With the closing of Michaels, 5104 S. Hyde Park Blvd., at the end of January, the Hyde Park fine arts and crafts community is mourning the loss of a convenient anchor.
Last-minute markers, blank sweatshirts, tie-dye supplies, paint, wall decor and other merchandise will be more difficult to come by, especially since the South Loop Michaels location has also shuttered its doors.
(Yahoo! Finance reported in January that the retailer's parent company saw solid earnings estimate revision activity in December, which suggests analysts think the company has good short- and long-term prospects.)
Sarah Diwan at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club is heartbroken, "both as an early childhood educator and, personally, as a do-it-yourself and crafts lover," she emailed.
“Whenever I’ve visited Michaels the store has been busy and had a line so I was truly taken aback by the corporate decision,” she said. “I picked up as much as I could at their closing events but there will be a big void.”
Gina Alicea, an arts teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and a working artist, said she shopped at Michaels for canvas, paint, sketchbooks and other art supplies for her own personal art studio.
“On a professional level, it was my go-to place for last-minute items that were needed in my classroom. Michaels had great prices. Having a store in Hyde Park saved time from having to drive to the North Side to get these items,” she said. "It will be sorely missed."
Dara Henning, an art teacher at Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School "and a mom," said she orders almost all her supplies at the beginning of the year from Blick Art Materials, a catalog business.
“But having Michaels so close was great for getting items throughout the year for special projects — if students wanted to make something like glitter jars or dioramas, I knew I could head down the street and stock up on what we needed without having to wait for something to be shipped,” she said. “It could not have been more convenient, and it is a real loss.”