10-K 1 a07-11593_110k.htm ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 AND 15(D)

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549


FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

x                              ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended February 3, 2007

or

o                                 TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from          to        

Commission file number 001-09338


MICHAELS STORES, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

 

75-1943604

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. employer

incorporation or organization)

 

identification number)

8000 Bent Branch Drive

Irving, Texas 75063

P.O. Box 619566

DFW, Texas 75261-9566

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(972) 409-1300

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

None

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:

None


Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes o  No  x

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.  Yes o  No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes x  No  o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer o

 

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes o  No  x

As of July 29, 2006, the aggregate market value of the voting equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $5,478,257,089 based on the closing price of the Registrant’s Common Stock on such date, $42.42, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock owned by its directors and executive officers were excluded from this aggregate market value calculation; however, such exclusion does not represent a conclusion by the Registrant that any or all of such directors and executive officers are or were affiliates of the Registrant.  On October 31, 2006, substantially  all of the Registrant’s Common Stock was acquired through a merger transaction.  Following the merger, the aggregate market value of voting equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was zero.

As of April 3, 2007, 118,262,731 shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock were outstanding.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.

 




 

Explanatory Note

On April 2, 2007, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, in consultation with management and our independent registered public accounting firm, determined that our application of our retail inventory method of accounting for merchandise inventory in our Michaels stores contained certain deficiencies. The correction of our retail inventory method resulted in a restatement of our consolidated financial statements for years prior to fiscal 2006.

Our restatement also encompasses other charges recorded in prior fiscal years, the effects of which were previously considered immaterial to their respective periods.  These charges include the correction of an error regarding the deferral of costs related to preparing our inventory for sale and vendor allowance recognition, recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 in the amount of $15.0 million, net of an income tax benefit of $8.9 million.  We also included the lease accounting correction, recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 in the amount of $8.0 million, net of an income tax benefit of $4.8 million. For purposes of this restatement, these previously reported cumulative charges were recorded in each of the prior periods to which they relate.

Finally, our restatement includes the resolution of our previously reported internal review of stock options grant practices. Based on our analysis, the amount of additional non-cash compensation cost that should have been recorded was approximately $27.1 million, net of income tax benefits of approximately $12.7 million, all of which relates to periods prior to fiscal 2001. In our restatement, we recognized this additional compensation cost as an adjustment to our beginning retained earnings balance for fiscal 2002.  For the periods presented in this report, this adjustment does not affect results of operations and only resulted in an adjustment of offsetting amounts within the “net cash provided by operating activities” section of our consolidated statements of cash flows, with no change to total cash flow or the classification of cash flows between operating activities, investing activities, or financing activities.

The table below provides a summary of certain line items from our consolidated statements of income for fiscal years 2002 through 2005 and summary cash flow data for fiscal years 2002 through 2004 that were affected by this restatement. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for tables that reconcile our previously reported amounts to the restated amounts and for a more detailed description of the adjustments underlying the restatement.

 

 

 

Income Statement Summary

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

Fiscal 2005

 

Fiscal 2004

 

Fiscal 2003

 

Fiscal 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As previously reported:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

364,340

 

$

339,515

 

$

302,751

 

$

269,794

 

Income before cumulative effect of accounting change

 

219,512

 

201,809

 

177,845

 

147,730

 

Net income

 

131,024

 

201,809

 

177,845

 

140,297

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As restated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

381,101

 

342,771

 

292,267

 

242,784

 

Income before cumulative effect of accounting change

 

228,213

 

203,954

 

171,659

 

131,280

 

Net income

 

220,722

 

203,954

 

171,659

 

124,984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

16,761

 

3,256

 

(10,484

)

(27,010

)

Income before cumulative effect of accounting change

 

8,701

 

2,145

 

(6,186

)

(16,450

)

Net income

 

89,698

 

2,145

 

(6,186

)

(15,313

)

 

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Cash Flow Data

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

Fiscal 2004

 

Fiscal 2003

 

Fiscal 2002

 

As previously reported:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Net cash provided by operating activities

 

$

427,818

 

$

289,506

 

$

109,482

 

  Net cash used in investing activities

 

(141,152

)

(103,005

)

(108,079

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As restated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Net cash provided by operating activities

 

431,375

 

292,834

 

111,561

 

  Net cash used in investing activities

 

(144,709

)

(106,333

)

(110,158

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Net cash provided by operating activities

 

3,557

 

3,328

 

2,079

 

  Net cash used in investing activities

 

(3,557

)

(3,328

)

(2,079

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

ITEM 1.  Business.

The following discussion, as well as other portions of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs. Any statements contained herein (including, but not limited to, statements to the effect that Michaels or its management “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “expects,” “believes,” and other similar expressions) that are not statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements. Our actual results could materially differ from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and particularly in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Unless otherwise noted, all amounts contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are as of February 3, 2007. Unless otherwise noted, all references to the number of shares of Common Stock and earnings per share amounts in this Annual Report on Form 10-K have been adjusted to retroactively reflect the two-for-one Common Stock split and the 2.9333-for-one Common Stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend to stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 27, 2004 and January 26, 2007, respectively.

