounded by the ever-tightening and volatile credit and financing markets.”

Consumer Reports first busted the expensive “Ionic Breeze” air fresheners for being ineffective and potentially dangerous back in 2003, at which time Sharper Image sued the organization unsuccessfully, finally giving up and paying court-ordered attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $525,000. More recently, the Sharper Image lost a class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs claimed that Consumer Reports was correct when it found that the air filters provided “almost no measurable reduction in airborne particles.” A judge recently threw out a proposed settlement in which consumers who bought the expensive air filter would receive a $19 coupon.

Sharper Image air-purifier class-action update [Consumer Reports]
Sharper Image Files For Bankruptcy As Cash Dwindles [Bloomberg] (Thanks, Charlie!)