All American Crafts, the New Jersey-based publisher of Scrapbooking & Beyond and Paper Creations magazines, has filed for bankruptcy after closing down all of the company’s publications in August.
In addition to its paper crafting titles, All American Crafts was also the publisher of a wide range of other crafts titles. Those titles included Quilt Trends, The Quilter, PaintWorks, Creative Woodworks, Woodturning Design, Carving, Create and Decorate, Knit Style, and Bead Design Studio.
The board of All American Crafts, which is largely owned by the family of president Gerald Cohen, passed a resolution on October 3rd authorizing the bankruptcy. The filing subsequently made by the company on October 15th is for a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, indicating the company is closing down operations and does not have enough funds to pay all of its creditors. According to the filing, the company has slightly over a half million dollars in assets, while it is over $7.5 million in debt. The paperwork also states that the company believes there will be no assets for distribution to unsecured creditors.
The assets schedule of the filing shows a company in dire straits, with only $75 in the bank. The company’s major assets are accounts receivable, and prepaid expenses to Palm Coast Data (a magazine fulfillment and customer service company located – coincidentally – in the small Florida city in which I live) and to a distribution service, not all of which may be recoverable.
Among the company’s several hundred creditors is listed a notation valued at over $2 million for the unfulfilled pre-paid subscriptions of “tens of thousands” of subscribers. Given the company’s assertion in the filing that there will be no money to pay unsecured claims like that of the subscribers, it is unlikely that the subscribers will see any compensation from the liquidation. Another possibility (as happened when Memory Makers folded) is that the unfilled subscriptions would be purchased by a rival publication. Given the current state of the publishing market, that looks unlikely as well.
The closure of All American Crafts leaves Stampington as the sole remaining major national print publisher of paper crafts content in the United States with a wide assortment of titles, alongside CardMaker magazine by Annie’s (which otherwise focuses on books for the most part) and Scrap & Stamp. A huge list of major publishers (F+W, New Track, Northridge, Meredith) formerly publishing print scrapbook magazines have either ceased publishing for the market, gone bankrupt, or moved to a digital format. A more vibrant print market still exists outside the U.S. in papercrafts, particularly in the U.K. and Canada, and some of those publications make their way into the U.S. market regularly.
At the same time as the All American Crafts bankruptcy was filed, two other publishing companies operating from the same address and also owned by the Cohen family also filed chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. Valu Media LLC and Nexxt Generation Media LLC were the publishers of Barbeque America, Quilt It Today, Sew It Today, Crochet 123, Knit 123, Kids Crafts 123, Bead It Today, Stitch It Today, and Paint It Today. Those two companies combined have nearly a million dollars in debt, and less than $100k in assets.