SkyMall Crashes, Burns … Balances the Universe Like an Atlas Bar Globe
Well, that's a surprise. Amazon sells not only one type of garden Yeti, but a variety of them. In general, flyers know most such oddities were once only available in SkyMall, the catalog in the seat pocket in front of them. But now, in-flight WiFi means access to e-commerce in the sky, and the crashing to the ground of the iconic in-flight print catalog. Its e-commerce presence remains, but may be sold.
On Friday Xhibit Corp., the parent company of SkyMall, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
"We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic 'SkyMall' brand find a home to continue to operate as SkyMall has for the last 25 years," says Scott Wiley, CFO and acting CEO of Xhibit in Friday's announcement to investors.
This prompted a spate of goofy headlines on Friday, including: "Goodbye, Garden Yeti: In-Flight Catalog SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy," from NPR; "SkyMall Files For Bankruptcy: What About the Serenity Cat Pod?" from the Hollywood Reporter; and "No More USB Cufflinks?! SkyMall Declares Bankruptcy," from the Christian Science Monitor.
Paul Bobnak, Research/Content Director with Direct Marketing IQ, a NAPCO Media brand, tells Target Marketing that there's a delicate dance taking place between e-commerce and print catalogs in 2015, all based on consumer demand.
"This week we found out that JCPenney is bringing back its print catalog, and that SkyMall is going out of business," he says. "And so, the universe balances itself."
Friday afternoon, "SkyMall, 25 years of cool stuff" still appeared atop the site where shoppers could still buy a "personalized cell fone flask" for $19.99 or a "Triceratops dinosaur statue" for $2,799.
In May 2005, direct marketing copywriter Denny Hatch wrote about SkyMall for Target Marketing.