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BERLIN, NJ >> New Jersey-based Nicole Crafts will close all of its A.C. Moore stores, including its three locations in Bucks County, as part of a strategic plan to exit the retail industry.

“For over 30 years, our stores have been servicing the creative community with a vast selection of art and craft materials, with one common focus, the customer,” said Anthony Piperno, Chief Executive Officer of A.C. Moore. “Unfortunately, given the headwinds facing many retailers in today's environment, it made it very difficult for us to operate and compete on a National level.

“During this process, we will continue to provide great customer experience, while still delivering quality and value on your favorite products,” he said. “Plans for closing specific A.C. Moore locations will be shared in the upcoming weeks on our website. While we will stop accepting further online orders as of today, we will ship any previously placed orders in the ordinary course."

A.C. Moore employs more than 5,000 team members and operates more than 145 stores from Maine to Florida with offices and distribution centers in Moorestown, N.J., Chicago, IL, and Ningbo, China.

Locally, it has stores at the Lincoln Plaza in Middletown Township, at the Bensalem Plaza Shopping Center and at the Warminster Town Center.

As part of the transaction, The Michaels Companies Inc., will assume leases for up to 40 store locations and a lease on an east coast distribution facility plus purchase intellectual property which will allow the Company to enhance its position as the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America.

Michaels CEO, Mark Cosby, noted, "This transaction enables us to further expand our presence in strategic markets and serve even more customers both online and in store. We are looking forward to re-opening these stores under the Michaels name in 2020 and welcoming new team members."

Piperno added, "While it was a difficult decision for us, this transaction will result in a group of stores reopening under the Michaels banner subject to negotiations with landlords — allowing teams to continue serving the brand's loyal customers and employ our valued team members in those locations. We believe the transaction was the best option for our employees, customers, vendors, landlords, and other key stakeholders and thank them for their many years of support."

A.C. Moore is a specialty retailer offering a selection of arts, crafts and floral merchandise to a broad demographic of customers. The first A.C. Moore store opened in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1985. The family owned company specializes in all things arts and crafts: knitting, framing, kid's crafts, art supplies, floral, home décor and seasonal, scrapbooking, cake decorating, and the Nicole family of products: Premiere, Stitch Studio, Nicole's Kitchen, Bright Minds, Nicole's Boutique, Nicole's Bead Shop and so much more.

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