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Archiver’s Announces Entire Chain To Close

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.

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37 Responses to Archiver’s Announces Entire Chain To Close

  1. Kathy Kampka January 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    I am so disappointed! What a sad note to start the new year off on… :(
    I was hoping Archivers was not pinning their future on the Memory lab, but looks like that is what was pushed throughout the holidays.
    It makes a person wonder what is going to happen to scrapbooking in another year. The JoAnns store close to me has all their scrapbook items on sale for 50-60% off. They do not carry as much as they did a year ago.
    The big box stores do not carry the best lines of products and it takes forever for them to get new product in.
    There are no scrapbook stores within an hours drive except the big box stores. I could order online, but I personally love to see and touch the product lines.
    What a bummer…

  2. Susanne January 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Bummer! Their stores were also so lovely and pristine – a true pleasure to shop. I have also noticed that my local Joann’s scrapbooking section keeps shrinking and shrinking. First kids/homeschooling crafts took over 3 aisles, and now jewelry-making as taken 2 more. I wonder if Joann’s will pull out of the memory-keeping market as well.

  3. Terri Torrez January 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    This is really disappointing. I haven’t had an LSS for years so I look forward to my annual vacation trip to Arcivers in N.C. I don’t mind buying online but sometimes it’s fun to browse and especially to look at pattern paper in person.

    • Betty Sarachik January 3, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      NC has Local Scrapbook Stores – 2 in Greensboro, 1 in Lewisville, 1 in Boiling Springs, 1 in Charlotte that I know of

  4. Lisa January 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Unfortunately this handwriting was on the wall a year ago. I too am sad to see them go, as it is not the same shopping online. There are still a couple of hands-on stores in Texas and I will be driving long distances to them.

  5. itsybel January 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    I got that email too, it’s sad that they put so many scrapbook stores out of business, that would more than likely still be in business, just to close up anyway. The large chains in our area have also been shrinking and a couple totally eliminating their SB sections. It’ll be interesting to see where any scrapbooking stores will be in the next year.

  6. frostygoth January 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    This didn’t come as a surprise to me, but is going to make me cry. Ever since they declared bankruptcy I feared the end would be nigh. They were the first scrapbooking store I went to, and the gals there know me by name at this point! I learned SO much from them and the one Scrapfest I attended was a blast. I don’t believe their excuses, though, about new technology and the economy being the factors, because there are several independent scrap stores in my area that are doing just fine, and I go to quarterly crops with thousands of ladies doing traditional scrapbooking. I thought they changed their CEO a year or so ago? So I wonder if the previous CEO was running it into the ground and when the new CEO arrived, it was already too late. I will always have fond memories of fun projects, cool products and amazing staff.

  7. Ruth G January 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    I agree with the ladies above that Archiver’s was a wonderful place to shop. I could literally get lost there and just loved being in the store! Everything was so well displayed and lit and it was so nice to have the best manufacturers products so that I could feel them and see the color in person. It will be a joy that cannot be replaced in my crafty life! I’m thankful my husband encouraged me to spend the gift card to Archiver’s Annex that I’d gotten for Christmas right away because I’m betting the selection will quickly decline. I love scrapbooking, with my hands and paper. I hope that there will continue to be places to do that with others who enjoy it and they don’t all disappear!

  8. Lisa C January 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    I was also not surprised but saddened. I admit i didn’t go into my local one very often, usually on a crop night. I don’t care about the product part – I can order online if I want but with no more magazines, how am I going ot know what is new??? I am sad that my local crop place is gone – it was a monthly spot for myself and several friends since it opened. Sad day!

    • Nancy Nally January 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      “I can order online if I want but with no more magazines, how am I going ot know what is new???”

      Scrapbook Update will do its best to keep you up with what is new in the scrapbook industry, Lisa! We look forward to seeing you back. :)

    • itsybel, IsabelsScrapbooks.com January 3, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      “I can order online if I want “, I’m sorry to be a downer, but that statement is what has caused a lot of LSS’s to close. You still have those that have been struggling to keep their doors open, but that’s hard to do when there’s no one coming in the doors to shop because they say “I can order online if I want”

      • Mary Kumpf January 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

        Thank you Isabel. I am a LSS owner and we are experiencing the same issues. What people don’t understand is that even shopping online requires manufacturers and vendors to supply the product. In this climate . . . EVERYONE will continue to suffer when the LSS disappear :(

        • Suzette Weber January 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

          I work at Archiver’s and I am recommending our customers to go to our LSS! We did even when we were solvent! It’s what you do when you love what you do! BTW, thank you for all of the well wishes…it really helps! We are heartbroken!