General

With approximately $3.9 billion in sales in fiscal 2006, Michaels Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in North America providing materials, ideas, and education for creative activities. Michaels Stores, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1983, and as of March 30, 2007, we operate 926 Michaels retail stores in 48 states, as well as in Canada, averaging 18,400 square feet of selling space. Our stores offer arts and crafts supplies and products for the crafter and do-it-yourself home decorator. We also operate 167 Aaron Brothers stores as of March 30, 2007, in 11 states, averaging 5,500 square feet of selling space, offering photo frames, a full line of ready-made frames, custom framing services, and a wide selection of art supplies. Recollections, our scrapbooking/paper crafting retail concept, operates 11 stores as of March 30, 2007, located in Arizona, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia, providing merchandise, accessories, and a variety of scrapbooking and paper crafting support services in a community learning environment. In addition, we own and operate four Star Decorators Wholesale stores as of March 30, 2007, located in Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas, offering merchandise primarily to interior decorators/designers, wedding/event planners, florists, hotels, restaurants, and commercial display companies. Unless the context otherwise indicates, references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “we,” “our,” “us,” the “Company” and “Michaels” means Michaels Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries.

Our mission is to help our customers express themselves creatively. Through our broad product assortments, friendly and knowledgeable sales associates, educational in-store events, and project sheets and displays, we offer a shopping experience that encourages creativity. We also offer classes and demonstrations that teach basic and advanced skills and provide a hands-on experience in a community environment.

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We will make available our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, free of charge through our Internet website at www.michaels.com under the heading “Corporate Information” as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

Recent History

On October 31, 2006, substantially all of the Common Stock of Michaels Stores, Inc. was acquired through a merger transaction (the “Merger”) by affiliates of two private investment firms, Bain Capital Partners, LLC and The Blackstone Group  (collectively, together with their applicable affiliates, the “Sponsors”), with certain shares retained by affiliates of Highfields Capital Partners (a then-existing shareholder of Michaels Stores, Inc.). As a result of the Merger, Michaels Holdings LLC, an entity controlled by the Sponsors, owns over  93% of our outstanding Common Stock, which is no longer publicly traded.

In connection with the Merger, our capital structure changed significantly.  We issued three series of notes and executed  new senior credit facilities. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources” for further information.

Industry Overview—Competition

We are the largest specialty retailer in North America providing materials, ideas, and education for creative activities in home accents, art, and craft projects. We believe we are well positioned to benefit from favorable demographics, particularly a more affluent baby boomer population; continued investment in existing and new homes; and an increasing focus on home-based, family activities. According to a consumer participation survey from April 2006, our typical customer is:

·             Female—90% are women and 61% are married.

·             Young—70% of crafters are under 55, with 43% of them between the ages of 35 and 54.

·             Affluent—67% of our crafters have household incomes greater than $50,000, with a median income of about $65,000.

·             Loyal—Most crafters shop for craft supplies at least twice a month, with approximately half of their visits to Michaels.

We compete across many segments of the industry, including floral, fine art, adult and kids crafts, scrapbooking and paper crafting, home accents, gift wrapping supplies, candles, photo frames, and custom framing. Industry association and analyst research reports estimate that our total addressable market size is about $38 billion annually, of which $30 billion is associated with the core arts and crafts market and $8 billion is associated with the framing market. According to industry surveys, the U.S. core arts and crafts market experienced annual growth of 4.7% from 2000 through September 2006.

The markets in which we compete are highly fragmented, containing stores across the nation operated primarily by small, independent retailers along with a few regional chains. We are the largest national retailer dedicated to serving the arts and crafts market, and we believe that there are only three other arts and crafts retailers in the United States with annual sales in excess of $500 million.

We believe customers tend to choose where to shop based upon store location, breadth of selection, price, quality of merchandise, availability of product, and customer service. We compete with many different types of retailers and classify our competition within the following categories:

·             Mass merchandisers. This category includes companies such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and other mass merchandisers. These retailers typically dedicate only a small portion of their selling space to a limited selection of home accents, arts and crafts supplies, and seasonal merchandise, but they do seek to capitalize on the latest trends by stocking products that are complimentary to those trends and their current merchandise offerings. These mass merchandisers generally have limited customer service staffs with varying amounts of experience in crafting projects.

·             Multi-store chains. This category includes several multi-store chains, each operating more than 30 stores, and comprises: Hobby Lobby, which operates approximately 386 stores in 30 states, primarily in the Midwestern and Southern United States; A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc., which operates approximately 122 stores in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions; Jo-Ann Superstores (operated by Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.), which operates approximately 173 Superstores across the country; and Garden Ridge Corporation, which operates approximately 36 stores in 13 states, primarily in the Midwestern and Southern United States. We believe all of these chains are significantly smaller than Michaels with respect to number of stores and total net sales.

·             Small, local specialty retailers. This category includes local “Mom & Pop” arts and crafts retailers. Typically, these are single store operations managed by the owner. These stores generally have limited resources for advertising, purchasing,

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and distribution. Many of these stores have established a loyal customer base within a given community and compete with us based on relationships and customer service.

