MOUNT VERNON — Knox County’s only major retailer in the arts and craft arena is on its way out.
Local crafters were dismayed after Wednesday’s announcement by The Michaels Companies, Inc. that it was shutting down all of its Pat Catan’s stores. A subsidiary of Michaels, Pat Catan’s currently operates 35 stores, the majority of which are located in Ohio. The exact date the shops will be closing was not announced.
Up to 12 of the closing locations will be rebranded and reopened as Michael’s stores in fiscal year 2019. There’s no word yet about whether the Mount Vernon location will be one of them.
“While we have identified 12 stores that we would like to rebrand as Michaels stores, we must complete the lease negotiation process for each store before we can confirm publicly which stores will be rebranded,” said Julia Young of ICR Inc., a strategic communications firm hired by Michaels.
When asked about the closing of Pat Catan’s Wednesday afternoon, Knox County Chamber of Commerce executive director Carol Grubaugh said she hadn’t been aware of the change, but that it’s always sad when a business closes.
Laura Tappen of Mount Vernon has been shopping at the Mount Vernon Pat Catan’s since it opened. She goes about twice a month to browse the selection of canvases, brushes, pencils and paints.
“It’s really the only place I can get good arts supplies,” she lamented. “It really filled a market that was lacking in the Mount Vernon area.”
Before Pat Catan’s opened, Tappen would drive to Reynoldsburg or Columbus for her supplies. While she mostly creates for the joy of it, she does sell prints of her work.
While Knox County has few arts and craft outlets, textile artists do have some local options. The Makery at 1 N. Main Street in Mount Vernon sells yarn, thread and looms and has a craft lounge space. Nimby Acre Fiber-Art-Home at 227 S. Main sells fiber art supplies and finished products. Both stores offer classes for aspiring and experienced creators.
The Michaels Companies purchased wholesale craft distributor Lamrite West Inc. in 2016, acquiring its Darise wholesale division, sourcing office in China and the Pat Catan’s chain.
“Over the last three years, we have delivered value through the significant expansion of our China-based sourcing team and the growth of our wholesale business,” said Chuck Rubin, Chairman and CEO of The Michaels Companies, in a press release. “However, the Pat Catan’s retail business has struggled in the face of industry headwinds.”
Rubin stated that the support and distribution centers in Strongsville acquired in the Lamrite purchase will remain open. Michaels has pledged to provide employment opportunities or transition support for all Pat Catan’s “team members.”