Crafts store AC Moore will shutter the entirety of its locations, according to an announcement made by the company this week.
The New Jersey-based firm said it will close down more than 145 stores across the United States. Most of the stores are located across the East Coast.
“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, chief executive officer of AC Moore, said in a statement.
The firm said it stopped accepting online orders as of Monday and will provide more details about closures in the coming weeks.
“During this process, we will continue to provide great customer experience, while still delivering quality and value on your favorite products,” Piperno added.
He said that Michaels will assume leases on about 40 store locations across the United States.
Michaels CEO Mark Cosby stated, “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 re-opening these stores under the Michaels name in 2020 and welcoming new team members.”
Piperno said the decision is a difficult one to make but it is ultimately the right move.
“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,” he said.
Piperno didn’t elaborate on exactly when the stores are scheduled to close down.
The firm added that it has hired the advisory firm Gordon Brothers to help close down the AC Moore stores.
According to the release, AC Moore has offices and distribution centers in Moorestown, New Jersey, Chicago, Illinois, as well as Ningbo, China. It’s not clear what will happen to those centers.
Transformco, the company that owns Kmart and Sears, posted a list of locations that are slated to close by February 2020, including 51 Sears and 45 Kmarts.
They are scheduled to close starting on Dec. 2, the firm said in a statement made earlier this month.
Since early 2019, when Transformco took over the two flagging retailers, it “has faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges.”
“We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors. To support these initiatives, our owners (along with a third-party investor) have recently provided the company approximately $250 million in new capital,” the company wrote, adding that after the 96 stores are shuttered, it will operate only 182 Kmart and Sears locations.