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M's closing in our town

Jana

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dare I say it?... Michael's... is closing in Mansfield. Is this a trend around the country? I came back from the holidays and was surprised to find it out.
 
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tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
May be the new austerity.

Around here, two Home Depots that were scheduled to open in the past two years did not open, and a planned Walmart opening this Spring has been canned. Construction never even got off the ground.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
We should be seeing a lot more of this in the near future. While we compete against the BB's they have to compete against one another. Now if we just tighten the screws a little we can help drive them out of our towns.

There is a lot less business to go around now so lets take back our piece of the pie. Every little bit we eat up leaves them in even tighter credit situation. These BB's are heavily financed with loans and bonds that must be refinanced periodically and the cost is rising. A small amount of sales drop at any one store location could push that location over the edge.
 

couture's gallery

PFG, Picture Framing God
Hope it is a trend..like to see the one here go bye-bye.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Here's some interesting information gleaned from the Michaels website:

Michaels suffered a net loss for the quarter ended 11/1/08 of $20 million, compared to a net loss of $18 million for the same quarter of 2007. Net loss for the year through 11/1/08 was $70 million, vs. $85 million for the same period of 2007.

3rd Quarter sales decreased 3%, and same-store sales declined 6.5%. Sales for the year-to-date period were down 0.5%, and same-store sales declined 4.1% ytd.

I'd say the Mansfield store won't be the last M's to close its doors.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Now if there is any real Karma in the world LJ will go down for setting them up as our largest competitor.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I did not know this. Is that really true? It doesn't affect us directly because there is no M here, but that's pretty carppy of LJ if they do that.
Yes and then M's stabbed them in the back by going over seas and making their own mouldings. Its all Karma.
 

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Now if there is any real Karma in the world LJ will go down for setting them up as our largest competitor.
What is LJ's relationship with Michael's?
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
What is LJ's relationship with Michael's?
None anymore. After LJ set them up as our largest competitor M's skrewed them by going to less expensive manufacturers. Sweet justice.
 

johnny

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
LJ supplied Michaels with some of their classic line plus Imperial and Castellano from the Ponzio line for several years.

####, I hope the one here doesn't close. They raise the value of my framing business.
 

Maryann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
####, I hope the one here doesn't close. They raise the value of my framing business.
I was thinking about this last evening as a matter of fact........
Would Michael's closing be a good or a bad thing for our industry?

IMHO, it would be good but I suspect that I'm not seeing the big picture.
Most of us would like to see them fold**....but what would be the downside?

**I actually like the store, but would love to see the framing department with the always on sale framing go away.
 

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The only downside I see is that it's a further sign of our weakening economy and job losses. I'm sure someone will come up with others. If any employees lose their job, other frame shops will hire them as they get more business.

The only thing I really have against the company is the phony sales.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I suspect it would have a negative effect on our supply vendors, thereby affecting us in terms of availability and pricing... Much like the potential bankruptcy of the "big 3" automakers affecting parts manufacturers and other supply chain vendors, hurting relatively stronger companies like Toyota etc.
:kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I can't guarantee that I have my facts straight, so I have to watch my words: Michaels is a player in Ontario, and the same AOS stuff prevails. The Americans that are ticked off at LJ for their past dealings with M's are in the same boat as the indies up here that are ticked off with a Neilsen-Bainbridge subsidiary that is doing the same in Canada.

Small world.
 

Dancinbaer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The only downside I see is that it's a further sign of our weakening economy and job losses. I'm sure someone will come up with others. If any employees lose their job, other frame shops will hire them as they get more business.

The only thing I really have against the company is the phony sales.
I doubt the framing departments are making or breaking Michaels. If they are closing it's becouse the entire store is losing sales. If consumers aren't spending at Michaels, they ain't spendin' anywhere. Which means the frame shops are not going to get anybody's business and the M employees will just be unemployed.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
........
Would Michael's closing be a good or a bad thing for our industry?
For every BB Framing operation that closes there are half a dozen souls who will risk their savings and open independent frame shops.

