In-Flight Shopping Catalog SkyMall Will Fly Again

The iconic seatback catalog gets a new life By: Chelsee Lowe
Just when you thought it was gone for good, SkyMall returns. // © 2015 Skymall
Just when you thought it was gone for good, SkyMall returns. // © 2015 Skymall

The Details

Everyone’s favorite in-flight shopping catalog recently used Twitter to announce its resurrection, thanks to a plan from new owner C&A Marketing.

Why It Matters:
SkyMall has been entertaining jet-setters since 1990 with its never-ending supply of odd gadgets and tacky curios, so when news came in January that the catalog would fold due to bankruptcy, nostalgic fliers everywhere cried a collective tear. The closure wasn’t truly unexpected, of course. Relaxed rules on the use of smartphones and tablets, as well as expanded Wi-Fi access while flying, have lessened travelers’ need to peruse pages full of glow-in-the-dark toilet seats, Yeti garden statues and ugly Christmas sweater DIY kits. But C&A Marketing aims to breathe new life into the iconic seatback publication — only time will tell what changes are in store.

Fast Facts:
- SkyMall’s inaugural issue was released in 1990.

- The publication was viewed by nearly 30 million air travelers annually.

- C&A Marketing, which is headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., announced its purchase of SkyMall in early April.

- C&A has purchased struggling brands before — including Polaroid and Ritz Camera & Image — and made notable inroads in reviving them.

What They Are Saying:
“Thanks to the changing times and in-flight Wi-Fi, the once iconic travel-related brand became less relevant and more entertaining,” said Chaim Pikarski, executive vice president of C&A Marketing. “While items like life-size yard gorillas are interesting to look at, they’re not usually the kind of impulse or insightful purchase that will resonate with travelers. Our goal is to bring the SkyMall brand back to its roots, back to the brands, products and technology that relate to all travelers."