A.C., a New Jersey-based arts and craft retail chain, has closed its 145 stores. Yesterday, Nicole Crafts, the parent company of Moore Crafts, announced that Moore’s 145 stores will be closing. Michaels will take over 40 of these locations. The company said that plans for closing will be revealed in the coming weeks. Online orders will no longer be accepted by A.C. Moore immediately. The company stated that orders previously placed will continue to ship. The release stated that Michaels, America’s largest retailer of arts and crafts, will take over leases for up to 40 stores and a lease at an East Coast distribution center. It will also purchase intellectual property from A.C. Moore.
Total Retail’s View: Another setback for the industry during a difficult year for brick-and-mortar retailers. According to Coresight Research, nearly 9100 store closings were announced in 2019, a 55% increase over the previous year. It is evident that traditional retailers must adapt to the changing needs of today’s omnichannel customers. They are moving between channels during their purchasing journeys and view stores as more than just a place where they can transact. A.C. Moore’s failure to compete nationally with Michaels, its primary competitor, and online with companies such as Etsy or Amazon.com sealed its fate.
Toys R Us returns with two new stores for the holidays
CNBC reports that Toys R Us will open two new stores in the holiday season. After the company’s liquidation last year, closed all its stores, the redesigned storefronts signify the iconic toy brand’s return to brick and mortar retail. The first of the two smaller-format, permanent Toys R Us stores debuts Saturday at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey, and the second will open in early December at Simon Property Group’s The Galleria in Houston.
There are many interactive options in the stores, including multiple play areas where children can test toys, a treehouse that kids can climb in the middle of the store; an event space to host in-store birthday parties and weekly public events. Toys R Us parent company Tru Kids joined forces with software retailer, b8ta in order to lease space within the store to toys brands and to install sensors in the ceiling for data collection on how shoppers and kids experience the store.
Total Retail’s View: Shoppers who live near the Toys R Us new stores will be drawn to them by curiosity, nostalgia, and a desire to find great deals. Smart strategy by the brand to re-emerge in physical stores during holiday season, as many parents and children still have few options when shopping for toys.
Tru Kids, a parent company, recognizes that consumers today expect more than just products from their stores. Richard Barry, President and CEO of Tru Kids, stated that the brand wanted to create an environment that was interactive. This will give it a boost in foot-traffic and elevate it above other retailers that sell children’s toys like Target and Walmart. Toys R Us has a long road ahead of it to regain its footing within the toys space. However, this holiday season should give the brand a significant boost.