Your competitive environment will stay the same or get worst.

Doug
 

johnny

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Those same-store sales decreases are the most worrying to them I'm sure. They got hit pretty hard. Joann's was going to put a store here in a new shopping center across the street from Ms but decided to abandon it because the Ms was not doing well.
 

Jana

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
We still have JoAnn's. Doesn't LJ supply them?

Hobby Lobby undercuts everyone with their pricing. They don't seem to be very good in the skill and design areas. I hope they go bye bye, too.

The Flower Factory that opened across from Michael's in a former K-Mart might have provided the kiss of death. They don't do framing though. I was there once and the place had the junkiest imports - rows and rows of junk. It was so depressing that I vowed not to go back.

Doug, you made me smile. I looked up the thread you referenced. What a happy day that was. I'm still having post-election disbelief syndrome. Can't wait 'til Inauguration Day. Then it will all be real.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
We still have JoAnn's. Doesn't LJ supply them?
Yes LJ supplies JoAnn's as well. LJ really stuck it to the people that they depended on for their take over of the framing world. In the past JoAnn's frame prices have been the same as the chop price from LJ. I've never used chops or LJ so it never affected me one way or another.

Hope they go down with the BB's.
 

phatgamera

Grumbler
I think the custom framing component is about 25% of M's sales, and in the newer stores they are moving the framing closer to the front of the store. IF an M's goes out, I think it's a mixed blessing: You'll get a piece of the pie back, but the profile of framing in your area will go down unless you're sitting on a ton of ad dollars you can safely burn.

If you do have an M's going under in your town, BUY THEIR MAILING LIST!!! We did that when Ben Franklin went out and it paid off bigtime. Snatched up their decent employees too.
 

etlock

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Friends, " be careful what you wish for, it may come true ! " I personally wish no ill will to any competitor or supplier in our industry.They motivate our drive to survive and our willingness to coexist ! Competition, good , bad, or ugly is what makes Sammy run !
Tom Pavlock
 

Sunshawn67

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
It's all crazyness....The M here refers customers to me and other competitors....they have absolutely no customer service at the frame counter. Thank the ones above. *high five*
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hope they go down with the BB's.
That is just not right! There are many of us (independent frame shops) that do just fine, profitably selling LJ's diverse line. They are one of the best companies in the industry both for there product line and to deal with. I, for one, don't begrudge them the right to offer quantity discounts to anyone - if I bought that volume I would get the discount, too. Ease up, Jeff! I usually have great respect for your posts here on the Grumble - this one is ill-considered.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That is just not right! There are many of us (independent frame shops) that do just fine, profitably selling LJ's diverse line. They are one of the best companies in the industry both for there product line and to deal with. I, for one, don't begrudge them the right to offer quantity discounts to anyone - if I bought that volume I would get the discount, too. Ease up, Jeff! I usually have great respect for your posts here on the Grumble - this one is ill-considered.
They are one of the largest factors in the huge increase in materials cost over the past decade. I personally can't stand them and their business practices. The problem is that after they put so many independant suppliers out of business the frame shops became addicted to their so called free delivery.

They killed competition at the wholesale level and then set up these mega stores. They could have done that with product lines that were not exact matches to those offered to the mom and pops. I would like to see a revival of independant suppliers that would then compete against one another which would brings prices back in line.

How many suppliers are they responsible for killing off in this industry. How many independant frame shops are they responsible for killing off through the BB's. Maybe if they had been a little more humble over the 30 years I've been doing this I might have a different point of view. Their reps have told me repeatedly over the last 30 years that I couldn't survive unless I did business with them. I can and I also offer much lower prices to the consumer by not patronizing them. Sleazy business is sleazy business.