  9. Erika @ Scrapbook Obsession Blog January 3, 2014 at 3:18 am #

    Sad news, indeed! I had hopes they’d pull themselves out of Chapter 11 but it wasn’t to be :( Being in California, I’ve never shopped at Archiver’s but hoped to someday!

    Nancy, on their FAQ page they do mention that Archiver’s Annex is also closing: http://www.archiversonline.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions-answers

    It says: “What about the Annex?

    Online shopping through ArchiversAnnex.com will continue into early February. If you have an e-gift card for the Annex, you will still be able to use it at any time. We recommend shopping early, especially for Archiver’s exclusive items—when they’re gone, they’re gone for good.”

    • Nancy Nally January 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Yes, the FAQ was changed after our article’s press time. It’s good to have that confirmed.

  10. LindaBabe January 3, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    I too, am sad. The only scrap store I know any more is Life’s Memories & More in Palmer, MA. Sadly I’m no longer in a day’s drive of that.

    I’m thinking now, the only places for the monthly get togethers we loved will be if our local Stampin’ Up! and Close to My Heart independant demonstrators can rally sufficient interest to gather groups in private homes or other venues. Even the new “creative memories” doesn’t seem like it’s on that page any longer.

    • Laura H January 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

      Linda, We just closed our LSS in Northampton ma but we are still holding retreats locally. http://Www.paper-paper.net

  11. Gabriella B January 3, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I think Becky Higgins Project Life has hurt the industry. She is simplifying it to the point you barely need supplies and those embracing it are not producing full page layouts anymore, therefore they need less supplies.

    • itsybel, IsabelsScrapbooks.com January 3, 2014 at 11:41 am #

      I think when Project Life first came out, it may have changed the direction of traditional scrapbooking, but if your LSS teach’s PL properly she/he can show you how to incorporate the PL pages with traditional pages to help those that are so overwhelmed with the amount of photos they have and keep taking pictures, to actually get back into traditional scrapbooking. It’s a lot of fun to mix traditional with PL, so you get the best of both techniques.

  12. Julie January 3, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I’ve work for a small independently owned scrapbook store for the past 3 years. Throughout this time I have watched many scrapbook businesses come and go. Yes, the economy and personal budgets play a part. BUT it really all comes down to – if you scrapbook you have to support the local businesses with sales, workshops, classes, CROPS and retreats. When you shop the Big-box stores and online sales you will bring about a slow death to us all.

  13. Barbara Snyderman January 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    I frequently travel for my job and I always look up local scrapbook and rubber stamp stores. I make it a point to spend dollars in these stores. I know my one purchase won’t necessarily make a difference, but I feel we all must support these businesses when we can.

  14. Stephanie Hackney January 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Nancy,

    FYI: Archiver’s has stated that they will be closing the online store as well and that ScrapFest will be no more.

    Such sad news for our industry, but it’s important for everyone to remember that there are still lots of independent stores in the U.S., and around the globe! If we want to have the selection and service we’ve come to expect from our independent stores, especially the brick-and-mortar shops, we need to support them!

    That means spending our money with them: buying products, attending classes, telling others about them, etc.

    This announcement was a tough way to start the new year, but I don’t think any of us were surprised by it.

    Let’s make the rest of the year brighter by staying positive and shopping at our local stores whenever possible! Now that’s a good resolution, right?

    Steph

    • Nancy Nally January 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks, I saw they confirmed that info now in the FAQ they published after I wrote the article.

  15. Kelly Lyons January 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    I don’t have an Archiver’s close to me, but did visit one in Denver when I was there on vacation and thought it was a great store. My LSS is shutting down within the next few months.. I’m really sad about that. I like to buy locally.