Business Strategy

We intend to increase our revenues and profits by strengthening our position as the largest retailer in North America within the arts and crafts, home accents, and custom framing sectors through the following strategies:

·             Increase Sales and Productivity of Existing Michaels Stores. Michaels stores that have been open longer than 36 months currently average approximately $224 in net sales per selling square foot. We continue to strive toward increasing sales and productivity by focusing on merchandise assortment and in-stock positions, enhancing our customers’ in-store experiences, and improving our marketing execution.

           Improving our merchandise assortment. We attempt to provide merchandise assortments that inspire creativity and fun within the categories we carry. We intend to continue to refine our merchandise assortment and introduce new products through detailed SKU analysis from our perpetual inventory system. Our perpetual inventory capabilities allow us to track SKU demand in real time across different stores and geographies.  We can test new merchandising assortments in selected markets before implementing regional or national rollouts. Our assortments include highly differentiated and exclusive product lines, which we believe helps us further maximize our opportunities within arts and crafts trends.

           Maintaining our store merchandise in-stock position. As part of our ongoing inventory management and supply chain initiatives, we strive to have fully-stocked basic assortments in our stores supported by timely, updated displays of merchandise in our key feature space areas such as power panels, end caps, drive aisles, and the area around the checkout. We continue to optimize our in-stock levels using data from our automated replenishment system, which we implemented during fiscal 2004. We also plan to improve the timing of the receipt of merchandise in our stores to take advantage of the natural seasonal selling peaks we have throughout the year.

           Enhancing the in-store experience. We promote an environment whereby our customers rely on us for ideas, inspiration, and information. We expect to make it easier and more exciting to shop our stores with less clutter in the drive aisles, more powerful promotional items in our feature space, improved customer service, and faster checkout times. In fiscal 2005, we initiated our store standardization/remodel program by standardizing layouts, fixtures, merchandise adjacencies, and new signage across our stores. Through March 30, 2007, we executed this initiative across a total of 230 new and relocated stores as well as existing store remodels. We plan to remodel approximately 40 stores in fiscal 2007 using our store standardization/remodel program.

           Improving marketing execution. We are focused on marketing strategies and vehicles that will drive customer traffic and demand for our products. In order to successfully retain customers and prospect high value new customers, we utilize a diversified marketing mix including print, internet, direct mail, and various in-store promotional activities. We will continue to focus on circular advertising, but we are reviewing the frequency and breadth of our print circular program while we continue to use targeted, direct mailing campaigns. We believe the utilization of our marketing database allows us to drive a productive, cost-efficient marketing program.

·            Enhance Michaels Stores’ Merchandise Margins. We intend to enhance merchandise margins through specific initiatives designed to improve our pricing and promotional strategy, and our inventory management, supply chain and sourcing processes.

           Pricing and promotional strategy. We are working to develop an integrated pricing and promotion strategy based on customer behavior, while improving our long-term organizational capabilities, processes, and tools. Our promotion activity is item-price based, with promotions spanning across categories and with limited regional differentiation. We believe we can improve margins by applying more sophisticated pricing models and regional promotion programs, with a focus on the optimization of item-specific promotional prices and improvements in clearance pricing though merchandising systems upgrades and enhanced merchandise planning.  We further believe the identification of

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promotional items that drive customer traffic will add consumers to the base market as we seek to feature those promotional items more often.  We are currently reviewing potential software products that would enable us to develop a database of information to allow us to further improve our pricing and promotional decisions.

           Hybrid distribution network. We currently ship approximately 35% of our products directly from the vendor to our Michaels stores. We are in the process of shifting to a hybrid distribution model whereby a much larger percentage of our inventory will be shipped from the vendor to our distribution centers. All distribution centers will stock our fast-selling SKUs with slower-selling SKUs stocked in the distribution center closest to the vendor. We believe our hybrid-distribution method will help reduce costs associated with drop-shipping products directly to store locations.

           Product sourcing. A significant portion of our products are manufactured outside the United States but we source less than 10% of our products directly from international manufacturers. We expect to further expand our importation of basic assortment products as we believe this presents a significant long-term opportunity to enhance our margins, potentially decrease domestic supply chain costs, and realize overall lower product costs. The fulfillment of this objective is dependent upon several factors, including our product development requirements, establishment of key processes, implementation of new or upgrade of existing technology, distribution center capacity, and merchant resource constraints.

·             Grow Through New Michaels Store Openings. We believe the United States and Canadian markets can support about 1,350 Michaels stores. We plan to open approximately 45-50 new Michaels stores per year, extending into the foreseeable future, funded primarily through cash provided by operating activities and additional borrowings under our revolving credit facility. From the beginning of fiscal 1998 through fiscal 2006, we have opened or relocated 685 Michaels stores using a standardized store opening procedure, which has ensured store openings with a merchandise assortment and presentation consistent with our existing stores. We have developed and are constantly refining our Michaels store prototype, consistent with our store standardization/remodel program, to incorporate improved merchandising techniques and store layouts.

