Employees at the Fort Walton Beach location of A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts had not been given a timetable of when the store would close after Monday morning’s announcement.

FORT WALTON BEACH – By Tuesday morning, word had spread enough that even the customers in line at the local A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store knew the retail chain would be closing nationwide.


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The news Monday was delivered via conference call and blindsided employees, who said they had not been given a timeline as to when the last day of business would actually be.


Management at the Fort Walton Beach store (411 Mary Esther Cut Off NW) declined to comment on the closings.


There are 145 A.C. Moore stores nationwide. Competing arts and crafts retailer Michaels moved quickly to take over a chunk of its former rival’s properties and will turn 40 of the stores into Michaels, although a list of which stores was not available.


A.C. Moore’s announcement is part of the rapid demise of retail chains across the country – so far in 2019 there have been 9,000 store closures, which is already up 40 percent from 2018.


The company, based out of New Jersey, opened its first store in 1985.