Challenges, problems, and triumphs
-- from a manufacturer's perspective.
Changes at A.C. Moore
They may not be what they seem.
by CLN Subscriber & Mike Hartnett (February 25,
CLN received the following note from an A.C. Moore vendor:
I am curious, have you visited an A.C. Moore store lately? I did
get a chance to visit a store a couple of weeks back and all I can
say is ... how sad. How sad to see the state of affairs at the store
I visited. All the way from the sad state of the assortment in each
category to the sad state
of presentation, apparent poor in-stocks, empty shelves – and
the worst part of it all, in the entire time I was in the store
(about 20 minutes) not one employee was available to help or, for
that matter, to be seen.
It's a far cry from the time when you couldn't turn around the
corner or down an aisle and you would see an employee asking you
questions and offering to help you. Amazing how the store has
changed from the days of not seeing an empty peg hook to the current
state where half the aisle is empty or a majority of the aisle is
full of two sku's!
Most of all I am shocked. Shocked at how fast the jewel of craft
DIY retailers could reach this level! Scary really!
I wonder if you have any insight into this current state of
affairs at ACMR?
Apparently there is a different philosophy at A.C. Moore. Jack
Parker, the founder and now-retired CEO was adamant about empty peg
hooks. So the shelves were always full, but that's expensive to
maintain such a high level of inventory.
Recent quarterly reports have revealed the new philosophy. Sales
are down a bit, due in part because of ome peg hooks being empty,
but profits are up because the new level of inventory isn't as
This situation is probably only temporary. A.C. Moore is
investing in perpetual inventory/auto replenishment systems similar
to what Michael Rouleau did at Michaels. It's a short-term
investment that can result in long-term gains. As Wedbush Morgan
Securities said recently in a note to clients, "... we continue
to believe the company is making the right investments for the
long-term, which may result in ongoing near term sales pressures yet
As long as A.C. Moore doesn't frustrate customers too badly
before the new systems are in place, the company should be all
(Note: Agree with Mike and/or the vendor? Disagree? Email
your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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