Dartmouth workers left in the cold as two major retailers shutter shops

Dec 3, 2019

Retail workers in Dartmouth have been left in the lurch for the holiday season as two major retailers announced they will be closing their doors in the coming weeks.

Craft store A. C. Moore and clothing retailer Forever 21 have both announced they will be shutting up shops around the country — and both brands’ Dartmouth locations are among those slated to close.

Over 100 Forever 21 stores are expected to close by December 31 after the company filed for bankruptcy in September, although other locations will remain open.

The store is currently liquidating its entire stock, with sales of 40 to 70 percent off all items including mannequins and shelving units.

It is unclear what will happen to the staff.

One employee speaking anonymously said that many have already left for other jobs, although she could not give an estimate as to how many people worked at the store.

Store manager Rebecca declined to comment over the phone.

Meanwhile A. C. Moore will be closing all 145 of its stores nationwide.

In a press release dated November 25, parent company Nicole Crafts stated that rival craft store Michaels will be taking over the leases for 40 locations. 

But there is already a Michaels in North Dartmouth just across State Road from A. C. Moore.

According to store manager Ron, who declined to give his last name, the arts and crafts retailer employs around 30 people from the area. 

Although staff said they were not allowed to comment, they did say they were not made aware of the store closing before the news broke.

“We just found out last week,” said one employee.

“We don’t really know anything more,” said another employee over the phone. “We’re just reading about it in the press, like everybody else.”

Ron noted that the staff hasn’t been given a closing date, but that closing sales are expected to start from next week.

“Other than that, everything else is up in the air,” he added.

A. C. Moore was full of Christmas shoppers on Tuesday afternoon in spite of the snowy weather.

Many of them said they would miss the store.

“I come here over Michaels,” said customer Alisha Souza of New Bedford. “I just feel like they have better deals, especially for kids.”

She noted that retail store closures are a recent trend — even in the Dartmouth Mall, where she works. 

“You start to wonder, are we doing good, are we not doing good,” she said. “You see the stores around you closing.”

Anne Ring drives up from Little Compton to shop at A. C. Moore fairly often. “I come in a lot, because I get all my paint supplies here,” she said. “So yes, I will miss it.”

“It stinks,” said staff member Caroline from Acushnet, who was running the register.

“A lot of the customers are upset about it,” she added.

When asked for a comment, one employee — who wished to remain anonymous — didn’t mince words. 

“None of it would be printable,” she said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”