Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
An Irving ISD drum-line played as arts and crafts devotees waited in line to be the first ones to experience Michaels Stores, Inc’s newest store. The day’s grand opening activities included give a ways, prizes and craft wars.
“Today is a very special day for both the city of Irving and Michaels as it marks the grand opening of our flagship store here,” said Ted Bachmeier, Michaels’ Vice President of Operations. “This wonderful new store is the result of hard work by a number of very dedicated people.
“We have been looking at Irving for years to find the right location and time. It is our flagship store, because it is the closest store to our corporate offices. We can test things here and do a lot of fun things in this store to learn for the rest of the chain. So it is very critical to have a store here.
“The City has been great and welcomed us with open arms. They have helped us to find the right place.
“The layout, design, floors and shopability of departments within departments, so shoppers feel comfortable. It is easy to navigate through the store to find what you are looking for. Generally in craft stores, it is very difficult to find everything. There are over 40,000 different items in here, so it is nice to navigate through this store and find what you are looking for.”
Jo Pearson, Manager of Where Creativity Happens, beamed as she welcomed guests to the new store.
“We are so proud of this store and all the people who have really worked so hard to bring it here to Irving. It is nice for us too, because it is close to our office,” Pearson said.
“This is a flagship store with all kinds of new fixtures, and I just think it is a beautiful store. It has graphics that are not in any of the other stores and good, friendly customer service. We just want everyone to enjoy the store.”
State Representative Linda Harper-Brown helped officially welcomed the store to Irving.
“We finally have a Michaels opening in Irving,” Harper-Brown said. “For the 10 years I have been a State Representative, I have heard the question, ‘When are we going to get a Michaels?’ Well, now we have answered that question. People love this store, and I know that is going to translate into great success for the company with this flagship store.”
Mayor Beth Van Duyne was granted the honor of opening the store by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.
“This retail win is especially important to us,” she said. “Our residents have long expressed a desire for a Michaels, and now we can finally tell them we have one.
“For us to be here this morning having a ribbon cutting to open one of Michaels flagship stores, makes us really happy. We are working on economic development opportunities. We are responding to the requests, concerns and desires of our citizens. They wanted this, and we made sure they got it.”
Representatives of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber also celebrated the store’s grand opening.
“For the past six years, Irving citizens’ number one feedback to the Irving Economic Development Partnership has been that Irving needed an arts and crafts retail,” said Beth Bowman Chief Development Officer for the Chamber. “Working with Michaels corporate headquarters, which are located in Irving, we worked with John Menzer (Michaels’ former Chief Executive Officer) and Michael J. Veitenheimer (Michaels’ Senior Vice President) to make sure they understood that the Irving residents and business community wanted a Michaels store. They have listened to the Irving community and have brought a Michaels arts and crafts store here.”
Irving’s new Michaels store is located at 7635 N. MacArthur Boulevard.