Michaels to Close Nearly All Aaron Brothers Stores
Michaels Companies Inc will shut down 94 Aaron Brothers framing and art supplies stores, the largest U.S. crafts retailer said on Thursday. The arts and crafts retailer plans to make Aaron Brothers a store-within-a-store and to provide custom framing in all Michaels stores. Michaels owns and operates about 1,300 stores in the United States and Canada. Michaels acquired Aaron Brothers in 1995, when the frame retailer was a 71-store chain, expanding it over the years.
Total Retail's Take: This represents yet another case of a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer succumbing to the pressure being exerted on it by online competitors. However, Michaels isn't completely scrapping the Aaron Brothers concept. In an attempt to improve the experience offered in its namesake stores, Michaels will make available the framing services currently offered by Aaron Brothers via a store-within-a-store model. By offering custom framing within its stores, Michaels is betting that it can generate additional foot traffic. Furthermore, that traffic can be expected to make incremental purchases, perhaps while waiting for their photos to be framed. Retailers need to get creative with the in-store experience they offer customers. I give Michaels credit from trying to turn a negative into a positive. We'll see how it turns out.