The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on March 23, 1983 · 33
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 33

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 23, 1983
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Wed., Mar. 23, 1983 S.F. EXAMINER D1 San Jfratuiw lixamtac r Want Ad Supermarket ' SECTION SHOP ALL MACY'S LATE THURSDAY Chapin Dwight !J ' j""1 wmmtm lis f ui ipsinly TIHlSZmt )w. m" ' I .1 The cost of his toys RATHER THAN a skeleton in his closet, Richard Thalheimer has a suit of armor in his office. He's never worn it "It's too small," he says. "If I got into it, I couldn't get out." But he looks at it a lot because it reminds him of his boyhood fantasies and symbolizes a whole series of winning Jousts that have led him to the top of the mail-order business through grownup toys and gadgets. . Thalheimer, who is 35 occasionally going on 15, runs The Sharper Image, a San Francisco-based catalog sales operation that in roughly half a dozen years has gone from a quarter-of-a-million-dollar gross to a $60-million-a year gross and in 1983 is heading for $100 million. One other statistic to impress you: The Sharper Image's sales last year put it in 15th place on Inc. Magazine's list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country. I think you can trace this success to Richard Thalheimer's keen, restless, curious mind and to the fact that, as a kid, he was never easily satisfied. When he was in his early teens, Thalheimer worked in a toy department for his father, a Little Rock, Ark., merchant. "I always got an incredible sensation showing people toys and explaining how they worked," he says, "and making them say, 'Gee, whiz.' But whenever I took toys home, I'd get tired of them really fast and move on to something else." v i. . THALHEIMER FELT the same, for a while, about careers. Educated at Yale and Hastings College of the Law, he was an attorney for six months but dropped his practice, took a $129 mail order course and sold door to door. In 1977 he put a $200 ad in a runners' magazine and made $300. He then spent $2,000 to make $3,000 and so it went, up into the financial stratosphere. He now has a staff of 160 people, most of whom Will be brought into a fancy central office at the , Golden Gate Commons in September. That will real- ; ize one of Thalheimer's dreams, but he has another. "Reaching the billion-dollar corporate level," he ' says, "with branches in different countries, suites in major cities around the world, private jets. But it's ' not really the money or the jets I'm thinking about. They're simply board pieces that you use to advance : yourself toward the finish of the game. There's no question human beings are problem-solving creatures. I'd like to get to the end of the game, then move on to a new one entirely, maybe own a resort where I could combine business and social lives and start a family" (he's a lifelong bachelor). ' Thalheimer understands limits. He's a runner with a great deal more spirit than skill. "In marathons I come in behind people 20 or 30 years older than I am," he says, "but that doesn't bother me at all. I'm just glad I finish." IN BUSINESS IT'S different. When it comes to buying and selling unusual toys or peddling - them via catalog or his year-old cable television show Thalheimer usually finishes first. ", It might be with a suit of armor ($2,450 for a Spanish-made reproduction as opposed to the $10,000 ' or $20,000 it would cost for an authentic model used on a 16th-century battlefield). It might be with a crossbow with telescopic sights ($298); a Gravity Guider, from which to hang upside down and soothe an aching back ($429); an unmounted, 16-carat blue topaz ($199); or a Superheterodyne radar detector to outfox highway patrols (also $199). Thalheimer has the final say on the selections. He's a master at gauging the executive mind at play, at anticipating the trends and gambling on the right gimmicks. For example, there's the portable, cordless telephone, now being hawked almost everywhere you look. Thalheimer first featured it two or three years ago. "We're not offering houses or cars or basic wardrobes," he says, "but the other material manifestations that fit a person's lifestyle ornamentations, personal accessories, things people always wanted but never thought they could afford." The natural comparison is with Neiman-Marcus. Thalheimer winces. "Not the same at all," he says. "Yes, the things we sell are somewhat expensive, but I think we have a much better benefit-to-value ratio. In fact, I think we have terrific values." Family Circus "Look, Mommy! Think I could get into a 'Shout it out' commercial?" 