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New Concept Michaels Stores

j Paul

PFG, Picture Framing God
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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.
I agree with those that say, we need to keep and eye on them / learn from them now more than ever.

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 )
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
They've done the new concept to one store here so far John, and it is in an older store. It's quite a change. I don't get it either because they have eliminated all fulltime positions in the stores and taken other measures to save money. I heard they were on the bankruptcy watch list too. Might be projects they had decided on and begun some time ago before biz slowed. We had buildings going up all over the place a few years ago for Eckerd Drugs, they were new here. Many of the buildings were built and ready for occupancy when Eckerd went bankrupt. Now most of the buildings are Walgreens.
 

imaluma

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think the rise in popularity of self decorating and home improvement shows has a bit to do with why M's would do this. To take something that is a destination department only, and shift into another attractive impulse buy. It might make people feel more like high end design they see on tv is more accessible than they think. Especially when they are shopping at M's in the first place looking for materials for DIY projects, and suddenly see this oasis of style.
 

danny boy

PFG, Picture Framing God
..."the oasis of style"... Very well put. I love the design and am continuing to upgrade my little store. So much to learn from so many. We should never close our eyes, not for even one moment.
The good, the bad, and the ugly. Everyone has something to teach us.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
... It's quite a change. I don't get it either because they have eliminated all fulltime positions in the stores and taken other measures to save money. ...
Interesting point. If the chains decide to rely on the customer to select their own mats and frames, it will be the best thing that ever happened to indies. The likelihood of a customer regretting their choice is so great that they may never do it again. Too much risk. They'd have better odds buying a lottery ticket.

We talk about having an advantage in the area of customer service, but it's really our design skills and training that seperates us from a Michaels more than anything.

BTW, this is why one should never give out a quote that includes the design specs. Always encrypt it, or leave off the specs except on your copy, which remains on file.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Very interesting thread.

If I look at the majority of my customers, they want to be served. They come in and ask for advice. What color will work, what kind of frame. I have a few customers that will design themselves, but lots of times they value my input because most of them cannot make that final decision by themselves.

Now, I can only compare with the M's closest to me and what I have observed there.

The framing department, by looks alone, looks very upscale and promising. But you don't see any sales representatives around. When you want something custom framed, usually someone else in the store has to find someone for you.
Then when you find someone, it's someone with no design sense or clues whatsoever, let alone some more extended knowledge.

This M's is a new store, moved in about 2 years ago if even that long ago. It doesn't seem to be doing very well. I don't think the employees are paid enough to care. Lots of young people, uninterested in their work or their customer.
 

couture's gallery

PFG, Picture Framing God
Very interesting thread.

If I look at the majority of my customers, they want to be served. They come in and ask for advice. What color will work, what kind of frame. I have a few customers that will design themselves, but lots of times they value my input because most of them cannot make that final decision by themselves.

Now, I can only compare with the M's closest to me and what I have observed there.

The framing department, by looks alone, looks very upscale and promising. But you don't see any sales representatives around. When you want something custom framed, usually someone else in the store has to find someone for you.
Then when you find someone, it's someone with no design sense or clues whatsoever, let alone some more extended knowledge.

This M's is a new store, moved in about 2 years ago if even that long ago. It doesn't seem to be doing very well. I don't think the employees are paid enough to care. Lots of young people, uninterested in their work or their customer.
I've noticed the same thing here with the new M that opened about 1.5 yrs ago...
they are not doing well, but then I don't know of any business in this area that is doing well except fo the bankruptcy lawyers and sign shops making going out of business banners.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I've noticed the same thing here with the new M that opened about 1.5 yrs ago...
they are not doing well, but then I don't know of any business in this area that is doing well except fo the bankruptcy lawyers and sign shops making going out of business banners.
The strange thing is, right across from the new M is an A.C.Moore craftshop (it's really right across the parking lot). They have been there for years, just expanded their space also not too long ago.
I always see more people at the AC than at M. To me, AC has a friendlier atmosphere.
 

BILL WARD

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
looks a bit 'cramped' (the pic angle may increase this effect?) but I like the overall effect(REALLY REALLY beats the small 4'long 2'wide counter with the overhead eclosure -looking like a carney operation-of the one around here)----EXCEPT for that BIG/DUMB/WHITE ceiling support!!!!!!!! necessary to keep the roof up there but a very big eyesore and ALWAYS in the road--shame they couldnt move it a few feet.
 

danny boy

PFG, Picture Framing God
I am not sure how they are using it. Or even the physical layout. All I have seen is a picture that has been passed around.
I do know that the colors are warm and inviting. The furniture adds comfort and probably function. The frame halo thing even looks cool.
Is this the new trend for M's? I don't know. While it work? Time will tell. Can we learn from what they are doing? You betcha. Times are changing. Technology has so much to offer. Service is king.
My eyes are wide open. I am going to learn from those around me so I can not only survive these trying times, but come out stronger, leaner and looking good.
We are all our own managers. If we keep doing what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got...
 

Smile with Style

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Forgive me if someone has said this already. But I get the impression that they are trying to emulate you: a store front frame shop. The fact that it is boxed in, to create 3 walls. The different flooring to give the space definition. Even the signage above it similar to a store front sign; not the usual hanging department store sign. It looks like it is designed to get them out of the endless ailses of the big box and into a quieter space to focus on their customer.
 

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
That's a very astute observation Carol. I think you've nailed the look they are going for.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
So far my local M's hasn't done the makeover. They have the framing packages displayed, with colored bands on each moulding sample, and of course all those prices are 50% off...THIS WEEK ONLY!!
 
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