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SkyMall May Fly Again After Potential Buyout

/ Source: CNBC.com

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A former advertiser known for technology-friendly apparel is pursuing an acquisition of SkyMall days after the in-flight catalog filed for bankruptcy protection.

ScotteVest, based in Sun Valley, Idaho, has signed a non-disclosure agreement with SkyMall and intends to bid for the struggling catalog's assets either alone or in a partnership, CEO Scott Jordan told CNBC Digital Wednesday. "SkyMall was doomed to fail by its business model," Jordan said. "But I know how to fix it."

In a filing for bankruptcy protection last week, SkyMall blamed an increased use of electronic devices for the declining popularity of its in-flight catalogs, which are often placed in seat-back pockets. It also said that the availability of Internet access on planes opened the door to new competition from e-commerce retailers. SkyMall CEO Scott Wiley didn't respond to a request for comment.

Jordan said he believes the catalog failed to adapt to Internet shopping but can do so by directing customers directly to retailers whose products are in its pages. "E-commerce needs to be done by the advertisers," he said. SkyMall sells merchandise from a variety of sources, including its own curated selection of items. It also has allowed advertisers like ScotteVest to place paid ads in the catalog. But in all cases, customers are encouraged to make purchases directly through the magazine (by phone or Web site) rather than directly through the manufacturer.

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