·             Evaluate Additional Growth Opportunities. We also own and operate Aaron Brothers, Star Decorators Wholesale, and Recollections. Aaron Brothers specializes in framing and art supplies and operates primarily on the west coast in 11 states. Our four Star Decorators Wholesale stores target customers such as interior decorators/designers, wedding/event planners, florists, hotels, restaurants, and commercial display companies. Recollections, which consists of 11 stores across four states, focuses on scrapbooking and paper crafting products. Combined, these entities accounted for approximately 5.5% of our consolidated sales in fiscal 2006. We continue to refine these concepts using our existing stores as we work to expand our customer base and leverage our experience and vendor base.  Therefore, we project limited store growth for our specialty businesses in fiscal 2007.

Merchandising and Marketing

Product Selection

Our Michaels store merchandising strategy is to provide a broad selection of products in a convenient location with an appealing store environment. Each Michaels store offers approximately 41,000 basic SKUs in a number of product categories. The following table shows a breakdown of sales for Michaels stores by department as a percentage of total sales:

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

General crafts

 

28

%

29

%

26

%

Art supplies

 

21

 

21

 

21

 

Picture framing

 

19

 

17

 

19

 

“Silk” and dried floral

 

12

 

14

 

13

 

Seasonal

 

11

 

10

 

11

 

Hobby, wrapping supplies, and candles

 

9

 

9

 

10

 

 

 

100

%

100

%

100

%

 

We offer the following selection of merchandise in our Michaels stores:

·             products for the do-it-yourself home decorator, including wall décor, candles, containers, baskets, and potpourri; custom

6




framing services, ready-made frames, mat boards, glass, framed art, art prints, and photo albums; and “silk” flowers, dried flowers, and artificial plants sold separately or in ready-made and custom floral arrangements, accessories needed for floral arranging, and other floral items, such as wreaths;

·             art supplies; scrapbooking and paper crafting materials; surfaces and pads; adhesives and finishes; pastels and watercolors, oil paints, acrylics, easels, brushes, paper, canvas, and stenciling materials; and

·             craft supplies, including beads, wood, foam, doll making supplies, jewelry making supplies, rubber stamps, apparel crafts, books and magazines, craft storage, and plaster; needlecraft items, including stitchery supplies, knitting yarns, needles, canvas, and related supplies for needlepoint, embroidery and cross stitching, knitting, crochet, rug making kits, and quilt and afghan kits; ribbon and wedding accessories; gifts; hobby items, including plastic model kits and related supplies, kids’ craft materials, plush toys, and paint-by-number kits; party needs, including gift wrap, candy making supplies, and cake decorating supplies; and soap and candle making supplies.

Our Michaels stores regularly feature seasonal merchandise that complements our core merchandising strategy. Seasonal merchandise is offered for several holiday periods, including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many other regional “mini season” programs. For example, seasonal merchandise for the Christmas season includes home decorating items such as artificial trees, wreaths, candles, lights, and ornaments.

During the Christmas selling season, a significant portion of floor and shelf space in a typical Michaels store is devoted to Christmas crafts, Christmas decorations, gift making, and gift giving merchandise. Because of the project-oriented nature of many of these products, the Christmas selling season begins in August and extends through December. Accordingly, a fully developed seasonal merchandising program, including inventory, merchandise layout, and instructional ideas, is implemented during the third quarter of each fiscal year in each Michaels store. This program requires additional inventory accumulation so that each store is fully stocked during the peak selling season to meet higher demand from increased customer traffic.

We routinely identify merchandise that requires some price reduction to accelerate sales of the product. The need for this reduction is generally attributable to either seasonal product remaining at the end of the season or product that is being displaced from its assigned location in the store to make room for new merchandise. Additional product candidates for repricing are identified using our point of sale (“POS”) and perpetual inventory data. In each case, the appropriate repricing is determined at our corporate office and sent to the stores with instructions on how to accelerate sales of the repriced product.

Our Aaron Brothers stores offer on average approximately 5,100 SKUs, including photo frames, a full line of ready-made frames, art prints, framed art, and a wide selection of art supplies and custom framing services. The merchandising strategy for our Aaron Brothers stores is to provide a unique, upscale framing assortment and shopping experience. In addition, we strive to provide a fashion forward framing merchandise selection in an appealing environment with attentive customer service.

Customer Experience

We believe that our customer experience is a key advantage that differentiates us from our competitors and is a critical component of our merchandising strategy. Many of the craft supplies sold in our Michaels stores can be assembled into unique end products with an appropriate amount of guidance and direction. Accordingly, we have displays in every store to stimulate new project ideas and we supply free project sheets with detailed instructions on how to assemble the finished product. We also offer project sheets on our Internet site, www.michaels.com. In addition, many Michaels sales associates are craft enthusiasts who are able to help customers with ideas, inspiration, and instructions. We have a comprehensive offering of classes and demonstrations to inspire our customers with product ideas and information. We believe this strategy enhances incremental sales and frequency of customer visits.

