A.C. Moore stores set to close with Michaels taking over some locations

It's a sad day for crafters.
HICKORY, NC, USA-20 AUG 2018: An A.C. Moore store, a retailer selling arts and crafts supplies.
A.C. Moore will close all stores in the coming months.Alamy Stock Photo

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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

It's the end of an era for A.C. Moore shoppers.

The arts and crafts store announced that it will close all of its retail locations in the coming months, much to the chagrin of its crafty customers.

The store's parent company, Nicole Crafts, broke the news in a press release, revealing that economic pressures and an evolving shopping landscape played a part in the store's decision to close.

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"For over 30 years, our stores have been servicing the creative community with a vast selection of art and craft materials, with one common focus, the customer. Unfortunately, given the headwinds facing many retailers in today's environment, it made it very difficult for us to operate and compete on a National level," Anthony Piperno, A.C. Moore chief executive officer, said in a press release.

As the company's 145+ stores prepare to shut their doors, A.C. Moore's website will share information, but it has stopped accepting new online orders.

"During this process, we will continue to provide great customer experience, while still delivering quality and value on your favorite products. Plans for closing specific A.C. Moore locations will be shared in the upcoming weeks on our website. While we will stop accepting further online orders as of today, we will ship any previously placed orders in the ordinary course," Piperno said.

Since opening its first store in Moorestown, New Jersey, in 1985, A.C. Moore has expanded its reach to include more than 145 stores and over 5,000 employees. The family-owned company is known for specializing in knitting, framing, scrapbooking, cake decorating and other crafty supplies.

Michaels, a well-known A.C. Moore competitor, will assume leases for as many as 40 A.C. Moore storefronts and an East Coast distribution facility. Michaels will also purchase some of A.C. Moore's intellectual property.

"This transaction enables us to further expand our presence in strategic markets and serve even more customers both online and in store. We are looking forward to reopening these stores under the Michaels name in 2020 and welcoming new team members," Michaels CEO Mark Cosby said.

Even though A.C. Moore will no longer be around, its legacy and some of of its products will certainly live on in Michaels stores. And for Piperno, that's welcome news: "While it was a difficult decision for us, this transaction will result in a group of stores reopening under the Michaels banner subject to negotiations with landlords — allowing teams to continue serving the brand's loyal customers and employ our valued team members in those locations. We believe the transaction was the best option for our employees, customers, vendors, landlords, and other key stakeholders and thank them for their many years of support."

A.C Moore joins fellow retailers like Charming Charlie, Dressbarn, Payless, Topshop and Charlotte Russe among others, who have also shut their stores down this year.