Just my opinion.
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
They killed competition at the wholesale level and then set up these mega stores. They could have done that with product lines that were not exact matches to those offered to the mom and pops. I would like to see a revival of independant suppliers that would then compete against one another which would brings prices back in line.

Just my opinion.
Well, around here we have an independent supplier (with "free" delivery) that is doing just fine in competition with them. Their model as a consolidator of many lines serves Northern NJ just fine. They will also special order from companies like Presto, Roma and Gryphon, mouldings that are not in their regular line. There are other regional suppliers that are functioning well, too. There is no lack of competition around here. LJ's truck service is a blessing for supplies like glass, mats, FC, etc., for shops like mine that don't do enough volume to buy freight loads. You have the right to your opinion, but don't begrudge my right to a different view - especially when you wish one of my best suppliers to go out of business.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think the custom framing component is about 25% of M's sales, and in the newer stores they are moving the framing closer to the front of the store. IF an M's goes out, I think it's a mixed blessing: You'll get a piece of the pie back, but the profile of framing in your area will go down unless you're sitting on a ton of ad dollars you can safely burn.

If you do have an M's going under in your town, BUY THEIR MAILING LIST!!! We did that when Ben Franklin went out and it paid off bigtime. Snatched up their decent employees too.
"Proifile of framing", I like that. Any time a competitor closes, it's good for you because your slice of the pie gets bigger. Any negative consequences pale in comparison to getting a bigger slice of the pie.

As for Michaels selling you there list, forget about it. They won't, and it would be a bad business decision to do so. They'll try to pursuade customers to go to their next closest store. They would also have privacy concerns that would make it bad PR.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Well, around here we have an independent supplier (with "free" delivery) that is doing just fine in competition with them. Their model as a consolidator of many lines serves Northern NJ just fine. They will also special order from companies like Presto, Roma and Gryphon, mouldings that are not in their regular line. There are other regional suppliers that are functioning well, too. There is no lack of competition around here. LJ's truck service is a blessing for supplies like glass, mats, FC, etc., for shops like mine that don't do enough volume to buy freight loads. You have the right to your opinion, but don't begrudge my right to a different view - especially when you wish one of my best suppliers to go out of business.
I certainly wish your business no harm and I understand your need for them as a participant in your offerings. There are a lot of places around the country that have no other options. I bet that because there is competition left in your market that they give you some nice pricing.

I have 2 local suppliers delivering in my area so I have no need for an evil giant. These suppliers don't have very extensive moulding lines so I buy from manufacturers. The local suppliers do offer me great deals and delivery of matboard and glass.

I certainly wouldn't cut their throats to save a buck on a box of glass but I bet the giant can't save me a buck. I know they can't beat the price on matboard which I can buy 1 sheet at a time if I like and get my price. The primary local supplier sees the value of my business and works hard to keep it.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm no fan of Michael's either, but before you rub your hands in glee consider that each store closing puts a lot of people out of work.
Yes but would you rather have it being 10 independantly owned frame shops closing up.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The closest M's is about 12 miles from my shop (they recently opened). I buy some art and craft supplies there but it's never very busy. Also, I have never actually seen a customer or an employee at their framing counter. They have LJ moulding on the wall, but a very small selection. It's not marketed as LJ anyway. They also use the same mat suppliers as I do (why does everyone have a problem with LJ and not with the mat suppliers?)

I personally like LJ. I have customers come in that ask if I carry LJ moulding (due to their advertising in some of the better home decor magazines) and who are very pleased that I do.
I am lucky enough I guess that most of my customers wouldn't even consider going to a BB for their custom framing needs. They trust me, they like my designs and the personal touch that they would not get at any of the BB's.

I realize every one of us is in a different position, with a different customer base, so it's hard to compare.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I like having M's 2 miles down the road. Any customer that wants to question my prices is immediately directed down the street and told that they are running 50% off there.

I don't carry any LJ and my customers have never cared who makes the stuff once they see what I carry.