1 Spring is in the air, Easter is almost here, and Thursday acres of white flowers will be blooming at every Macy's. Come pick your share of 1-day reductions from stock plus special purchases and clearance items on sale while quantities last. Sorry, no mail or phone orders. Use your Macy's charge account or The American Express" Card. . i 7 "fed? All 2-pc. spring dresses for J.R.'s in carefree polyester rayon or polyestercotton blends. Choose styles with Mandarin and pointed collars and contrast piping in spring colors, sizes ! 3-13. Reg. 4400-68 00. sale 31.00-51.00 JR.'s (d. 215) - all Macy's Save 20 on all regular price street length missy and petite dresses. Jacket dresses, floats and more.' Silks, woven linens, polyester crepe de chine, georgette and sheers. Missy and petite sizes 4-18. reg. . 40.00-200.00. 32.00-160.00. Misses' and Petite Dresses (d. 134), 50. 56. 135. 138. 150.698)-' all Macy's ' Save 30 on georgette blouses of polyester in solids, stripes and patterns. Choose notch or ruffle collars and bow styles, sizes 6-16. Form. 24.00-35.00, -16.80-24.50. Traditions (d. 184) -all Macy's: S.F. 4th fl. Save 25 on all denim jeans in Young Collectors. Choose from a collection of styles in 100 cotton, sizes 6-16. Reg. 20.0-39.00. 15.00-29.25. Young Collector Jeans (d. 619) all Macy's Save 30 on all J.R. coordinates at regular price. New spring arrivals from famous makers: shorts, tees, jackets, pants, blouses, knit tops and skirts. Find wills, sheetings and pincords in cotton and cottonpolyester. Sizes 5-13. Reg. 12.00-78.00, 8.40-54.60 J.R.'s (d. 133) - all Macy's 25 off Clubhouse sportswear: selected blazers, skirts, pants and blouses in fresh spring colors, sizes 6-16. Group, reg. 51.00-130.00. 38.25-97.50 Selection varies by store. Clubhouse Sportswear (d. 176) - all Macy's Save 30 on all better jr. active spring jackets. Styles include blocks of cola solids that reverse o versucker or plaids, sweatshirtS'that reverse to poplin. Poplin or chintz in polyester cotton and cotton denim. Colors include bolds, pastels and white, S-M-L or 5-13. Not all styles in all stores. Reg. 35.00-64.00, 30 off J.R.'s (d. 119) - all Macy's Save 20 on all California lifestyle casual unit bottom wedges from names like 9-West, Sbicca, Cherokee, Bass. Sizes 5-9 and 10M. Reg. 35.00wJ5.00. 28.00-36.00 Women's Shoes (d. 20L) - all Macy's Save 20 on all Macy Woman dresses at regular prices. New spring career, casual and dressy looks, sizes 1416-22 and 36-44. Reg. 42.00-126.00, 33.60-100.80. Macy Woman (d. 78) -all Macy's except San Rafael 40 off 14k gold earrings: wide choice of hoops. French wires and posts, reg. 21.00-115.00. Real Jewelry (d. 629) -all Macy's 34 off famous maker fleece wrap robe in Dacron polyester. With satin piped trim, lapels, cuffs and patch pocket. Burgundy, wood rose, cornflower blue and pastel blue, P-S-M-L. Reg. 46.00, 30.00. Robes (d. 64) - all Macy's mam ci IKS? Save 25 on smart crochet mesh pullover with dolman sleeves and V-neck. In fresh spring colors of white, arctic blue, calypso pink, turauoise and red. S-M-L. Not all colors in all stores. Form. 2500, sale 18.75. Traditions (d. 94) - all Macy's: S.F., 4th floor 40-50 off sheet clearance. Flat and fitted styles by famous makers in no-iron percale of coftonpolyester. Solids and prints, but not all patterns in all stores. Limited quantity. Twin, orig - 9.00-1300, sale 4.50 Full, orig -11.00-16:00, sale 7.00 Queen, orig -16.00-24.00. sale 9.00 King, orig - 18.00-32.00, sale 11.00 Std. cases, pr orig - 11.00-13.00, 5.00 King cases, pr, orig - 12.00-15.00, 6.00 Sheets (d. 92) - all Macy's Intermediate markdowns were taken. Save 20 on all athletic footwear for women and children infants too. Jog in for sizeable savings on these sizes: women's, growing girls', big boys', children's and infants'. Not all styles in all stores. Reg. 14.00-45.00, sale 11.20-36.00. Children's Shoes (d. 88L) -all Macy's except San Rafael 25 off boys' Robert Bruce sweaters in 100 acrylic, with V-neck. Tan heather, navy, light blue, Oxford gray, chablis and shale, sizes 8-20. Reg. 20.00, 15.00 Boys (d. 74) - all Macy's 20-50 off lightweight jackets for infants and toddlers. Sizes 2T-4T and 12-24 mos. Reg. 14.00-18 00. 11.20-13.50 Infants and Toddlers (d. 65. 61) -all Macy's Save 25 on knit mini skirt sets, separates and dresses. Choose stripes and solids in polyestercotton. Girls' 4-6X, reg. 6.50-24.00, 4.55-19.20 Girls' 7-14. reg. 10.00-28.00, 7.50-21.00 "Teens' 6-14, reg. 14.00-30.00. 