Advertising

We focus primarily on circular advertising but also employ targeted, direct mailings. We believe that our circular advertising, primarily utilized in Sunday newspapers, is our most productive and cost efficient form of advertising. The circulars advertise numerous products in order to emphasize the wide selection of products available at Michaels stores. We believe that our ability to advertise through circulars throughout the year in each of our markets provides us with an advantage over our smaller competitors and that it also reinforces and strengthens our brand name.

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Store Design and Operations

Our store design encourages purchases in a friendly, creative environment. Store design is developed centrally and implemented at the store level through the use of merchandise planograms, which provide store associates with detailed descriptions and illustrations with respect to store layout and merchandise presentation. Planograms are also used to cluster various products that can be combined to create individual projects.

A Michaels store is typically managed by a store manager, one assistant manager, and three department managers. The field organization for Michaels is headed by an executive vice president and is divided into six geographic zones. Each zone has its own vice president and 10 to 13 district managers. There are a total of 75 districts in the United States and Canada. Typically, an Aaron Brothers store is managed by a store manager and one assistant manager. The field organization for Aaron Brothers is headed by a divisional senior vice president and is divided into 13 districts, each with a district manager. We believe this organizational structure enhances the communication among the individual stores and between the stores and corporate headquarters.

Purchasing and Inventory Management

We purchase merchandise from approximately 1,200 vendors. We believe that our buying power and ability to make centralized purchases enable us to acquire products on favorable terms. Central merchandising management teams negotiate with vendors in an attempt to obtain the lowest net merchandise costs and improve control over product mix and inventory levels. In fiscal 2006, our top 10 vendors accounted for approximately 20% of total purchases with no single vendor accounting for more than 3.5% of total purchases.

In addition to purchasing from outside vendors, our Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores purchase custom frames, framing supplies, mats, framed art, and art prints from our manufacturing operation, Artistree, which consists of a manufacturing facility and three regional processing centers to support our retail stores.

Substantially all of the products sold in Michaels stores are manufactured in Asia, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Goods manufactured in Asia generally require long lead times and are ordered four to six months in advance of delivery. Those products are either imported directly by us or acquired from distributors based in the United States and their purchase prices are denominated in United States dollars.

Our primary objectives for inventory management are (1) maximizing the efficiency of the flow of product to the stores, (2) maintaining high store in-stock levels, (3) enhancing store labor efficiency, (4) reducing clearance inventory levels, and (5) optimizing our overall investment in inventory. We manage our inventory in several ways, including: in-store management using a handheld radio frequency device (RF gun); daily tracking of inventory positions utilizing our perpetual inventory and automated replenishment systems; the use of merchandise planograms to control the merchandise assortment and presentation; and the review of item-level sales information in order to track the performance and sell-through of seasonal and promotional items. The data that we obtain from our POS system is an integral component in the inventory management process. In addition, inventories are verified through periodic physical and cycle counts conducted throughout the year on a rotating systematic schedule.

The implementation of our perpetual inventory and automated merchandise replenishment systems allows us to better achieve our inventory management objectives. Our automated replenishment system uses perpetual inventory records to analyze individual store/SKU on-hand quantities, as well as other pertinent information such as unfilled orders, seasonal selling patterns, promotional events, and vendor lead times, to generate recommended merchandise reorder information on a daily basis. These recommended orders are reviewed daily and purchase orders are delivered electronically to our vendors or replenishment orders are sent to our distribution centers. In addition to improving our store in-stock position, these systems allow us to better forecast merchandise ordering quantities for our vendors and give us the ability to identify, order, and replenish the stores’ merchandise using less store associate labor. These systems also allow us to react more quickly to selling trends and allow our store associates to devote more time to customer service, thereby improving inventory productivity and sales opportunities.

We began the rollout of our perpetual inventory and automated replenishment systems in fiscal 2001. We completed the rollout of our perpetual inventory system in fiscal 2003 and completed the implementation of our automated replenishment system in July 2004. During fiscal 2005, we determined that our perpetual inventory system could be used to value our inventory for accounting purposes. As discussed in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Accounting Items,” we changed our method of accounting for merchandise inventories from a retail inventory method to the weighted average cost method as of the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

 

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We manage the distribution of seasonal merchandise to our stores by allocating seasonal merchandise to our stores based on prior year sales and current store sales trends. For a discussion of the seasonal nature of our business, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Seasonality.”

Artistree

We currently operate a vertically integrated manufacturing operation named Artistree that supplies our Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores with quality custom and specialty framing merchandise, including art prints. Our regional processing centers are located in City of Industry, California; Coppell, Texas; and Kernersville, North Carolina. Kernersville, North Carolina is also the home of our moulding manufacturing and ready-made frame plant. Our art prints are packaged and distributed out of our Coppell, Texas regional processing center. Combined, these facilities occupy approximately 476,000 square feet and, in fiscal 2006, processed over 23 million linear feet of frame moulding for our Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores.

