Brookstone, your mall’s nerdy gadget store, just went bankrupt


Lawrence K. Ho / LA Times via Getty Images

Where, oh where are we going to buy cheap made electronic toys now? Toys R Us is gone, and now the Brookstone luminary joins him in the purgatory of brick and mortar.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, and just announced it will close its 101 stores in malls across the United States. Technically, it’s not quite dead yet, as Brookstone will still have its 35 airport locations, and it’s trying to sell itself (again) to keep the brand alive.

You may remember this rival The Sharper Image closed its last stores ten years ago, but it’s a great example of how Zombie Marks can live. We recently saw some brand new Sharper Image branded products going into liquidation at a discontinued Toys R Us sale, which was somewhat ironic.

Brookstone admitted in a bankruptcy filing that its mall stores have lost money every year since the company was bought by a Chinese investment fund in 2014. But the company’s vice president thinks the brand still holds value because – I’m not kidding – “lighted Bluetooth headphones that also feature lighted cat ears.”

Read for yourself:

Key to Debtors’ product offerings is Brookstone’s unique “Plus One” model, which is woven into all three product categories. Brookstone doesn’t just offer a weighted blanket (a product that helps relieve stress and enhance relaxation); Instead, Brookstone offers a weighted blanket in Nap® fabric, a specially designed fabric that is softer than the weighted blankets offered by competitors. Likewise, Brookstone doesn’t just offer Bluetooth headphones, they offer illuminated Bluetooth headphones that also feature illuminated cat ears that double as additional external speakers. and allow the user to control and modify the light displayed on it. It is this “Plus One” doctrine, along with Brookstone’s commitment to quality, that is the primary driver of strength and value associated with the “Brookstone” brand.

No ordinary products, those.


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