PFG, Picture Framing God
I agree with those that say, we need to keep and eye on them / learn from them now more than ever.I
I think that Michael's and/or other big boxes sprucing up their locations will only help them.
Where will the cheaper customers go? ...still to Michaels (and Ben Franklins in our area) because there is no where else they can think to go. They could go to indy frame shops, but those "must be expensive". I think Michael's is trying to attract more affluent customers, and this change will probably help them do that. They won't lose the low end. They'll just gain the middle and upper end.
I'd say these changes are something to pay close attention to.
However, I wonder if that concept is going to be rolled out in all older existing stores? It would take a major face lift, inside and out to make that work on the two strores in our area. (Of course they could just move into some of the other empty big boxes arougnd here. There are always the empty Circuit City locations ) Also remember there have been some threads posted with links to articles that have Michaels on a watch list of merchants who are on the endangered list to survive the recession. (Home Depot tried upgrading with their Expo stores before they had to begin closing other locations )