It’s back! Venerable SkyMall, that inflight catalog full of stepping stools for dogs and hearing gadgets, may have a second life thanks to the larger-than-life CEO of ScottEVest, Scott Jordan. Jordan, who we interviewed at CES this year, is putting in a bid for the company and hopes to turn it around by bringing it into the 21st century.
How much is he offering? He wouldn’t say.
“We are under NDA with the firm handling the sale of SkyMall, and no bids have been submitted by any parties yet,” he said.
Jordan has worked with SkyMall for a number of years and sees the purchase as a unique opportunity to revive a moribund brand. The company recently filed bankruptcy.
“We’ve seen how they operate and know many of the problems their system has that led to their demise. My plan is to bring SkyMall into the digital age by working closely with the airlines and in-flight Internet providers. The fundamental business model needs to shift away from an overly complicated fulfillment platform to a streamlined referral, advertising and affiliate setup. The plan will allow the new SkyMall to be profitable from day one,” he said.
Much ink has been spilled during SkyMall’s death throes, from Wired noting that airlines could save $350,000 in fuel by ditching the catalogs to investigations into the weird holding company that owns it. Most of all, however, people loved to hate the catalog that launched a thousand disinterested thumb-throughs by flyers who forgot to bring a book.
Jordan is looking into buying the brand because it would be too hard to recreate the partnerships and relationships associated with the service.
“SkyMall is a great brand, and has a fantastic audience. Their story deserves to continue, as evidenced by how much buzz has been circulating around SkyMall’s news. The future exists in fixing the fundamental flaws that kept SkyMall from being profitable. The underlying concept of SkyMall is pretty brilliant, and that’s what the public responds to,” said Jordan. “The Internet is all about speaking to specific niches, and what better representation of a market niche is there than a small group of people who are in the midst of traveling?”
And if this isn’t a niche item, I don’t know what is.