Our moulding manufacturing plant converts raw lumber into finished frame moulding that is supplied to our regional processing centers for custom framing orders for our stores. We manufacture approximately 17% of the moulding we process, import another 33% from quality manufacturers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, and Italy, and purchase the balance from distributors. During fiscal 2005, we began to directly source metal moulding for processing in our regional centers, whereas in prior years we completely outsourced the production and processing of metal frames. The custom framing orders are processed (frames cut and joined, and mats cut) and shipped to our stores where the custom frame order is completed for customer pick-up.

We believe Artistree provides a competitive advantage to our Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores. Based on the benefits we have received from this vertically integrated solution, we continue to evaluate additional future vertical integration opportunities.

Distribution

We currently operate a distribution network for supplying our stores with merchandise. Approximately 65% of Michaels stores’ merchandise, consisting of both seasonal and basic SKUs, is shipped through the Michaels distribution network, with the remainder shipped directly from vendors. Approximately 62% of Aaron Brothers stores’ merchandise, consisting of both seasonal and basic SKUs, is shipped through the Aaron Brothers distribution center, with the remainder being shipped directly from vendors. Our seven current distribution centers are located in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. In fiscal 2002, we completed an expansion of our Lancaster, California distribution center and added a new distribution facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which added approximately 1.0 million square feet of capacity. In fiscal 2003, we constructed a new distribution center located in the Chicago, Illinois area, from which we began shipping orders in June 2004 as we ceased operations in our Kentucky distribution center. The 693,000 square feet at our Illinois distribution center, offset by the closing of our Kentucky distribution center in fiscal 2004, added approximately 271,000 square feet to our capacity. Our new Centralia, Washington facility, which will become operational during the second quarter of fiscal 2007, will add another 715,000 square feet, bringing the total capacity to approximately 4.3 million square feet. This new facility will add needed capacity in the Northwest to support our importing initiatives and will replace one of our third-party seasonal facilities. We currently utilize three third-party warehouse facilities to store and supply our seasonal merchandise in preparation for the holiday season.

Michaels stores generally receive deliveries from the distribution centers each week through an internal transportation distribution network using a dedicated fleet of trucks and contract carriers. Aaron Brothers stores receive merchandise on a weekly or biweekly basis from their dedicated 174,000 square foot distribution center located in the Los Angeles, California area. Star Decorators Wholesale stores receive some merchandise from the distribution centers, but most of their merchandise is received through direct vendor shipments.

In fiscal 2004, we completed the implementation of a transportation management system to manage our transportation processes between our vendors, distribution centers, and stores. This system has allowed us to increase the visibility of merchandise shipments within our supply chain and improve our overall transportation efficiency.

We currently have approximately 51% of our basic SKUs replenished through the Michaels distribution network, with the remainder shipped directly from vendors. In fiscal 2005, we implemented a number of enhancements to our distribution network. We refer to the improved network as our Hybrid distribution network, through which we expect to ultimately replenish approximately 85% to 95% of our basic SKUs. We expect this reduction in direct deliveries from vendors to our stores to result in the following benefits to our supply chain:

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·             Cost reductions are expected to be shared with our vendors;

·             Transportation costs should be reduced, partially offset by additional handling costs;

·             Store labor involved in merchandise receipt processing should become more efficient; and

·             Service levels to our stores should improve.

We are now in the implementation phase of the Hybrid distribution network, and have converted approximately 24% of direct vendors at the end of fiscal 2006. We expect to complete the transition to Hybrid distribution in fiscal 2008.

Store Expansion and Relocation

In 1995, we recognized that we had the critical mass to achieve improved operating efficiencies that could result in higher returns on capital by focusing on key initiatives, such as strengthening our information systems and infrastructure to support future growth in the number of stores. In fiscal 1995, we announced a shift in focus from store growth to higher returns on capital and as a result, moderated our internal growth rate in number of stores. Beginning in fiscal 1998, we expanded our new store opening program and have continued to grow our number of stores through fiscal 2006.

The following table shows our store growth for the last five years:

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

Michaels stores:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retail stores open at beginning of year

 

885

 

844

 

804

 

754

 

694

 

Retail stores opened during the year

 

43

 

46

 

45

 

55

 

67

 

Retail stores opened (relocations) during the year

 

7

 

18

 

30

 

16

 

18

 

Retail stores closed during the year

 

(8

)

(5

)

(5

)

(5

)

(7

)

Retail stores closed (relocations) during the year

 

(7

)

(18

)

(30

)

(16

)

(18

)

Retail stores open at end of year

 

920

 

885

 

844

 

804

 

754

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Brothers stores:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retail stores open at beginning of year

 

166

 

164

 

158

 

148

 

139

 

Retail stores opened during the year

 

1

 

2

 

7

 

10

 

13

 

Retail stores opened (relocations) during the year

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

Retail stores closed during the year

 

(1

)

 

(1

)

 

(4

)

Retail stores closed (relocations) during the year

 

 

 

(1

)

 

(1

)

Retail stores open at end of year

 

166

 

166

 

164

 

158

 

148

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recollections stores:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retail stores open at beginning of year

 

11

 

8

 

2

 

 

 

Retail stores opened during the year

 

 

3

 

6

 

2

 

