Archiver’s to Close Mall of America Store, 4 others

Archiver’s announced on September 27th that they are closing five additional store locations, including their flagship Mall of America store, as part of their ongoing financial difficulties that lead to the bankruptcy that was filed in April.

In addition to the Mall of America store, Archiver’s is closing their Coon Rapids (MN), Gurnee (IL), Nashville (TN), and North Olmsted (OH) stores. The Mall of America store will close “mid-October” according to Archiver’s, and the other locations will close on October 20th.

This round of closures will bring Archiver’s down to only 33 store locations, a significant reduction after they started 2013 with 44 store locations. In February, the company’s Memphis store closed, leaving the area without a scrapbook retailer. This was followed in early April by Algonquin, Fort Wayne, and South Austin closing. Two Chicago area locations were then closed in June. And now, the five additional stores are closing in October – for a total of 11 shuttered stores in 2013, 25% of their locations lost this year.

Bankruptcy records show that Archiver’s met their sales goals for July and August but various factors, including heavy discounting, lead them to miss their financial goals for those months, and the company is still operating at an average net loss of over a half million dollars a month. September records have yet to be filed with the court and will be very important as they will contain the financials from Scrapfest, which is projected to help significantly.

The Mall of America store closure brings into question the future of Scrapfest, the massive scrapbooking event sponsored every September by the chain at the Mall of America and headquartered at their store in the mall. According to the company’s Facebook statement on the store closures, “We’d love to keep ScrapFest going, and are looking into all of the possibilities. We’ll keep you posted as we know more.”

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18 Responses to Archiver’s to Close Mall of America Store, 4 others

  1. Gela October 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Sad. We don’t have Archeivers in California but I hate to hear when a scrapbook store is closing. I guess business is moving more on line. I hope Srapfest continues.

  2. Itsybel October 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    What’s sad is that Archiver’s caused a lot of independent scrapbook stores to close, now they’re closing leaving scrapbookers with nothing.

  3. Darla Weber October 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Bring Scrapfest to West Des Moines, Iowa. We have an Archivers and I try to help out all I can. 🙂

  4. Josie October 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    I always love going to Archivers in Des Moines when I’m in town. I’m holding my breath they remain open. I just hate to hear about the closings.

  5. janschollj October 9, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    When I heard this story almost two weeks ago, I thought for certain the ones in Michigan were on the list to close. I was at the MOA store in May with my daughter in law and we did buy a few items BUT it was such a huge disappointment as I had been looking forward to seeing the flagship store for years. We were the only ones in the store. Not one person came up to us and asked us if we needed help or ideas or anything. Nothing was on sale or discounted that we could see, so I have no idea where that came from. I had hoped to visit the ones in Michigan for Halloween items but 80 minute drives to buy paper or stamps isn’t in my timeline right now. There are maybe two scrap stores still holding on in lower Michigan. And Archivers isn’t in that count. So I have a feeling we will hear more are closing soon.

  6. Dottie James October 9, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    While it is always sad to hear of a scrapbook store closing, I am really unsure why. If the online communities are any indication, the craft is as popular and strong as ever. I would be curious to hear Nancy’s opinions about why local scrapbook retailers, especially ones with the size and presence of Archivers, are having such trouble.

    Prevailing opinion used to be that Walmart and similar discounters were the issue. No longer. Their scrapbook and crafting stock has dried up to almost nothing. Likewise Michaels, which still has a fairly decent selection, seems to be shrinking the scrapbook and stamping section constantly and replacing tried-and-true lines with their own brand which is usually, at best, just ok in quality and no cheaper than the brands they discontinued. The fact that so much of Michael’s shelf space is now given over to craft storage indicates that we are still buying stuff somewhere and that many of us have significant space in our homes dedicated to crafting. The online communities that I follow show us to even be branching out into more traditional art media for some of our supplies, blurring the lines between scrapbooking as memory craft and scrapbooking as an art form.

    So what gives? Is this just a culture-wide pattern of convenience in retailing, turning to online purchases instead of running around town? Or is it unique to scrapbooking supplies? Nancy, you have many industry contacts and access to the big picture. What do you think?

  7. Carole Huxel October 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    I think it’s because young women just starting families do not scrap the way we older women did. They don’t buy special supplies, that’s from sure.

    • Natalie Blake October 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

      That’s absolutely not true, Carole. I’m a young woman and worked at two LSS’s (local scrapbook store). There are plenty of young people scrapbooking. I still believe that it is big box stores – Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-Ann’s, that are driving the LSS out of business. People expect those deep discount sales and coupons.