On another thread several Grublers mentioned that they had lost their discounts with LJ because their volume was down. Maybe its because the M's down the street has millions in their advertising budget and is selling the same thing as what is advertised to be 50% off.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In the current economic conditions I find it hard to be happy about anyone being out of work. High unemployment drags the economy down, and that affects us all.
I agree Dave but are you suggesting that we should all run down the street and have something framed by them. I buy stuff there all of the time but certainly not competing products advertised by sleazy and possibly illegal methods.

50% off what. Maybe 50% off of what you would have to pay Warren Buffet to do the work directly.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
I don't want the Michaels near me to close. I just want them to close their framing department. And while they are at it, they can move their Aaron Brothers store to the other side of the bay.
 

phatgamera

Grumbler
I buy stuff there all of the time but certainly not competing products advertised by sleazy and possibly illegal methods.
I'm a little confused here. You hate LJ enough to call them evil. You hate M's business practice, but don't mind buying craft stuff from M's. The "other than framing stuff" is 75% of their business. If you don't like them, don't buy from them.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm a little confused here. You hate LJ enough to call them evil. You hate M's business practice, but don't mind buying craft stuff from M's. The "other than framing stuff" is 75% of their business. If you don't like them, don't buy from them.
AC Moore is 2 miles further down the road so I just go to M's for doo dads. I think that the space used for the framing dept could be better utilized selling other products.

M's is just trying to do business the same as me but the whole 50% off of some pie in the sky ficticious number is just sleazy. It does allow me to asvertise "Save Up to 70% Everyday" and that is something I do live up to. Up to 70% off of M's regular prices.
 

etlock

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
All this animosity coming from a source that states " I've never used chops or LJ so it never affected me one way or the other. " ( then )

" I personally can't stand them and their business practices ."
?????????????
Tom Pavlock
 

j Paul

PFG, Picture Framing God
This from the Manfield Journal:

Michaels, which has been part of the community for more than 10 years, will close Jan. 31. Lance Weibye, the company’s senior director real estate, said, “Michaels evaluates new and existing store locations on an annual basis and makes strategic decisions to open or close stores as part of our normal business practice. In 2008 Michaels opened over 50 new stores. Michaels has enjoyed serving our loyal Mansfield customers and thank them for their patronage. Michaels continues to serve our northern Ohio customers with 10 stores in the Cleveland surrounding area and six stores in the Columbus area.”


So I wouldn't read to much into their closing a few select stores.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
All this animosity coming from a source that states " I've never used chops or LJ so it never affected me one way or the other. " ( then )

" I personally can't stand them and their business practices ."
?????????????
Tom Pavlock
In 30 years time they have come to me repeatedly and told me how I should run my business or others businesses that I was running. I don't need them or their reps but know a lot of business owners or reps that have been put out of business over the years as a result of their practices.

How much extra business have you received since they set up M's and JoAnn's to compete directly against you. How many independant reps do you see these days.

There are a lot of Moms and Pops working as greeters at Wally World because the BB's ate up all of their business.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
There is so much misinformation in this thread one wouldn't know where to begin...........I also agree being gleeful about the loss of jobs is not healthy.

I'd be very surprised if Michael's closed that the hoards of framing customers would seek out the independents. Most of them are seeking the perception of value not our expertise. They perceive the independents as expensive, most weren't our customers to begin with. Michael's got them on the perception of price you will have to do the same if you want thei customer base. It's a different breed of customer altogether.

I don't get all the LJ hate either. The indies are dropping like flies, I'm one of them. Is LJ supposed to sit back and not court new business? They are after all a business looking to make money. Nielsen/Bainbridge has sold their soul to the BB's lock stock and barrel and somehow you never hear any concerns about that.
 

MabSadie2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Although I love to bash the M's, I also just plain love LJ. I really really like their molding and I've never had one complaint about their customer service, which is saying a lot in times when my other suppliers can be clueless if not downright surly.

