Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - This Aug. 23, 2006 file photo shows A Michaels store in Philadelphia. The arts and crafts chain's initial public offering on Friday, June 27, 2014, is expected to test investor enthusiasm for the crafts business in light of competition from the Web and big discounters. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Michaels declines in return to public markets
Investments » Arts and crafts retailer raised $472 million in busy week for IPOs.
First Published Jun 27 2014 09:14 am • Last Updated Jun 27 2014 03:45 pm

New York • Michaels had a tepid return to the stock market Friday, its shares going back and forth between small gains and declines.

The arts and crafts store operator’s shares closed up 2 cents to $17.02 in trading on the Nasdaq, after falling as much as 2 percent earlier.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The lackluster response shows investors are wary of retailing and the fragmented $30 billion arts and crafts industry. The last IPO from a major retailer was The Container Store Group Inc., which made its debut in November. Its shares have fallen 20 percent since then and closed at $29 Friday.

The IPO comes amid a market rush. It’s the third-busiest week for IPOs since 2000, according to IPO investment adviser Renaissance Capital.

Michaels Cos. Inc., which also runs the Aaron Brothers chain, priced an initial public offering of 27.8 million shares at $17 each, at the low end of its predicted range.

The Irving, Texas, company raised $472 million from the offering.

Private equity firms Bain Capital LLC and The Blackstone Group LP bought Michaels in a $6 billion leveraged buyout in 2006.

Michaels’ IPO was delayed two years after its then-CEO John Menzer resigned after a stroke.

Michaels, which was in a sweet spot during the Great Recession when homemade goods gained new currency as people tried to save money, has faced increasingly tough competition. That’s coming from discounters — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for example, recently brought back its fabric offerings — and online king Amazon.com.

Michaels has been late to the online party, launching its e-commerce business only this year.

story continues below
story continues below

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Chuck Rubin, who was appointed CEO of Michaels in March 2013, dismissed the market’s response. He said he’s focusing on long-term opportunities, and that investors will be rewarded.

"This is a marathon, not a sprint," he added.

While there’s not a lot of data available on the arts and crafts market, he said Michaels’ sales have been growing faster than the industry’s annual rate of low-single-digit increases, and it’s been taking market share away from other traditional chains, though he declined to give names.

Rubin shrugged off competition from Amazon, saying e-commerce is not as much of a threat as it is to other industries.

"When you sell pieces and parts, we know customers want to come to the brick and mortar stores to see how things come together," he said.

He also noted the average price for an arts and crafts item is $3. "There’s no easy showrooming in this industry," he added.

The big opportunity is personalization and taking advantage of social media sites like Pinterest, he says. Michaels wants to focus not only on the crafts enthusiasts but novices as well. Last year, more than 800,000 customers took classes at Michaels stores.

The company, founded in 1973 with one small store in Dallas, said in a regulatory filing that North America could potentially grow to 1,500 Michaels stores. It currently operates 1,263 Michaels stores and 118 Aaron Brothers stores.

Its original debut as a public company came in 2001 on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s using the same ticker "MIK," but is now trading on the Nasdaq.

For its latest fiscal year, which ended on Feb. 1, sales rose nearly 4 percent to $4.6 billion. Net income rose to $243 million from $200 million.

The arts and crafts chain plans to use the IPO’s proceeds to pay down its debt. It had $3.7 billion of debt as of May 3.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.