April 19, 2006, 12:00 AM

Michaels Stores continues to phase out e-commerce

The company began the phase out three years ago when it stopped selling crafts online. Now the retailer no longer is selling arts and framed prints.

Arts and crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc. is closing down more of its e-commerce operation.

Michaels, No. 274 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, began phasing out of mainstream web retailing three years ago when it ceased selling crafts online. Two months ago Michaels stopped selling arts and framed prints on its web site.

“Crafters and home decor enthusiasts are passionate about their creative endeavors and want to be able to touch products and see colors in person,” says senior vice president of marketing David Abelman. “While most crafters research product offerings via the Internet, they make their purchases in store.”

Michaels.com will give customers the ability to purchase gift cards online, but going forward the site will focus only on developing content that drives store sales, Abelman says. “Michaels.com is a content-focused web site that inspires crafters and do-it-yourself home decor enthusiasts,” he says. “Project ideas, product information, and tips and techniques articles educate the consumer in key crafting categories such as beads, paper crafts, and seasons and celebrations.”

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