SkyMall Files For Bankruptcy Because You’re Not Buying Enough Inflatable Movie Screens

The SkyMall catalog has always been good for a chuckle when you have absolutely nothing else to read during a flight and you just can’t sleep. Some people have presumably even bought stuff through the publication, as it’s difficult to sustain a business for 25 years if the only revenue is punchlines. But apparently not enough of us are doing our inflight shopping through SkyMall, as the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The petition [PDF] was filed on Thursday in a federal bankruptcy court in Arizona, with the company acknowledging that its assets are in the $1 million to $10 million range, while its liabilities are somewhere north of $10 million but below $50 million.

According to the company’s listing of its 20 largest unsecured creditors [PDF], those businesses alone are owed nearly $8 million.

While Delta Air Lines tops the list of creditors, with SkyMall owing the carrier $1.455 million, the second- and third-largest creditors are American Airlines and U.S. Airways, who recently merged. Together, SkyMall owes more than $1.6 million to the airlines. Then there are hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to UPS, product suppliers, paper companies, and the other major airlines.

The company is blaming the rapidly increasing use of electronic devices on airplanes for the precipitous drop in sales. More people watching movies on iPads means fewer people biding their time perusing SkyMall.

In 2013, the company brought in nearly $34 million, but will likely fall far short of that when 2014 numbers are tallied, as it only made $15.8 million during the first nine months of the year.

SkyMall’s parent company, Xhibit Corp., is seeking a court-supervised sale of assets. However, it believes that a new owner could keep the SkyMall operation going with a scaled-down business.


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