New Jersey-based arts and crafts retail chain A.C. Moore will close its 145 stores, its parent company Nicole Crafts announced in a news release yesterday. Up to 40 of the closing locations will become Michaels. According to the company, plans for the closings will be shared in the upcoming weeks and the A.C. Moore website will stop accepting online orders immediately. Previously placed orders will still ship, the company said. Michaels, the nation's largest arts and crafts retailer, will assume the leases of up to 40 stores, a lease on an East Coast distribution facility, and purchase A.C. Moore's intellectual property, the release said.
Total Retail's Take: Another blow to the industry in what has been a challenging year for traditional brick-and-mortar retail chains. Not including A.C. Moore, nearly 9,100 store closures have been announced in 2019, a 55 percent increase year-over-year, according to global marketing research firm Coresight Research. The evidence is clear that traditional retail chains must evolve their businesses to meet the needs of today's omnichannel shoppers, who are shifting between channels in the course of their purchase journeys, and increasingly view stores as more than just a place to transact. In the case of A.C. Moore, the company's inability to compete on a national level with its primary competitor, Michaels, as well as online with companies like Etsy and Amazon.com, sealed its fate.