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In-flight catalog SkyMall files for bankruptcy

Skymall magazine
Source: SkyMall

Finding it hard to flourish in a smartphone-dominated world, the parent company of in-flight catalog maker, SkyMall, has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a court filing on Friday.

Xhibit Corp, the publicly traded company behind SkyMall LLC and several other subsidiaries, said it's facing a severe liquidity crisis and would look to sell its assets as a going concern. Shares of Xhibit, which has a market cap of about $8 million, surged 43 percent on the over-the-counter market after the announcement.

SkyMall, once the sole catalog provider for airline passengers, has faced increased competition from e-commerce providers, such as Amazon.com and eBay.com.

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The SkyMall business generated revenue of about $33.7 million in 2013, but only $15.8 million for the nine months ended September 28, 2014.

CEO Scott Wiley called the company a victim of evolving technology, dogged by the increased use of electronic devices on planes.

"The direct marketing retail industry is crowded, rapidly evolving and intensely competitive," the company said. Citing its lack of narrowly lack of narrowly tailored product offerings, the company said it battles competitors who have "greater, or vastly greater, resources, longer histories, more customers, and higher brand recognition."

The company will seek to sell assets as a going concern and will attempt to "sustain their scaled-down business operations as a going concern."

SkyMall did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.