I'd be sad to see M's close if only for the empty real estate. Ours is in a strip mall with all the other BBs, between Borders and Ross and I'd hate to have buildings sit empty in our little city. Course they could just close the framing, that would be cool. I don't think any of us Bozzies would be too broken up if that happened. I might even need a framer here pretty soon, in spite of all the ignorant #### I posted on this very topic a few weeks ago.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
For every BB Framing operation that closes there are half a dozen souls who will risk their savings and open independent frame shops.

Your competitive environment will stay the same or get worst.

Doug
i would question that. we have had more shops disappear in the last few years than new shops arrive to take their places. people are retiring, this economy is playing havoc, and i don't see independents rushing in to start new framing shops where they will make a meager living for the love of it. i think we are becoming a rarer breed. good for some of us, but our suppliers will suffer, and therefore we will too.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
Although I love to bash the M's, I also just plain love LJ. I really really like their molding and I've never had one complaint about their customer service, which is saying a lot in times when my other suppliers can be clueless if not downright surly.
granted. now what can we learn from them? customers want service!
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
I don't want the Michaels near me to close. I just want them to close their framing department. And while they are at it, they can move their Aaron Brothers store to the other side of the bay.
ack! i have three already!
 

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
There is so much misinformation in this thread one wouldn't know where to begin...........I also agree being gleeful about the loss of jobs is not healthy.

I'd be very surprised if Michael's closed that the hoards of framing customers would seek out the independents. Most of them are seeking the perception of value not our expertise. They perceive the independents as expensive, most weren't our customers to begin with. Michael's got them on the perception of price you will have to do the same if you want thei customer base. It's a different breed of customer altogether.

I don't get all the LJ hate either. The indies are dropping like flies, I'm one of them. Is LJ supposed to sit back and not court new business? They are after all a business looking to make money. Nielsen/Bainbridge has sold their soul to the BB's lock stock and barrel and somehow you never hear any concerns about that.
I don't believe anyone here has expressed glee at the potential loss of jobs. Several, including me, have noted this as a concern. I am also concerned about the owners and employees of independents loosing their income/jobs due to the proliferation of the BB's.

The fact that "indies are dropping like flies" is not the fault of the suppliers, but of the companies that are able to manipulate the suppliers.

Regarding people needing something framed, if there's no big box around, do you think they would not have it framed? Would they leave it under the bed or go the thumb tack route? Some will but many would still want to get it framed and they would be pleasantly surprised to find that some of the independents are no more expensive than their favorite BB.
 

MabSadie2

PFG, Picture Framing God
granted. now what can we learn from them? customers want service!
When I have an issue with molding or mats that is going to inconvenience my customer, I get the best help from LJ. They don't pass the buck on what happened to my chop in shipping or whatever, they just overnight me a new leg. I appreciate that. We're out where we aren't close to any warehouses except Billings and the driving distances in our vast yet not populous state limit the number of companies that want to ship freight.

Maybe I just buy the hype, but I feel that they help me service my customers and that makes me loyal. And then out of the blue I got a call from my rep that they were doubling my credit terms over the holidays. Not that I need it, actually, but it's a far far far cry from suppliers that are putting the squeeze on small accounts like mine by limiting their risk and cutting their credit terms in half. Maybe they're a big fish a small pond, but I like this company a lot.

I can think of three companies offhand that could learn a thing or two from them, but I won't name names on the Grumble. Maybe they just don't like my voice or something, although I'm usually sweet as pie.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Where's your sympathy for the small framing businesses that lost more than a low paying job at the hands of the AOSFs and their phoney sales?

Where's your sympathy for the customers who thought they were saving 50% if they rushed in to buy a frame at Michaels this week before the sale ended on Saturday. The ones that didn't know that the price they paid was the regular price that they would be charged each and every week of the year.

I have sympathy for their employees because they have to look a customer in the eye and tell them, "It's on sale this week." I have more show some sympathy for the people who really deserve it and so should you.
 
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