SkyMall LLC and its parent company, Xhibit Corp., have recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing increased competition from online retailers as one of the reasons for its waning popularity and profits. Another reason cited for the bankruptcy filing was the increased use of smartphones (and other devices) on flights, as more and more flights are offering Wi-Fi to passengers.
“With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, we believe that fewer people pick up and browse the SkyMall in-flight catalog,” Xhibit noted in its bankruptcy petition and SEC filings.
This bankruptcy case was filed in Phoenix, and the petition notes that SkyMall has “as much as $50 million in liabilities and as much as $10 million in assets.”
New Jersey Company Buys SkyMall
In March, a bankruptcy auction was held for SkyMall. Although seven companies had pre-qualified as potential bidders, a New Jersey company – C&A Marketing – ended up buying SkyMall in the auction for $1.9 million (which reportedly included $1 million in cash and $900,000 in promissory notes).
C&A Marketing reportedly makes and markets everything from kitchen gadgets to Polaroid equipment. Although C&A Marketing executives have stated that they may revive SkyMall and work with airlines to get the SkyMall magazine back in circulation, they are also looking at ways of expanding and modernizing the brand to make it more competitive with online retailers like Amazon.
According to C&A Marketing, they plan on keeping about 10 or so employees at the SkyMall Phoenix offices, with the rest of being employed at the New Jersey-based facilities.
Are you surprised to hear about SkyMall’s bankruptcy and repurchase? Do you think C&A Marketing can turn it around for SkyMall and make the in-flight retailer popular and successful again? Please share your opinions and comments with us on Facebook & Google+.
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