SALEM, N.H. — Crafts chain A.C. Moore will close all of its stores, including the Salem, New Hampshire location, according to a company announcement Monday.
The exact closing date is not known, an employee at the Salem store said. He directed all questions, including the number of employees who will lose their jobs, to corporate headquarters. Corporate did not return a call for comment.
"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," Chief Executive Officer Anthony Piperno said in a statement. "During this process, we will continue to provide great customer experience, while still delivering quality and value on your favorite products."
The company stopped accepting online orders Monday and is set to share details of specific store closings in the coming weeks, according to Piperno.
Alisa Nader of Methuen was running into A.C. Moore on Tuesday to get a few Thanksgiving decorations when she heard the news.
"It's sad," she said.
The retired Lawrence public schools teacher went to the store her entire career to get supplies for her classes.
The teacher discount is one of the reasons she chose A.C. Moore, she said. Going there just became a habit and the Salem store also is close to many other retailers.
"I can just go up the line (of stores) to run errands," she said.
Now she will have to find another place to shop for the paints and canvases she uses as her creative outlet, she said.
This is the second chain store with a location on Route 28 in Salem that announced it is closing recently. Kmart is also shutting down, according to a Nov. 7 statement from parent company Transformco, which also owns Sears. The store is scheduled to close by February 2020.
Both Salem stores are scheduled to have special Black Friday hours. A.C. Moore will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Kmart's hours are 6 a.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday, according to their websites.
Kmart's going out of business sale will start after the holiday weekend on Dec. 2, though items in the store are currently marked down 10% to 30%.
Donna Giacalone of Melrose was shopping in Kmart as part of her bi-weekly trips to New Hampshire, which has the closest Kmart to her now since other stores have closed.
Giacalone particularly likes Kmart's clothes. She found her favorite brands of jeans and sandals there, she said.
Holding two sweaters, Giacalone was disappointed by the selection, but she wanted to try them on while they were 30% off.
"Next time it will be a higher percentage (off) but less stock," she said.
Both the A.C. Moore and Kmart retail locations are in strip malls along Route 28 with easy access to the highway, which will be attractive to other businesses, said Donna Morris, president of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce.
She added that as work has been done to widen Interstate 93, area businesses are seeing more people come north to shop, especially since there are no sales taxes, Morris said.
"Stores come and go," Morris said, explaining that while it is sad the retailers are closing, something new will pop up.
Brick and mortar stores are going through some hardships with the prevalence online shopping, Morris said. She explained that currently there is a shift in the thinking of how physical stores are used. Nowadays they are becoming places where people can experience products and do activities related to them.
"Experiential retail," she said. "It's the evolution of how we get our products."