Richard Thalheimer, Chmn. and CEO of The Sharper Image

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 26, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Specialty retailer The Sharper Image does about 15 percent of its business online. But that number expected to keep on growing. Joining me now to talk about this holiday season, the company's founder and CEO, Richard Thalheimer.

Thanks so much for joining us.


BUTTNER: Well, you have more physical stores but you are seeing an increase in online sales?

THALHEIMER: Well, in December we saw about a 68 percent increase in online sales compared to total company increase of 28 percent. So that was this disproportionally large.

BUTTNER: Boy, I'm telling you, your stock has done amazingly even though in the last month it has had some troubles. It has been down about 20 percent. But you have done great over the last three years.

THALHEIMER: Thank you.

BUTTNER: What do you attribute that to?

THALHEIMER: Well, you know, we have continued to differentiate ourselves from other retailers by having original products. We focused more and more on practical, useful items, like our Silent Air Purifier.

BUTTNER: In fact, that was one of your top sellers, I think, the Ionic Breeze.

THALHEIMER: The Ionic Breeze is unusual because it doesn't use hardly any energy and yet it does clean air 24 hours a day, seven days a week in total silence.

BUTTNER: And, most of these are pretty big-ticket items. How much does that cost?

THALHEIMER: Three-fifty. But that is competitive with other air filters in the marketplace.

BUTTNER: And in the electronic locator for people who can never find, like me, their keys.

THALHEIMER: Now you can find it. That lets you just press a button and then your remote control or your cordless phone will beep to tell you where it is.

BUTTNER: These are really for the gadget lovers; right? I mean, that is what you are demographic is.

THALHEIMER: They are, but some of them are very mundane. For example, our nose hair trimmer, called Turbo Groomer, is one of our best-selling items. And it's hard to believe. We probably trim more nose hair than anyone.

BUTTNER: Is that is given as a gift?

THALHEIMER: Well, you always wonder, I guess.

BUTTNER: I think that would be a personal purchase. OK. And then there is the wine makers collection. That's another biggie this year?

THALHEIMER: Yes. Here again, we take unique products, we package them, and our packaging, 75 percent of our 500 million sales this year are done under The Sharper Image brand name, so we have differentiated ourselves from other retailers, which lets us improve our margins and continue to build our sales. This is the first year we passed the 500 million sales mark.

BUTTNER: Right. All right, well, continued success we wish you. Thank you again for joining us.

THALHEIMER: Thank you.

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