Sharper Image Brings Back Father’s Day Catalog

Jun 04, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Dads are going to feel the love this Father’s Day and now
there is one more place where gift givers can turn for the latest gadgets and
assorted other stuff — the Sharper Image catalog.

Yes, Sharper Image stores
may be a thing of the past, but the brand has returned to its roots with its
first print catalog, arriving in the mailboxes of American households this

The 68-page catalog has a wide variety of gift items intended for Dad.

August, senior vice president/chief marketing officer for Sharper Image, told Multichannel
, "While we have attempted to capture
the essence of the catalog from years past, this updated version is a bit denser
from a merchandise perspective and contains more lifestyle images. It really
is designed to support a direct marketing response model as opposed to being
used to drive traffic to Sharper Image stores."

According to new research
conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation, the average person
will spend $94.32 on gifts for Father’s Day this year up from $90.89 in 2009.

"A slight uptick in Father’s Day spending is another sign people
are starting to open up their wallets again," said Matt Shay, president
and CEO, NRF, in a press release. "Whether it’s a large family
get together or surprising dad with the new gadget he’s had his eye on,
there are many ways people will choose to celebrate this year."

The Sharper
Image has put together a Top 10 list of gifts for Father’s Day including:

  1. Outdoor Wireless Speaker 
  2. Deluxe Nose and Ear Trimmer with Vacuum 
  3. Travel Sound Machine 
  4. Powermat Home and Office Mat 
  5. 7 Day Wireless Weather Forecaster 
  6. Ultimate Wet Dry Electric Shaver 
  7. Golf Swing Video Recorder 
  8. Heated Fog Free Shower Mirror 
  9. Coolware Personal Cooling System 
  10. Motorized Tie Rack 

Discussion Questions: Will The Sharper Image catalog resonate with consumers?
What do you see as the future of printed catalogs relative to online shopping?

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4 Comments on "Sharper Image Brings Back Father’s Day Catalog"

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Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
10 years 11 months ago

Direct mail is not dead; actually, there is renewed interest in the ability to the variable data type catalogs that have the ability to engage and speak to the customer, in this case–DADS.

Warren Thayer
10 years 11 months ago

Indeed there is still good potential for direct mail, and I voted with what is now the majority that thinks Sharper Image will have “medium” success. I’d occasionally buy stuff that was unique and was dead-on to a need, swallowing hard at the price. Of the 10 Father’s Day gift items, I would personally take about half of them to the “give-away” section of the dump when I pay my weekly visit there. An electric tie rotator-thingie? I have absolutely no problem finding the three ties remaining in my closet. I don’t think I’m alone in that regard.

Gene Detroyer
10 years 11 months ago

If my thirty-something kids are going to get this father a present, they are not going to get it from the Sharper Image catalog. At their homes, FSIs and direct mail catalogs are dropped into the recycle bin and never make it into the home. They do their entire gift shopping online.

In my apartment building there is a recycle bin in the mail room that is regularly filled with catalogs and flyers that go right from the mail box to the bin.

There is no future for printed catalogs. It is just that the publishers don’t know it yet.

In regard to how this catalog will resonate to those who actually thumb through it…based on this list of items, it will be a nostalgic trip back to the ’70s and ’80s.

Kai Clarke
10 years 11 months ago

These products offered through Sharper Image will appeal to a large audience. This just demonstrates that different target markets, when properly segmented, can be appealed to in traditional ways. Not everything is about shopping on the internet. Catalogs still exist and and find a niche in the right market segments.


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