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Michaels Buying Darice Parent Lamrite West

The Michaels Companies, Inc. announced on February 2nd that it had purchased Lamrite West, Inc. for $150 million dollars.

Lamrite West was founded in 1954 by the Catanzarite family, and remained privately held until the acquisition by Michaels Companies. The current CEO, Michael Catanzarite, was the son of company founder Pat Catanzarite. According to the announcement, Michael Catanzarite will continue as CEO of Lamrite West post-acquisition and will serve on the Michaels executive committee. Lamrite West will continue to operate out of its Ohio headquarters as “a distinct business within Michael’s” according to Michaels Companies’ press statement on the acquisition.

Youngsville, Ohio-based Lamrite West operates a 34 store craft chain in the Midwest named Pat Catan’s. There are Pat Catan’s stores in four states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

But many in the crafts industry are more familiar with another name under the Lamrite West umbrella: Darice. Under the Darice name, Lamrite wholesales and distributes a huge variety of craft supplies in a broad range of craft categories from jewelry to papercrafting. Through Darice, Lamrite West has shelf space in virtually every major crafts retailer in the United States. Whether these retailers will continue to purchase from a company owned by their major competitor is an interesting question. Huge amounts of shelf space in some craft categories could theoretically be up for grabs at retailers like Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, and other chains if those retailers decide to drop Darice because of Michaels buying Darice.

Michaels also gains better access to several top industry names with the acquisition of Darice. David Tutera has a licensed line with Darice, and Tim Holtz has a licensing agreement with the Core’dinations brand that Darice acquired several years back.

Although the acquisition included 34 store locations, the statements from Michaels seem focused on the wholesale aspects of the deal. Michaels has grown its store brands immensely in recent years, and Darice has the sourcing capability to expand that even further.

“The acquisition of Lamrite West represents a unique opportunity to add a business to the Michaels portfolio that will strategically enhance our private brand development capabilities, accelerate our direct sourcing initiatives, and strengthen our business-to-business capabilities,” said Chuck Rubin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As CEO of Lamrite West, Mike Catanzarite has built a strong leadership team and cultivated a pervasive culture of customer service. Together, we will serve our combined customer base better to help us achieve our long-term growth goals.”

“I have long admired the Michaels team, and with the full weight of Michaels resources, I know that our employees and customers will realize tangible benefits from this combination,” said Michael Catanzarite, Chief Executive Officer of Lamrite West.

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14 Responses to Michaels Buying Darice Parent Lamrite West

  1. ss20ts February 8, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    NOOOOOOOOOOO! As a retailer, this SUCKS! As a customer, this SUCKS!

  2. aimeslee February 9, 2016 at 3:08 am #

    Interesting! Happy Valentine’s Day, Nancy! xoxo

    • Nancy Nally February 9, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Thank you! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! 🙂

  3. gabmcann February 9, 2016 at 3:15 am #

    What do you think this means Nancy? Is it good or bad for the craft industry? Or too early to tell?

    • Nancy Nally February 9, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      I think the most interesting effects will be for individual players in the industry. As some stores possibly look to drop Darice from their shelves, this will possibly open up some great opportunities for other vendors. It’s not so much a question of good or bad for the industry as a whole but more about shuffling of pieces on the game board.

  4. Logan Wilhelm February 9, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    Sounds positive from your article, will be interesting!

    • Nancy Nally February 9, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Is DEFINITELY going to be interesting!

  5. Betsy Burnett February 9, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    If I was a retailer, I would not want the product I sold to be profiting a competitor. It will be interesting to see what retailers replace Darice product with, because I can’t imagine it will be staying on their shelves very long after that announcement. With this being said, if other retailers drop the Darice brand products from their inventory (because now it would profit Mikes) , how much loss in revenue will that result in for Darice? I’m sure the big thinkers of both companies have already thought of this…which then makes me wonder what are their future plans for Darice brand (new Mike’s exclusive product??) and what else Lamrite has to offer Michaels beyond Darice.

    • Nancy Nally February 9, 2016 at 11:42 am #

      Yes, I will be shocked if Darice product stays on the shelves at most of Michaels’ major competitors as well. But I really think that Michaels is after the brand names and the sourcing capability.

  6. Ann in PA February 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    It will be interesting to see how the other retailers deal with this.

  7. beastybunny February 10, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    I love Darice products but am underwhelmed by Michael’s own brand (the quality is really sub-par on their papers and inks) On the up side, if Darice becomes a Michael’s exclusive,it would improve their product quality. The Michael’s closest to me carries their own brand (Recollections) and Martha Stewart (who I also don’t buy), some Tim Holtz (but always 2 -3 seasons old) and a very small stamp collection. As a result I don’t buy much there. I usually hit the smaller stores or buy online. It will be interesting to see which designer fills the void if Darice is taken off store shelves.

  8. Lisa February 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Another nail in the mom & pop / brick and mortar stores coffin

  9. Laura Six-Pattay March 5, 2016 at 5:18 am #

    Michael’s is far from a Mom And Pop. They are now the Monopoly. AC Moore was so much better but then they opened a Michaels about a mile away and closed AC Moore. What do you consider a Mom And Pop store? WalMart and Starbucks were once owned by an individual, that doesn’t make them a Mom and pop store

    • Nancy Nally March 7, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      I believe the other commenter didn’t mean that Michaels was a Mom & Pop, but that acquiring Darice would accelerate their annihilation of other stores that are mom & pops. Michaels is no longer privately owned, so by no definition could they be described as a mom & pop or family business!

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