Scrapbook chain store Archiver’s announced this morning that they will be shuttering all of their stores by mid-February. The company has been in bankruptcy since April 2013, and recently announced the closure of its flagship Mall of America store.
According to the announcement, the store closing sales will start immediately, and store fixtures will also be available for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In addition to the stores closing, Archiver’s is also the organizer and sponsor of the massive Mall of America Scrapfest event, so the company closing down calls the future of that event into serious doubt.
Archiver’s started 2013 with 44 store locations. By the end of 2013, while in bankruptcy, the company had closed 11 stores. Court-mandated financial reports showed it was continuing to hemorrhage money despite attempts to streamline operations, boost promotions, and entice customers with digital products. Archiver’s Memory Lab, essentially a Shutterfly clone that allowed customers to place orders either online or in-store for pick-up in Archiver’s stores, was met with resounding disinterest by scrapbookers.
In the announcement, the company blamed the economy and technology for their collapse:
When Archiver’s began, scrapbooking and paper-crafting were growing rapidly, becoming the largest segments in the craft industry. However, over the past 4-5 years, the combination of a weak economy and new technology resulted in steady declines in the memory craft business, significantly impacting Archiver’s and many other retailers and vendors in the craft industry.
In the midst of this change, Archiver’s has tried to adapt. We’ve brought in new products, new brands, added more sales and coupons, introduced Archiver’s Memory Lab, and streamlined our operations. However, despite our best efforts, our stores simply do not generate the sales needed to support the business.
Since the announcement refers to closing down the home office and saying goodbye to vendors, it appears that the company is also shutting down its online retail operations even though the website is not directly mentioned.
Archiver’s is currently in a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy. Despite today’s announcement that the company is liquidating, there is no record as of the time of this writing of the bankruptcy being converted to a Chapter 13.