9.80-24.00 Girls (d. 51, 57, 148, 186) - all Macy's Teens' not in San Rafael ' S? "r Save 30 on selected knit T-shirts in 100 cotton. Fresh new toppings. We show just one, a boatneck style. Also fine styles with long and short sleeves. V-necks, crewnecks, banded bottoms and button detailing. Spring stripes and solids, S-M-L. Not all styles in all stores. Reg. 1600-27 00. 11.20-18.90. Young Collectors (d. 168) - all Macy's mmmm Supremacy 19" diagonal color TV offers a superb picture plus the reliability and high performance needed to pass Macy's tough Bureau of Standards. Features one-button automatic fine tuning that adjusts color and tint. Matrix picture tube assures clear, sharp image. Supremacy warranty guarantees repair$ and vos at ro cost for two years. 22SF Reg. 37900, 299.00. Pay as little as 30.00 a month." TV Center (d. 223) all Mucy's "IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Purchase this merchandise on Macy's new Top Account! Minimum purchase, 300 00. With no down payment, your minimum monthly payment will be 1 20 of the new balance in the billing period in which you made your last purchaseTbut not less than 20.00. Advertised payments include sales tax, but do not reflect delivery, installation, or other incidental charges, other purchases, or existing balance. mmm 20 off all short sleeve knit shirts. T-shirts, novelty and fashion tops in 100 cotton, cotton polyester, cotton rayon. Styles vary by store. S-M-L-XL. Reg. 9 00-26.00. 7.20-20.80. Tiger Shop Knits (d. 104) - all Macy's 20 off all spring casual woven pants. Belted and elastic waist styles in 100 cotton and cotton polyester, sizes 29-36. Styles vary by store. Reg. 2600-38.00, 20.80-30.40 Tiger Shop (d. 181) - all Macy's 25 off Progressions outerwear for young men. Lightweight styles for spring in 100 cotton and polyester cotton. Not all styles or colors in all stores S-M-L-XL. Reg. 4500-5200. 33.75-39.00. Tiger Shop Outerwear (d. 606)'- all Macy's macy $ ; - .;; :.:-'": ::. ;'V':: : ".( V3- '. Save 25 on all men's striped golf shirts. Choose from many designer styles in a variety ot fashion colors in 100 cotton and polyester cotton. S-M-L-XL. Reg 21 00-4500, sale 15.75-33.75. Styles vary by store. Men's Knit Shirts (d. 164. 39) - all Macy's mm 25 off Stratojac reversible poplin jackets. Classic baseball styling Outer shell of 65 polyester 35cotton, inner shell of 100 nylon. With acrylic knit cuffs, collar and waistband. Sizes 38-46 Reg. 4500, sale 33.75. Mens Outerwear (d. 113) all Macy's Save 30 on Macy's own all leather shoes imported from Italy Tie or sNp-on in black or brown. Sizes 7y,-li, 12M. Reg. 60.00, sale 42.00. Men's Shoes (d. 46) - all Macy's Save 30 on all men's rainwear. Just in time for spring vacation or your next business trip! Choose from many famous names including London Fog", Misty Harbor and Christian Dior. Not all styles in all stores, so shop early Reg. 100.00-22500, sale 70.00-157.50 Men's Rainwear (d. 102) - all Macy's Save 25 on all Nike' actlvewear for men and women, including our new spring styles and colors! Select from T-shirts, shorts, sweatsuits and sweat separates in men's and women's sizes. Reg. 8.00-49.00, 6.00-36.75. Styles may vary by store. Sporting Attire (d 38) -all Macy's except Birdcage and San Rafael l I F N I Save 50 on Alvarez Acanthus white dinnerware. Dishwasher and microwave oven safe 5-pc. place setting, reg 1795. sale 8.98 Save 50 off regular prices on all serving pieces, too. Fine China (d 15) all Macy's Save 50 on our imported flatware sets in stainless steel and silverplate. . .and get a bonus storage chestl Choose from three patterns. Spring Flora or Pearls in stainless steel and Kings' Era in silverplate. Stock on hand only. Reg. 250.00-450.00. sale 125.00-225.00 Silver Flatware (d. 4) - all Macy's Towel clearance! First and second quality towels in assorted designs and colas. Shop early for first pick! Bath, 4.50; hand, 2.00; washcloth, 1.00 Towels (d. 91) - all Macy's Comforter clearance! Assorted styles by famous makers with covers of pdyester cotton and 100 polyester fiberfill. Florals and geometries in twin, full queen and king sizes. Not all styles or sizes in all stores. Ail sizes 35.00 Comforters (d 259) - all Macy's 50 off Revere' 7-pc. cookware set. Long-life stainless steel with copper a stainless steel bottoms, phenolic stay-cool handles and hang-up nngs. Includes 1 and 2-qt. covered saucepans. 4Vi-qt. Dutch oven with cover. 9" open skillet. Open stock value 127.00, sale 50.00 Cookware (d. 11) - all Macy's

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