SkyMall sold for $1.9 million

April 1, 2015 12:45 PM

Bankrupt in-flight catalog and online retailer SkyMall has a new owner.

Camera manufacturer and online reseller C&A Marketing Inc. bought SkyMall from Xhibit Corp. for $1.9 million. SkyMall, No. 247 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, filed for bankruptcy in January citing increased competition online as one of the main reasons.

C&A executives view SkyMall’s e-commerce presence as key to growing the brand.

“E-commerce has been growing regardless of Amazon’s dominance,” says executive vice president Chaim Pikarski.  “Where (SkyMall) struggled was that the costs of the catalogs were not covering themselves by the revenue. That’s where the financial aspect of the business model didn’t work. E-commerce does work.”

SkyMall isn’t the first well-known bankrupt brand to be snapped up by C&A. Two years ago, the company bought camera retailer Ritz Camera & Image LLC at a bankruptcy auction for an undisclosed price.

So why snap up a bankrupt company that two major airlines, Delta and Southwest, had turned their backs on by deciding not to carry the company’s catalogs?

Pikarski says the SkyMall brand is still very much viable with consumers. “SkyMall has a certain brand equity,” he says. “People will buy certain products from SkyMall versus buying from another platform.”

C&A plans to keep SkyMall’s core e-commerce team.

“We are keeping the core team that knows how to market and run the business,” he says. “People will trust the SkyMall brand when it comes to travel-oriented products. The other area where SkyMall is best known for is gimmicky products. People will look to SkyMall for that.”

C&A is planning to upgrade the mix of products on SkyMall’s website. The company is also hoping to reintroduce a new format of the print catalog into planes.




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