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Michaels in Canada to stop carrying plastic model kits?


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For Christmas I got a $50 Michaels gift card from my cousin. I got one last year and along with the 30% and 40% off monthly coupons, I was able to purchase a few car model kits.

Today I dropped into the local Michaels nearest me in Halifax (there are 3 Michaels stores in Halifax area) and noticed there was only two car model kits and the shelf area for models was greatly decreased and now occupied with paint by number kits.  I asked the sales clerk if Michaels would be replenishing their model stock soon, and she informed me "No", that due to a supply issue with models and paints, they were not. And perhaps would not be selling model kits and supplies anytime soon.

Has anyone else in Canada or USA heard this news? I am hoping the elderly lady sales clerk is wrong....

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Hi!

My neighborhood Michael's, in the Quebec city area, is managed by a friend. He told me kits are   notorious "slow movers", and that therefore, they don't carry a wide selection. Last year, they cleared all the Testor's paints (spray and bottles) at rock-bottom prices. Smells like the end...

Last october, I got the same feedback from a clerk at the North-Conway new-Hampshire Michael's store. RIP?

CT

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I believe that is their plan. The Testors paints are completely gone from the stores in Winnipeg, and they haven’t been restocking the model kits.😕 They never had a real good selection, but you can’t beat the price with a 30-40% off coupon. I’ve bought kits just for parts with a coupon.🙂 We are lucky to have two really good hobby shops here though…“Hobby Sense” and “RC Eliminator”. I know Hobby Sense does mail order business…not sure about RC?

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There hasn't been many models at Micheals stores in years here in the NE USA, least not of the three I visit.. I more go to Micheals because the wife and I do crafts and art painting. Hobby Lobby has much more for car models and once a week or every two weeks plastic models go on 40% discount for a day or two. The key is hitting the place on those days, who doesn't like a nice kit for nearly half price , even if to stash it if it's something you know you will be enthused to get to! But still not stocked like a really well stocked actual Hobby store. We have one of those in the area, he marks things up though, not down.

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Michael's around here has seldom had a very good kit selection in recent years.  They'll have only a few different kits, but several of each on the shelf.

They whacked the Testors selection way back last year, replacing the normal enamel sprays with brainstorms like "temporary paint" and "glitter".  Only a couple of months later, the brainstorm items were in the clearance area.  But the regular stuff never came back.  I can’t remember the last time I bought a kit at Michael's.  

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The Michaels by me in NY used to be good for kits, now they are down to a very small selection. The display keeps on getting shuffled around, the entire store looks like a sparse garage sale lately.

I feel that they might be on the way out. I see large gaps of nothing but floor space and very few shoppers. The kiss of death is seeing their self-checkouts. I advised one person at a manned register to start looking for a new job.

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If it wasn't for their 30 to 40% coupons and Christmas gift cards I get, I wouldn't even bother with them. But one attraction for the nearest Michaels is they are nearby a couple of my favorite stores - Best Buy, Canada Computers, Chapters and Canadian Tire.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also spoke via telephone to the two other local Michaels in the Halifax area (Bedford and Dartmouth) and both informed me Michaels will no longer be carrying model kits for the near future due to supply issues.

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I checked the Michaels web site for a contact email so that I could ask about their restocking plans.  No such luck, couldn't find an email address but I could chat with a representative which I did.

I aske when Michaels would be restocking model kits and their (probably canned) reply was "restocking is planned and has an 8 to 10 week cycle" or something like.

So, a definite maybe - maybe?

supply issues? The hobby stores don't seem to have any problem getting kits. Perhaps something to do with Testors either directly or through some other distributor handling Testors products is part of the issue with Michaels.  It is clear that model kits where never a big selling item for Michaels and having to put any effort into dealing with supply issues is likely to see them not bother.

For what it's worth, all of the Michaels stores in the Ottawa area ( 4 in total ) have sold out of all but a very few of the kits they did have on the shelves since last fall. 

We are lucky here in that we have a rather decent local hobby store ( The Hobby Center ), another almost as good ( Great Hobbies - for plastic model stuff ), a couple of other smaller stores and a handful of Gundam/Gunpla oriented stores. Still, it is always nice having choices and Michaels with typically lower prices for kits plus their usual 30% discount on one item coupons, they were always worth checking out for a deal.

cheers, Graham

 

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"Supply issues" could mean they were slow in paying for previous shipments.

A guy I know has collected offbeat movies on VHS and DVD for many years.  He noticed a pattern with all of the video stores that went out of business over the years.  When he asked about ordering something, and the store wasn't able to get it, it usually meant that the store was no longer doing business with that company because they were cut off due to slow or non-payment.  Not long after that, the store chain involved often went under.

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Michaels is slowly going down the tubes.  I'm in USA. I wound up with a $50 gift card for free as a credit card premium.  I envisioned getting about a dozen of those shoe box sized photo / craft boxes I use for my eBay stamp inventory.  I get there and am shocked to see they want $7.99 for a box!  These are $2.99 and $3.99 at Hobby Lobby depending on the decoration on them!  So at $7.99 I wasn't doing that even with a free card!

Then I see their gimmick.. everything in the store is way overpriced and they are depending on their 30-50% sales to bring people in, and at that point the prices are the normal price in competing chains.   So right before Christmas I saw the 50% off sale and bought boxes for $3.99.  I extinguished my gift card and paid a few cents cash.  Never Michaels again!

 

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26 minutes ago, Tom Geiger said:

 

Then I see their gimmick.. everything in the store is way overpriced and they are depending on their 30-50% sales to bring people in, and at that point the prices are the normal price in competing chains.   

 

BINGO !!

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To me Micheals is good for artist grade paints and grade 2 canvases, canvas boards etc.. In that regard both my wife and I paint and have bought stacks of canvases for classes or even 20x30 for our own art work. Become a rewards member and you can do quite well on pricing. I've never bought a model there. In looking around the model section it's never been well stocked even in it's hay day. Not compared with well stocked hobby suppliers, for certain. Find someplace else to get your model supplies from or shop online is my suggestion.

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The Michael's stores in my area have a separate glassed-off room near the front of the store which could be reserved by different interest groups. We used to have our model club meetings there. That was before circumstances changed, as outside public gatherings were no longer viable. When attending the meetings, I would always spend money/use a coupon. I checked the model section, but the selection for car models was mediocre at best. Instead, I would use my coupon to get artist's grade paint bushes or acrylic paints ( I really like Golden or Liquitex acrylic products! ). The store has never reinstated the use of the room by outside groups. From what I've been told, the space is now just used as a stock room. As others have shared, Michael's pricing policy is such that using a 40% off coupon (only 1 item) would get you a moderate bargain price. I don't think they even offer the 40% coupons anymore. Basically I have lost all interest in shopping for anything at any Michael's locations.

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I asked the local Michael's manager about their lack of kits a while ago. He said the corporate reason is "supply chain issues", but in his opinion, it was due largely to regional managers needing their fingers in every store, and model kits being slow movers for them. I said "you can't sell if you've no selection" and he simply said "that's what i meant about division managers...".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stopped at the one in Niagara Falls, they usually have a decent amount of kits and they had zero and the section was gone ..  the one in St.Catharines has a few and some paint thrown underneath in bulk. Looks like once it’s gone that’s it.  
they only ever had the same 5 kits for the last 10 years though so not missing much.

I get most things at sunward hobbies , elm city hobbies or wheels and wings hobbies all in Canada online or in person.

also the St.Catharines store went to all self checkouts.. so I don’t even go there for anything anymore 

Edited by JET.
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