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Big CE Retailer Popular With Australians Goes Belly Up

Australians have been shopping theire for decades,you could even sneak a quick massage in one of their chairs now Brookstone the US consumer electronics store that was a popular destination at US airports is in Chapter 11.

This is a Company who pioneered house brands and competed head on with the likes of Sharper Image, Circuit City and Radio Shack big CE Companies who also went belly up.

Last week the struggling Company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, this is not the first time they have done this, they did it in 2014.

They are hoping to return as a physical retailer in airports which is where tens of thousands of Australians shop every year according to the Company.

They are also hoping to run a virtual retailer online store, as well as being a wholesaler of their house brand goods.

Back in 2014 the retailer had 240 stores today that is down to 170 stores and they are still struggling.

In the past they have had multiple private equity owners, a revolving cast of CEOs, assorted merchandising and real estate strategies but all this led to Chapter 11.

The original airline store popular with Australians was Sharper Image they crashed in 2008.

Forbes described Sharper Image a poster child of the Day of the Living Retail Dead phenomenon, where anybody with a url and 3PL can be an online retailer.

Brookstone’s plan is to be more than just a virtual retailer, keeping its 35 airport-located retail outlets that it claims are a good business. It will also maintain its wholesale business, the exact scope of which is largely unknown.

Given the way these things work out, Brookstone’s chances for making this latest plan work are questionable. Airport rents are certainly not cheap and the need for the kinds of products the store sells is available online via Amazon.

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