A.C. Moore closing all of its stores including 10 in Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery counties

BERLIN, N.J. — Another national retailer with multiple stores in this region has announced it is closing its doors.

A.C. Moore — a specialty retailer offering arts and crafts supplies — will close all 145 stores it operates, as its parent company Nicole Crafts exits retail operations. The company has 5,000 employees.

The closing will affect 10 A.C. Moore stores in Berks (2), Chester (2), Delaware (1) and Montgomery (5) counties.

No details were provided on when and how the stores will be closed.

Anthony Piperno, chief executive officer of A.C. Moore said plans for the store closings will be posted on the company’s website “in the upcoming weeks.”

Locally, A.C. Moore operates stores in the following locations:

• Town Square Plaza, Temple, Berks County

• Berkshire Mall West, Wyomissing, Berks County

• Brandywine Square, Downingtown, Chester County

• West Goshen Town Center, West Goshen, Chester County

• Broomall Plaza, Broomall, Delaware County

• Upland Square Shopping Center, West Pottsgrove, Montgomery County

• The Court at Upper Providence, Upper Providence, Montgomery County

• Valley Forge Marketplace, Norristown, Montgomery County

• Montgomeryville Plaza, Montgomeryville, Montgomery County

• Willow Grove Shopping Center, Willow Grove, Montgomery County

"For over 30 years, our stores have been servicing the creative community with a vast selection of art and craft materials, with one common focus, the customer. Unfortunately, given the headwinds facing many retailers in today's environment, it made it very difficult for us to operate and compete on a national level,” Piperno said in a press release.

Effective on Monday, Nov. 25, the company stopped accepting online orders, but has pledged that it will ship any orders that were previously placed.

“During this process, we will continue to provide great customer experience, while still delivering quality and value on your favorite products,” Piperno added.

The company has struck a deal with Michaels Companies Inc. that will impact the fates of 40 A.C. Moore stores. Michaels will assume leases for up to 40 store locations, according to the release. In addition, the company will assume the lease on an east coast distribution facility and will purchase intellectual property which will allow the company that is expected to enhance its position as the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America.

"This transaction enables us to further expand our presence in strategic markets and serve even more customers both online and in store. We are looking forward to re-opening these stores under the Michaels name in 2020 and welcoming new team members," Mark Cosby, Michaels CEO, said in the release.

There was no information provided on which A. C. Moore stores might be acquired by Michaels and when that may occur.

"While it was a difficult decision for us, this transaction will result in a group of stores reopening under the Michaels banner subject to negotiations with landlords — allowing teams to continue serving the brand's loyal customers and employ our valued team members in those locations,” Piperno said.

Requests for additional information from A.C. Moore and Gordon Brothers, a Boston firm that has been retained to close the A.C. Moore stores, were not responded to by press time.

The Berlin, N.J.-based A.C. Moore first opened in 1985 in Moorestown, N.J. IN addition to the company headquarters; the company operates two distribution centers in N.J.

Email business story ideas to business editor/writer drovins@21st-centurymedia.com.

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