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All Pat Catan's stores to close

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Jan 31, 2019 at 11:29 AM

The parent company of Pat Catan's announced today it is closing all of the arts and crafts stores in the chain.

That includes the store in Norwalk.

Pat Catan's has 35 other locations throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia. 

The closings are expected to be completed before the end of July this year.

The news comes less than three years ago after Michaels Companies Inc. purchased the Pat Catan’s chain for $150 million. The Texas-based Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America, boasting more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and Canada.

There is hope for area residents who enjoy shopping at the Whittlesey Avenue store, however.

Michaels announced it would reopen as many as 12 stores as new Michaels locations later this year. The company did not identify which ones.

The Pat Catan’s chain “has struggled in the face of industry headwinds,” Chuck Rubin, Michaels chief executive, said in a statement published by MarketWatch.com. For the month so far, the company said it has “seen more volatility in costumer shopping behavior” than expected.

Here is the company’s statement, provided by Michaels spokesperson Julia Young and published at cleveland.com:

“After a comprehensive review, we have made the difficult decision to close the Pat Catan’s retail stores. We intend to rebrand and reopen up to 12 as new Michaels locations later this year, and we are actively exploring ways we can honor the Pat Catan’s brand in The Michaels Companies. We will continue to maintain a Support Center in Strongsville to support our growing Darice wholesale business as well as the Strongsville DC to support The Michaels Companies. We are committed to providing opportunities for all impacted team members and are working closely with our staff and the local communities to help manage through this transition.”

The Norwalk location opened in 2016 in the building at 80 Whittlesey Ave., which at the time was nearly 12 years old and already had been home to three different grocery stores.

Tops Friendly Markets opened in the then-new building on Oct. 20, 2004 and closed Dec. 8, 2006. Giant Eagle closed a year and one day after it replaced Tops. Valu King Food Market followed, occupying part of the building, and lasted just six months. The entire building then remained vacant until Pat Catan’s arrived.

In 2015, when it was announced Norwalk would be getting a Pat Catan’s, the chain still was owned by Lamrite West — the Strongsville-based company founded in 1954 by its namesake, Pat Catanzarite – better known as Pat Catan.

After serving in World War II, Catanzarite returned to Ohio, where he opened a display and props service that worked with Cleveland department stores such as Higbee’s, Halle’s, Linders and Rosenbloom to supply window decorations for their stores.

His successful display company, coupled with his own personal interests in designing toys and jewelry, led to the opening of his first craft supply store called Lamrite in 1954 on Cleveland’s east side.

The retail business that Catanzarite started eventually expanded to serve communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia and Indiana. The name has evolved over the years from Lamrite, to Pat Catan’s Lamrite, to just Pat Catan’s.

Catanzarite died in 2003 at age 81. He was still working for the business up until a few weeks before his death.

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