Michaels Files For 2014 Initial Public Offering

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Irving, Texas-based company Michaels Companies, which owns namesake arts and crafts retailer Michaels and framing business Aaron Brothers, filed paperwork Friday for a potential public offering of its common stock. As of November 2, 2013, the Company owns and operates 1,137 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada and 122 Aaron Brothers stores, and produces 11 exclusive private brands including Recollections, Studio Decor, Bead Landing, Creatology, Ashland, Celebrate It, Art Minds, Artist’s Loft, Craft Smart, Loops & Threads and Imagin8.

In addition, next year the company will launch a long overdue e-commerce site that is actually capable of commerce. Michaels had more than 180 million visitors to its website during the past 12 months, but those visitors weren’t able to buy anything. That will change in 2014, which should be welcome news to the company’s 1.5 million Facebook fans, 300,000 Pinterest followers and 100,000 Twitter followers.

“We expect our new e-commerce platform will allow us to sell much of our current assortment while also expanding into e-commerce-only products,” the company said in the filing. “Although we expect this channel will produce a more limited sales penetration than more commoditized retail categories, we believe it will augment our multi-channel strategy to broaden our customer base and improve the shopping experience.”

Michaels was taken private in 2006 by Bain Capital Partners LLC and The Blackstone Group. Following the offering, they will continue to own a controlling stake. The company plans to use the proceeds to buy back debt.

J.P. Morgan and Goldman, Sachs & Co. will act as joint book-running lead managers for the offering. Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint book runners.

Going forward, Michael’s growth strategy, which notably includes a significant Private Brand, focused strategic pillar includes:

  • Broadening the appeal of stores to those new to do-it-yourself projects as well as more experienced crafters.
  • Enhancing the store experience with improved signage and open sightlines to make stores more shoppable while developing flexible store formats to address unique market opportunities.
  • Launching an e-commerce platform to become a true omni channel retailer in 2014 and leverage high levels of existing engagement with customers.
  • Reaching new and existing customers with expanded marketing efforts that include print, digital, direct mail, broadcast and community events.
  • Strengthening merchandising and sourcing capabilities to better identify and source new trends, merchandise and categories that enhance our exclusive (private) brands.


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.