 

Retail stores open at end the year

 

11

 

11

 

8

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Decorators Wholesale stores:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wholesale stores open at beginning of year

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

2

 

2

 

Wholesale stores opened during the year

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

Wholesale stores open at end of year

 

4

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total store count at end of year

 

1,101

 

1,066

 

1,019

 

967

 

904

 

 

We plan to open approximately 45-50 Michaels and two Aaron Brothers stores in fiscal 2007 and plan to open a similar number of Michaels stores in each of the subsequent fiscal years, extending into the foreseeable future. In fiscal 2007, we have no store openings planned for Recollections or Star Decorators Wholesale. The anticipated opening of Michaels, Aaron Brothers, Recollections, and Star Decorators Wholesale stores and the rate at which stores are opened will depend upon a number of factors, including the success of existing stores, the availability and the cost of capital for expansion, the availability of suitable store sites, and the ability to hire and train qualified managers.

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We have developed a standardized store opening procedure that allows for the efficient opening of new stores and their integration into our information and distribution systems. We develop the floor plan and merchandise layout and organize the advertising and promotions in connection with the opening of each new store. In addition, we maintain qualified store opening teams to provide new store personnel with in-store training.

Costs for opening stores at particular locations depend upon the type of building, the general cost levels in the area, store size, operating format, and the time of the year the store is opened. In fiscal 2006, the average net cost of opening a new Michaels store included approximately $672,000 of leasehold improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment, and pre-opening costs, and an estimated initial inventory investment, net of accounts payable, of approximately $537,000.

In addition to new store openings, we continue to pursue a store relocation program to improve the quality and performance of our existing store base as well as perform remodels of existing stores. We relocated 18 and seven Michaels stores in fiscal 2005 and 2006, respectively. We remodeled 27 and 67 Michaels stores in fiscal 2005 and 2006, respectively. We plan to relocate approximately 9 to 11 Michaels stores and remodel approximately 40 Michaels stores during fiscal 2007.

During fiscal 2005 and 2006, we closed five and eight Michaels stores, respectively, as well as one Aaron Brothers store in fiscal 2006. During fiscal 2007, we plan to close three Michaels stores.

Investment in Information Technology

We are committed to using information technology to increase operating efficiencies, improve merchandise selection and flow, and improve our ability to satisfy the needs of our customers. Between fiscal 1998 and fiscal 2004, we invested heavily in POS, perpetual inventory, automated replenishment, distribution, and seasonal allocation systems. These systems have significantly improved our ability to properly forecast, manage, and analyze our inventory levels, margins, and merchandise ordering quantities and have created efficiencies within our stores, distribution centers, and corporate office. We are seeing the benefits of these systems now with the potential for improvements in the future as we further refine the usage and integration among our systems.

In fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005, we installed a new human resource system, as well as a new financial system, which we believe enables us to more closely manage payroll expense at the stores, provide an efficient platform for future growth, and  utilize best practices for processes and controls, which are built into the applications.

In fiscal 2006, we began the rollout of a labor management system, with time and attendance functionality being implemented in all Michaels stores. Labor forecasting will be tested and a store rollout begun in fiscal 2007 with the complete chain implemented in fiscal 2008. We expect this system to give us detailed insight into our labor force and how to best service our customers, with improvements in labor efficiency and utilization over the next several years.

We also implemented a new Data Warehouse system in fiscal 2006.  This system is the central source for certain business reporting processes and is designed to be highly scalable in order to support future growth and information needs.

We intend to significantly upgrade our current merchandising systems over the next two years to give us enhanced capabilities in item and price management, order management, and space management. We also intend to implement a Merchandise Financial Planning system to better support our inventory management efforts, as well as adding a sophisticated promotion planning and optimization system. We believe our ongoing business system upgrades will support our anticipated future growth and provide continued opportunities for improvement of margins and business operations.

Foreign Sales

All of our current international business is in Canada and accounted for approximately 6.9% of total sales in fiscal 2006, 6.1% of total sales in fiscal 2005, and 5.2% of total sales in fiscal 2004. During the last three years, 5% or less of our assets have been located outside of the United States.

Service Marks

The names “Aaron Brothers,” “Aaron Brothers Art & Framing,” “Artistree,” “Artistree Art Frame & Design,” “Michaels,” “Michaels.com,” “Michaels The Arts and Crafts Store,” “Recollections,” “Star Decorators Wholesale,” “Star Decorators Wholesale Warehouse,” “Vendor Connect,” and the Michaels logo are each federally registered service marks.

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Employees

As of March 30, 2007, we employed approximately 43,100 associates, approximately 29,800 of whom were employed on a part-time basis. The number of part-time associates substantially increases during the Christmas selling season. Of our full-time associates, approximately 2,950 are engaged in various executive, operating, training, distribution, and administrative functions in our corporate and division offices and distribution centers, and the remainder are engaged in store operations. None of our associates are members of labor unions in association with their Michaels employment.

ITEM 1A.  Risk Factors.