  16. gabmcann January 4, 2014 at 4:10 am #

    Sad news
    I’d like to add that it’s important for all of us to shop local if we can. We have a beach house in a beautiful part of australia that still has a main street. However 20 minutes up the road is a huge mall with all the big stores. I’ve deliberately shopped local this trip

  17. Rene January 4, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    It’s true that it’s sad, but they kind of did it to themselves. Their business model was one of not being truly competitive because they believed quality and other things were important. The truth is that the quality they were selling (which was, undoubtedly, good as is the quality in many other stores, including what “mom and pop stores” are still around) was available in other places at lower prices. After filing for bankruptcy, they began to get products that were more reasonable priced, but those products were often available in other places, such as Walmart, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s, etc. – again, at lower prices. Also, the fact that they didn’t allow competitor coupons was kind of a bad decision on their part, in my opinion, because I could go to other stores in my area that did allow that. I must say that at one time I worked for Archiver’s, and I made some of my very best friends there. I LOVED being able to breathe the “scrappy air” and to see all of the new products. I wasn’t impressed with the way they treated their employees at times, but I wasn’t bitter and left on good terms with them. I’m sad to see them go, but even more sad to see the scrapbooking industry fading away into cyberspace. My preference has always been – and continues to be – to support the smaller, locally owned stores which have a “homier” feel and who are trying to make a living by doing right by their customers so their customers will treat them right as well. :-)

  18. Karen K. January 4, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    I am all for supporting the LSS, but when I travel, I have a hard time finding them. It would be wonderful to have an updated listing of LSS stores around the country so that I could refer to it when I am traveling. I often look in the phone book and online, but find them difficult to find. Maybe there is one that I don’t know of. I am sad to see Archiver’s go as sad as I am to see all the magazines go. I hope paper scrapping never goes away. Until then, I will support A Cherry On Top which although it is a large online retailer, started as a LSS in the town I am from. I will continue to support them as they are still located in my hometown and I can pick up from them directly when I visit.

    • Stephanie Hackney January 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      Karen, we host a free, online directory of independent retailers at PaperCrafter’s Corner. We do our best to support the independents and small businesses and their listings in this directory are free, as is your access to our directory.

      I hesitated posting this here because I don’t ever want to “market” my site on someone else’s unless we have that arrangement. I’m hoping Nancy will be o.k. with this since you asked about something we publish and I want to make it easier for papercrafters to find their local stores (and stores along their route when they travel) – it’s one way we support the little guys!

      Nancy, please feel free to pull this comment if you feel it’s inappropriate. Thanks, Steph

      • itsybel, IsabelsScrapbooks.com January 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

        except that your site is not working . . . I tried a search of my state and it won’t even let me add a state-error says I can’t leave that space blank, but there’s no way of putting anything in that spot. You may want to check it out.

        • Stephanie Hackney January 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

          Karen, Yup, I was just notified that our site is down right now, issue with the hosting site. We have three of their top techs working on the issue and hope to be back up asap! Timing couldn’t be worse for the site to go down!!! Sorry, Steph

        • Stephanie Hackney January 4, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

          OK, site’s back up! Sorry for the outage.

  19. Julie January 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    I am so sad about this! The first time i stepped into the store i heard te angels singing! Archivers has always been my happy place; I will miss having them down the street.

  20. Pam Ames January 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    I feel so bad our local Archivers is closing, but I agree they had problems. The staff wasn’t friendly and made me feel they were doing me a favor coming in. Oftentimes they didn’t have the make-n-takes that were advertised and acted put-out when I asked about them. I love their supplies and will miss the quality and variety they offer. I agree PL is affecting the industry as most of the young mothers I know are going in that direction as a time saver. We have no LSS other than big-box now:(

  21. Melissa January 14, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    I’m cashier at Hobby Lobby and I can tell you SB supplies is not what is keeping them in business. In 6 months not one PL product came through my line, nor Tim Holtz, Simple Stories paper pads or any designer paper pads for that matter. None of the Oh Snap line either. And most who are buying the open stock paper(their brand Paper Studio) paper are not Scrapbookers or card makers. Of course being a scrapbooker I always ask, so what are you using this paper for? One person has told me for SB. ONE! Last week I drive 50 miles to Scrapin’ Friendzee in Marrero,LA to my closest LSS. I would go more often if it were closer. I enjoyed seeing(& buying) some of the designer paper I’ve seen online. I like how one person put it, Scrappy Air, I love that, there is nothing like it. You don’t feel that in BBS.You never will.
    Archivers closing is one big chip out of this craft I love but I will never stop telling my children’s and I’s story.

  22. Edna Goebel August 1, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    I have a gift card that I got for a gift 1 1/2 years ago. Am I totally out or can it be sued on line?

    • Nancy Nally August 1, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      According to the Archiver’s Annex FAQ, Archiver’s store gift cards cannot be used at Archiver’s Annex (the official name of the online store). So if your gift card was purchased at one of the Archiver’s retail stores, it has no value now that the stores are closed. Sorry.

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