  8. Itsybel October 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I opened my independent scrapbook store 20 years ago last month and am still going strong. I have asked the 11 other scrapbook stores in my town that have closed up, why, and most of their reply was because it wasn’t as fun as they thought it would be, it was hard work and they just wanted a way to supply their hobby. Most scrapbook store owners–NOT ALL–had absolutely no knowledge of running a business, they just thought it would be fun to be able to scrap all day. Another reply was because they couldn’t compete with the large chains–again that would be lack of business knowledge, you can’t compete with the chains, so why try. I use the chains to bring me customers with their pretty ads and coupons–use their advertising budgets to bring customers into my store because they are cutting way down on their scrapbooking sections, because they are ‘Craft Stores’ NOT ‘Scrapbook Stores’, the craft stores are onto pushing crafts that have slid into the background of crafting. Yarn stores, jewelry/bead stores, fabric stores . . . they where all the rave when their specific craft was considered the ‘hot’ craft for the year, so it’s not something unique to Scrapbooking, it happens in all industries. And as you said in your post, the large chains/discounters are replacing scrapbooking manufacturer’s products with their own lines so they profit from retail sales and manufacturing costs. One major reason a lot of manufacturers have either sold/joined forces to larger manufacturers or closed up completely.

    Does the internet hurt small stores? yes, especially when the manufacturer opens their ‘discount sites’ but don’t offer the scrapbook retailer the same discounted prices so we can compete with them. I can understand their needing to add retail to their business with the large chains dropping them, or filling bankruptcy on what they owe them, but it does hurt the independent owners keep their local stores open. No local sales means no way to pay overhead.

    Personally, I still see Scrapbooking as a ‘hot’ craft. I’ve had from girl scouts to grandmas in the store scrapbooking . . . has styles changed, yes, the trend is more into quick pages or mini themed albums . . . but the industry pushing the arts has brought a different types of customers, including men, into the store too since their ‘art’ needs the same papers, pens, markers, etc that scrapbooker’s need. I still consider my store a ‘scrapbook store’ not a ‘papercrafting store’

    • Shawn October 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      I believe this comment to be dead on! I work in an independent scrapbook store in Washington state and could not agree more.

  9. Tammy W October 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    I am curious as to the parallels between the scrapbooking/stamping industry and that of quilting. There are peaks and valleys in every hobby. I see new quilt stores open up and then close a few years later. I would be interested in seeing how the scrapbook magazine/store growth and then slow down is similar to other crafts or hobbies.

  10. Robyn C. November 11, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I live in Minnesota and I am not surprised that Archivers is struggling. They have positioned themselves as a “premier” paper crafting store and their prices reflect it. Yes, they have some items that cannot be found in other stores but they are expensive – and could be purchased cheaper online. Over the last three years Archivers has progressively pulled more and more away from their customers. Their crop nights have gone from $20 for an evening with dinner and prizes and $20 merchandise voucher to $20 to use their work room (which you can do for free any other time) and get 20% off any purchase. Their coupons are not competitive with other stores in the area and it just feels like they have begun to charge for every little thing. I never felt valued as a long time customer who originally spent a lot of money in their store. I am sad that they are having financial trouble because I do enjoy having them as an option, however, I absolutely do the majority of my paper-crafting supply shopping elsewhere.

  11. Jeannie Hall November 29, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Wow ..reading all the above statements I believe all is true.

    When I’m on the road with my own business (insurance agency) I visit as many of the LSS owner’s in my travels be it near my home or hundreds of miles away. I’m always checking to see how the pulse of the businesses are doing ..

    I came across a unknown store (Archiever’s) Raleigh N.C. several years ago on a girls shopping weekend. Yes., like anything, hobbies (boating, flying, hunting, scrapbooking, etc) are not cheap and where ever people can save they will. Lets face it our pocketbooks are being being assaulted by the high cost of everything, health care, car insurance, the costs of maintaining our homes, food costs, fuel, etc ., and the local brick and mortar stores are getting less foot traffic and when their not getting people in the stores it’s hard to be purchasing new product for some of the small stores. When you see stores that have old product .. that’s more then likely the case why Walmart, Meijar’s, have down sized those departments to just the very basic items, glue dots, adhesive, basic paper., etc. It oosts money to stock product that doesn’t sell .. and old product costs you even more ..

    Yes, earlier in the year when we received the news that Archiever’s was reorganizing .. well it seemed like most other businesses are doing the same ., but like you all noticed, still the high costs of operating., salaries, brick & mortar leases, unsteady economy, health costs, etc .. and as you see some of the mfgr’s have come out with their own stores .. people doing most of their “running” online on the laptop near them .. humm how does that saying go., let your fingers do the walking ..

    I stopped by a LSS last week, the owner is planning on closing the first quarter of next year due to family issues and after 8 years of dedication to a little business in a small town where everybody knows your name, it will be sad to see it go. But let’s face it .. Like any new toy .. when it’s bright, shiny and new, it’s fun and exciting but after awhile it can get old, staignant and stale., not interesting to you or those you want to bring into your store. You have to reinvent yourself. Reinvent your “show” bring something new in to showcase. Showcase a different product each week & month but put a twist on it .. Get your customers ideas .. let’s face it .. if they don’t like something, they will tell you .. by either letting you know verbally or not tell you by not walking into your store.

