Breaking! Brookstone Is Going Brokestone.

posted by Conway Crew - 

Brookstone announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it is closing all of its 101 stores in malls across the country.

The reason will probably come as no surprise, Brookstone blamed a "continued deterioration of traditional mall traffic."

However, the company said it will continue to operate its 35 airport stores and e-commerce and wholesale businesses and hopes to sell them.

A shift toward online shopping has threatened many businesses that rely primarily on their brick-and-mortar locations.  

Once-popular corporate beasts like Toys 'R' Us, Blockbuster Video and even music stores as a whole (anyone remember "Tower Records?") have all been going the way of the Dodo over that past two decades.

Brookstone was once a staple of "high-class" mall culture shopping.  It was essentially the same thing as "SkyMall" Magazine that you find on airplanes in physical form.  

What does that mean?  Generally, it means great quality products which are a bit over-priced - just enough to relegate the retailers' entire catalog to a giant "window-shopping" experience.  

Do you have any great Brookstone memories?  What are they?  I only have one: 

Massage chairs.

For whatever reason, one of the things that the luxurious gift shop became most famous for was their demo products on the store floor.  What Costco is to free food samples, Brookstone was to free product demos back in the 90's.

Hang on, that's not actually true.   I have TWO memories...the other has to be the fact that I never actually ever bought anything from Brookstone. 

Oh well.  Godspeed, Brookstone!  We barely knew thee.

Read more over at CNN.

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