Brookstone, a chain of stores offering high-tech gadgets and gifts — plus those handy massage chairs for weary mall shoppers — is undergoing tough financial times. The company is closing all its mall stores in the current weeks, it confirmed on Twitter Thursday, though it will continue running its airport stores and online store.
The move is a result of Brookstone filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company’s second such filing in four years, . In a statement, the CEO of Brookstone said the company’s 35 airport stores and online sales were successful, but sales in its 101 mall stores slumped because of an “extremely challenging retail environment at malls.” The end goal is to look for a buyer for the airport and online businesses, reports.
Brookstone is just one of many mall mainstays that have been closing or shrinking recently. Chains like Sears, Payless, , and Macy's have closed locations across the country. All these stores have seen increased competition from online retailers like Amazon. American malls haven’t been since 2012, when the U.S. was recovering from the recession.
reports the business got started in 1965, when Pierre de Beaumont put an ad in Popular Mechanics selling tools and devices that were hard to find. It first opened a brick-and-mortar location in 1973. Despite its recent issues, Brookstone outlasted many of its competitors, like The Sharper Image and SkyMall, according to .