New Line Gives Sharper Image a Boost

Sharper Image Corp. shares eased on profit- aking Tuesday after nearly trembling during the previous session after the San Francisco-based specialty retailer reported a 50 percent increase in sales during Thanksgiving weekend, while investors began to anticipate growing gales from Internet orders.

Sharper Image, which rose $13.63 to $21.19 in fevered trading Monday, was off $3.94 to $17.25 at midday on Tuesday.

The retailer of unusual gadgets and electronic toys said sales for the Thanksgiving weekend rose 50 percent from a year ago. Sales during the weekend at stores open at least a year rose 37 percent.

The company benefited from its new line of proprietary product items the company has begun to manufacture for itself through its product development group, Sharper Image Design.

Sharper Image formerly sold only gizmos by other companies. It began selling its own, less-expensive products early this month.

“They’ve been aiming all year to capitalize on their new proprietary products during the Christmas season. Now here it is,” said analyst Bernard Sosnick of Genesis Merchant Group who rates the stock “buy.”

The company’s shares also got a boost from expectations its website, www.sharperimage.com, will benefit from the fervor for holiday sales on the Internet. Sharper Image shares rose 42 percent last week amid optimism that online holiday sales will double this year.

“They have great products and they introduced a terrific proprietary line (of items) that are expected to be big sellers,” Sosnick said.

“We are very pleased with the Thanksgiving weekend results because we achieved the outstanding sales results without using promotional pricing,” said Richard Thalheimer, Sharper Image’s founder, chairman, and chief executive officer.

“Our proprietary Sharper Image Design products have proved to be very successful. We began to fill in our inventory of these popular exclusive products during November and expect the strong sales momentum to continue in December,” Thalheimer said.

Sharper Image operates 84 stores throughout the United States.

New Line Gives Sharper Image a Boost

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