MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Like I said, Michael's Custom Framing has changed in name only - same poor quality - same outrageous prices. The majority of their certified framers are high school or college students that really aren't framers. From what I have read, Aaron Brothers did not have a good reputation, sort of like Michael's and the only thing they have going for them is their 50% 60% & 75% that a mess of older people think is giving them a super deal. The younger people are smart enough to know that if Michael's/Aaron Brothers continually run those coupons that their product must be far overpriced. Us older retired people are pinching pennies and want to believe we are getting a good deal with those coupons. This week alone I have had 2 customers in here that first went to Michael's and then came to me. Both said they were treated poorly, the Michael's/Aaron Brothers recommend designs were terrible, quality of the moulding per Michael's corners were no where near the quality of my corner samples, and the prices with a coupon were horrendous. This was 2 separate customers that went to 2 different Michael's stores and they both said darn near the same thing. I have 4 Michael's, 2 Hobby Lobbies, and 2 Joanne's within a 5 mile radius of my shop but I will have to say they are not much competition. Bob, if I were you I would quickly dump their stockMichael's has owned Aaron Brothers since 1995. Same Michael's Custom Framing just a different name - same poor quality - same outrageous prices
Wow. Makes you wonder why they would locate their stores so close to ones they already have. Seems wasteful/repetitive. I have a hard time believing that the first ones there were "at capacity".I have 4 Michael's, 2 Hobby Lobbies, and 2 Joanne's within a 5 mile radius of my shop...
Rick, it is even worse than that. If I extend my radius to 8 miles I can count 5 Michael's, 4 Hobby Lobby, & 3 Joannes.Wow. Makes you wonder why they would locate their stores so close to ones they already have. Seems wasteful/repetitive. I have a hard time believing that the first ones there were "at capacity". Anyway, it would seem to vindicate your choice of location as a good market. Rick
Wouldn't one think that Sears, K-Mart and JC Penney had real site selection pros, and pros in every other department too? Just because they're big doesn't mean they don't make mistakes. GE, Wells, GM, etc. These are the same pros that bought Aaron Brothers in the first place.hey Rick might also mean stores are 10mi apart. depending on density, that might be pretty safe. these guys have real pros in site selections; mostly part of 'market place' clusters developed by huge scale developers surrounded by other typical 'well known' retailers. He easily could be in a good location. Joe is a good operator; wouldn't surprise me
my opinion: many framers do not have good locations. one of three hinderances
Bob, I think it is a changing market. Location for a frame shop doesn't really mean to much anymore because a frame shop is now a destination for the majority of the customers. My shop is in my back yard about 3 block from a shopping center. Customers are also looking for price and with the 50 - 75% off coupons Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joannes are getting some of that market. Even though with the BBs 50 - 75% off coupons most Custom Frame Shops are less or about the same cost for framing without a coupon. The average customer today is looking for a deal and they think just because some BB is offering those kinds of discounts they are getting a fantastic price. Well guess what, just this week alone I have had 2 NEW customers come to me that original went to Michaels and I was on one $70.00 and the other $130.00 less that Michaels. The word is out and people are starting to understand that if the BBs can continually offer those large discounts then they must be so far overpriced in the first place. I'm willing to bet that is why the Aaron Brothers stores were closed and brought into Michaels and I have a funny feeling that within a couple of years not every Michaels will have a framing department.hop in your car and drive to closest Michael's and see ho many vibrant centers you find. I can think of several frame shops that have closed in last couple of year. Location or changing markets? May I suggest bothIn this town, many AB's were in subpar locations
I could be wrong but just think about it. When the custom framing was popular the Hobby Lobbies, Michael's, Joannes, a few Walmarts, & a few other BB got into the framing business and put many frame shops out of business. Now that they are starting to hurt because of the online sales are taking away lots of their business I'm sure they are talking about how to get into the online market. If they do they will put many of the online business out of business and I believe that some of us small custom frame shops will again start seeing the customers that will not do the online framing. I believe that custom framing will again get very popular but only for those framers that can do the really nice custom work that cannot be done with the online sales. You can see that now, Aaron Brother (Michaels), Joannes, and Hobby Lobby only to the simple rectangle double mat or cheap look jersey frames, all of the really nice more complicated framing is coming to us. Just my prediction...I'm guessing you might be wrong on your prediction; but, never thought we would see the ranks of indies shrink so dramatically
1/25 ? That's only 4%. I visited a brand new Michaels a couple of miles from here, and it looked to me more like double that, not counting the back room area that they are still paying the same rent for per s.f.They do about 1/6 of their volume from framing depts in about 1/25 of the store footprint.