Sharper Image has just filed for Chapter 11 protection in what appears to be a new wave of retail bankruptcy filings as folks roll back their spending due to the housing market and the tightening of credit. As a result, Sharper Image cannot honor gift cards purchased pre-bankruptcy. It is likely during the next two years that some of our favorite retailers and restaurants may gave to seek Chapter 11 protection and the same things will happen to other popular store and restaurant gift cards.
So, rather than buying gift cards at specific retailers, it may be better to purchase Gift Cards from Visa, AmEx, or Mastercard that can be used anywhere. Additionally, if Visa or Amex goes belly-up then our entire banking system is probably belly up as well, and you probably won’t be worried about the silly gift cards as you try to stock your home with ammunition and canned goods. So, I think these type cards are a fairly safe bet for gift giving, and are available all over the place, including at most drug stores and supermarkets.