And, it seems I'm not alone in linking Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image together and suspecing it protends something bigger. From Mae Anderson at the Associate Press:
A weak holiday season and a struggling economy led retailers Sharper Image Corp. and Lillian Vernon Corp. to file for bankruptcy this week, and analysts predict others could soon follow them as consumer spending worsens.Out of purchasing power? Ain't that the truth.
"You'll see a record number of bankruptcies over the next 50, 100, and 1,000 days," said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of the New York-based retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. "Consumers are cash and credit constrained. They're out of purchasing power."
Both Sharper Image, known for its high-tech novelty gadgets, and Lillian Vernon, which sells low-cost gifts and gadgets through its catalog and Web site, have long been plagued with falling sales.