Recession Over: Sharper Images Takes Gift Cards Again

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When Sharper Image’s sales fell so low that it could not make its debt service, the retailer filed for Chapter 11. Part of its cost cutting was a decision to stop taking gift cards that unsuspecting customers had bought for their friends.

But, Sharper Image reversed itself and will allow the cards to be redeemed. There is a twist, a way to get some cash into the retailer’s bank account. According to the AP "In a statement, the company explained that a customer holding a $25 gift card could only use it to buy at least $50 worth of items." The gift card has not value for that $10 pocket knife. Customers will have to step up to the $150 line of kitchen knives if they want the $25 credit.

"While not a complete solution, it does provide immediate satisfaction to customers on a voluntary basis, Chief Executive Robert Conway said.

Very sneaky.

Douglas A. McIntyre