Lovers of weird tchotchkes can let out a huge sigh of relief: SkyMall is coming back!
There's just one problem—it's going to be a somewhat boring, more practical catalog. ScottVest, a former SkyMall advertiser, has plans to resurrect the company, but with a different business model. "We're going to include items in the magazine that people actually want to buy," CEO Scott Jordan told Yahoo! Travel.
“We’d not only include listings for, say, noise-canceling headphones, but also an article explaining how the technology actually works,” he said.
His partner, Jim Louderback, elaborated: “We’re going to make it an entertaining experience, a curated shopping journey targeted at real travelers and their interests.” Basically, an educational and practical catalog for frequent fliers.
On the bright side, the company has some pretty innovative ideas for the magazine. Taking advantage of supply-chain solutions, purchases could be delivered to your hotel room just hours after your plane lands. “Say you want to buy a digital camera to use on your trip. The partnerships and technology are there to have it delivered to your hotel the next day after you arrive,” Jordan explained. “The magazine could include a link to an online photography course to purchase during the flight, so you’re an expert on the camera and some new techniques by the time you land.” This is no underwater cell phone, but still a pretty cool idea.
Speaking of underwater cell phones and other nonsensical goods, Louderback promises that the catalog will still include some gag items as a nod to the original catalog. “We want the readers to continue to have the experience of the unexpected, of wonder, of delight, so you’ll be seeing stuff like the next pet rock, the new fake Google Glass-type gag, whatever may tap into that month’s zeitgeist,” he said.
The new and (arguably) improved SkyMall is slated to hit the seat back pockets this June, so keep an eye out!