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SkyMall, Purveyor of Garden Yetis, Files for Bankruptcy

Thanks for the Travel Pillows: SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy 2:11

It's getting harder to buy a garden yeti while flying.

The company behind the SkyMall in-flight catalog filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday. Once stuffed into the back of many domestic airline seats, the magazine was slain, apparently, by smartphones.

In its filing, Xhibit Corporation's acting Chief Executive Scott Wiley blamed a "crowded, rapidly evolving and intensely competitive" market for direct market sales. And consumers spending more time typing on their devices, especially after the airlines decided to allow them on planes, didn't help either.

"With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog," said Wiley. Steep discounts hurt the magazine's margins and cuts in consumer credit availability hurt sales.

Wiley also partially cited consumers seeing "a substantial portion" of its goods "as discretionary items rather than necessities" as a factor in its seeking bankruptcy.

SkyMall, once the sole catalog provider for airline passengers, has faced increased competition from e-commerce providers, such as Amazon.com and eBay.com.

The SkyMall business generated revenue of about $33.7 million in 2013, but only $15.8 million for the nine months ended September 28, 2014.

The magazine was known for selling gadgets, knickknacks, personalized golfballs and items sometimes of dubious utility.

A nearly ubiquitous symbol of the flying experience, news of SkyMall's shuttering prompted customers to share images of products from the magazine they loved, or loved to hate.

-- CNBC contributed to this report