    I’m very lucky to have 2 Archiever stores near me ..within a hours drive .. I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I go thru those doors ., always good lighting, new product displayed, staff that’s always willing to help you, samples of how product is being used, etc ..

    I’m always on the prowl (for a LSS) in my travels and next week I’ll be visiting one of my favorites in Berkley CA.

    After seeing the article about Archievers above, please remember your local scrapbook stores .. it costs money to keep these “special haunts” open for YOU ..

  12. Jackie Jones November 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I use to support the Archivers store in Katy regularly. Then they moved into the digital scrapbooking and photos. I can do that stuff on my own printer or order from Walmart. IMO they moved in the wrong direction. I hardly go there anymore. What made it special and unique has almost disappeared.

  13. Dottie Garcia December 1, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    The Archiver’s store I go to has also brought in digital scrapbooking and photos, but that doesn’t mean that the customer has to turn to those methods. My friends and I spend the whole day in their free workroom once a week, from the time it opens till the time it closes. Some of us scrapbook and some of us make greeting cards, some do photos. We get to socialize and give each other ideas, etc. The staff is very nice, and the manager will come in to see what we are doing, offer suggestions, shows us new things that have come into the store. She will also take us on a tour of the store to show us what has come in and where it is. There are also great samples of what you can do with different stamping sets, etc.

    I would really be lost if Archivers closed in our area….Chesterfield, Mo.

  14. SkrimpNSkrap December 5, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    While I think it is a shame to see local scrapbook stores shutting down, I have to admit, I’m a scrapbooker who never shops at them and am not likely to do so unless their approach changes. I checked out a few when I first started scrapbooking and my only thought was…too expensive and too boring. The product rarely changed, the sales rack never included anything good and I was finding I could get items just as cute between Marshall’s, Ross, TJ Maxx, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Michaels, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. Sure, at some of those big stores it was often a hunting expedition but that was part of the fun – always something different to see and I knew I’d get a good deal.

    I hope that struggling LSS owners are reading these comments…there are several good ideas listed – some by LSS owners which is probably why they are still in business. You need to keep it fresh and clearance out old product more frequently. Make it worth my while to stop in more often. I’m far more likely to start “craving” products I can only get at your store if I know that I might get a chance to grab them on sale. Heck, I might even pay full price if I fear they won’t last till the clearance rack but without the clearance rack, I just don’t have enough need to visit your store.

    As for the product companies that sell to these stores and then compete with them online without offering the LSS the same discounts – shame on you! I know that not every scrapbooker has access to a LSS or major retail centers; so online is needed for them, but it’s truly tacky that these companies undercut their store customers that way.

    • Nancy Nally December 5, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      You make an important point about clearing out old inventory. The most successful store owners understand the importance of turning over inventory – marking down stuff if it isn’t selling and just doing whatever it takes to GET IT OUT after it reaches a certain age. But some store owners are too focused on the perceived “value” tied up in that inventory and lose sight of the fact that value is only theoretical when inventory is sitting stale on the shelf. If the customer isn’t buying, there is no value in that pile of paper, no matter what the inventory valuation says. So cash out of it what you can, even if it is a reduced value, and use the cash to buy something that will sell!

    • itsybel December 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      You both make very good points, but I think one issue with the LSS that refuse to lower prices to get new products is that they are not ‘business owners’, they are the hobbyist who wanted to get their private stash at wholesale and thought it would be “FUN” to scrapbook all day–when in reality, business is business, hobby is hobby. Over the past 20yrs, I have found a way to mix them, I get to create, scrap for customers and have the business I’d planned since high school. I am still having fun, and thought I don’t have a “clearance rack”–I’m actually offended by customers who walk less than a foot in the door and holler where’s the clearance corner, I tell them I’ve never needed one. I do have a ‘last chance’ corner where there’s new products and old products at a last chance price, and I don’t reorder the same papers/etc very often so customers know get it when you see it, or miss out. When customers come in I want to hear you always have new stuff, not whispers of same ole same ole as they walk out empty handed. It’s a fine line a retailer has to walk on inventory with customers–we also want the newest and greatest trends in our stores–but what’s highly sought after in the south or eastern states is not necessarily what is suitable in Montana 😉

      I have to agree also with the manufacturers that pop up with their own discount sites & warehouse sales don’t care about their retailers. I deal with the manufacturers that have the decency to price their sites at MSRP, allowing me to offer sales/discounts, or referring them to my store. Tacky is an understatement–it’s downright rude and disrespectful to retailers who are selling your products. As I see it disrespectful to customers when store owners jack up their prices, which I’ve seen when I travel and stop to see what they have that I don’t, and just have to have:).

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