Scooter Heating Up Sales for Sharper Image

Propelled by scooter riders and Web surfers, Sharper Image Corp. sailed to big second-quarter gains that defied recent retailing trends.

The San Francisco-based specialty retailer said Thursday that it earned $1.2 million, or 9 cents per share, as sales in all its distribution channels stores, catalogs and e-commerce rose significantly from the same period last year. Sharper Image lost $102,000, or 1 cent per share, in last year’s second quarter.

Analysts surveyed by First CallThomson Financial expected the company to earn 6 cents per share in this year’s fiscal second-quarter ending July 31.

In recent weeks, some retailers have released lackluster sales and sought to lower expectations for the rest of the year. In contrast, Sharper Image executives could hardly contain their ebullience Thursday as they forecast a “robust” holiday season.

“Our business is firing on all cylinders,” Sharper Image CEO Richard Thalheimer said. “The Internet has been stupendous for us.”

Despite the company’s bright outlook, Sharper Image’s stock fell $2.37 1/2 Thursday to close at $17.50, with most of the erosion coming late in a regular trading session.

Analyst Kristin Koerber of W.R. Hambrecht attributed Thursday’s decline to investors looking to lock in profits from a recent run-up in Sharper Image’s stock, which had climbed by more than 50 percent during the past 45 days.

The second-quarter results represented the latest in a string of pleasant surprises at Sharper Image, which had been known until recently for selling quirky gadgets to affluent households.

Sharper Image has become more of a mainstream merchant this year on the strength of its first extensive radio advertising campaign and an aluminum scooter that has struck a nerve with adults and kids alike.

Scooter Heating Up Sales for Sharper Image

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