Sharper Image Hiring Brookstone Execs

The newly relaunched SharperImage.com is hiring talent away from its rival Brookstone. The high-tech gifts and gadgets brand announced Jan 21 it’s hired Steve August as senior vice president/chief marketing officer. August had been Brookstone’s operating vice president for customer marketing.

A few weeks ago, another former Brookstone executive, Mark Anthony, joined SharperImage.com as senior vice president/general merchandise manager. Anthony had been Brookstone’s operational vice president/general merchandise manager.

Sharper Image is owned by a joint venture of Bluestar Alliance, Hilco Consumer Capital and Gordon Bros. The three private investment firms acquired Sharper Image in May 2008, three months after the company filed for bankruptcy. Camelot Venture Group developed and operates the SharperImage.com site under license.

While the former Sharper Image had been a cataloger/retailer, the brand’s strategy is to distribute its products in select stores as well as to consumers via e-commerce. Camelot relaunched the Sharper Image Website in October; it also plans to mail a catalog in time for Father’s Day.

The new catalog will include both Sharper Image branded products as well as third-party goods, “as was the case in the brand’s former incarnation,” says Federico de Bellegarde, vice president of licensing for The Sharper Image.

How did the brand fare for holiday 2009? The season was successful in terms of overall brand placement as well as actual sales results, which met the company’s expectations, says de Bellegarde.

“We do not have comparative numbers, as this was the year the Sharper Image brand was relaunched,” de Bellegarde says. “But it is fair to say that a broad spectrum of retailers embraced Sharper Image branded products, as did their customers.”

The addition of industry veterans Anthony and August to the team “will further strengthen the Sharper Image’s position as a multichannel brand,” de Bellegarde adds.

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