Our financial performance is subject to various risks and uncertainties. The risks described below are those which we believe are the material risks we face. Any of the risk factors described below could significantly and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

We Face Risks Related to Our Substantial Indebtedness

Our substantial leverage could aversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry, expose us to interest rate risk to the extent of our variable rate debt and prevent us from meeting our obligations under our notes and credit facilities. Our high degree of leverage could have important consequences to us, including:

·             making it more difficult for us to make payments on our debt;

·             increasing our vulnerability to general economic and industry conditions;

·             requiring a substantial portion of cash flow from operations to be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our debt, thereby reducing our ability to use our cash flow to fund our operations, capital expenditures, and future business opportunities;

·             exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates as certain of our borrowings under our senior secured credit facilities are at variable rates;

·             restricting us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make non-strategic divestitures;

·             limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, product development, debt service requirements, acquisitions, and general corporate or other purposes; and

·             limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions and placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors who are less highly leveraged.

We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, subject to the restrictions contained in our senior secured credit facilities and the indentures governing our notes. In addition, our senior secured credit facilities and indentures governing our notes do not restrict our owners from creating new holding companies that may be able to incur indebtedness without regard to the restrictions set forth in our credit facilities and indentures. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.

Our Debt Agreements Contain Restrictions That Limit our Flexibility in Operating our Business

Our senior secured credit facilities and the indentures governing our notes contain various covenants that limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. These covenants limit our and our restricted subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:

·             incur additional debt;

·             pay dividends or distributions on our capital stock or repurchase our capital stock;

·             issue stock of subsidiaries;

·             make certain investments;

·             create liens on our assets to secure debt;

·             enter into transactions with affiliates;

·             merge or consolidate with another company; and

·             sell or otherwise transfer assets.

In addition, under our senior secured credit facilities, we are required to satisfy and maintain specified financial ratios and other financial condition tests. Our ability to meet those financial ratios and tests can be affected by events beyond our control, and we cannot assure that we will meet those ratios and tests. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under

12




our senior secured credit facilities. Upon the occurrence of an event of default under our senior secured credit facilities, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under our senior secured credit facilities to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under our senior secured credit facilities could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness. We have pledged a significant portion of our assets as collateral under our senior secured credit facilities. If the lenders under our senior secured credit facilities accelerate the repayment of borrowings, we cannot assure that we will have sufficient assets to repay our senior secured credit facilities, as well as our unsecured indebtedness, including the notes.

Our senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility permits us to borrow up to $1.0 billion; however, our ability to borrow thereunder is limited by a borrowing base, which at any time will equal the sum of 90% of eligible credit card receivables and debit card receivables plus between 90% and 85% of the appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible inventory and of eligible letters of credit plus a percentage of eligible in-transit inventory to be agreed upon, less certain reserves, and the sum of an additional 10% appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible inventory and of eligible letters of credit plus an additional 5% of eligible credit card receivables and debit card receivables under a “last out” tranche. In addition, our ability to borrow under this facility is limited by a minimum liquidity condition, providing that, if excess availability is less than $75.0 million at any time, we are not permitted to borrow any additional amounts under the senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility unless our pro forma Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio (as defined in the credit agreement for our senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility) is at least 1.1 to 1.0. Moreover, our senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility provides discretion to the agent bank acting on behalf of the lenders to impose additional availability reserves, which could materially impair the amount of borrowings that would otherwise be available to us. There can be no assurance that the agent bank will not impose such reserves or, were it to do so, that the resulting impact of this action would not materially and adversely impair our liquidity.

Our Growth Depends on Our Ability to Open New Stores

One of our key business strategies is to expand our base of retail stores. If we are unable to implement this strategy, our ability to increase our sales, profitability, and cash flow could be impaired. To the extent that we are unable to open new stores as we anticipate, our sales growth would come only from increases in comparable store sales. Growth in profitability in that case would depend significantly on our ability to reduce our costs as a percentage of our sales. We may be unable to implement our strategy if we cannot identify suitable sites for additional stores, negotiate acceptable leases, access sufficient capital to support store growth, or hire and train a sufficient number of qualified associates.

Our Success Will Depend on How Well We Manage Our Growth

Even if we are able to implement, to a significant degree, our strategy of expanding our store base, or additionally, to expand our business through acquisitions or vertical integration opportunities, we may experience problems, which may prevent any significant increase in profitability or negatively impact our cash flow. For example:

·             the costs of opening and operating new stores may offset the increased sales generated by the additional stores;

·             the closure of unsuccessful stores may result in the retention of liability for expensive leases;

·             a significant portion of our management’s time and energy may be consumed with issues unrelated to advancing our core business strategy, which could possibly result in a deterioration of our operating results;

·             our expansion may outpace our planned technological advances and current systems with the possible consequences of breakdowns in our supply chain management and reduced effectiveness of our operational systems and controls;

·             we may be unable to hire, train, and retain qualified employees, including management and senior executives; existing vacancies in key executive positions, if unfilled for a significant period of time, may adversely affect strategic and operational effectiveness;

·             our suppliers may be unable to meet the increased demand of additional stores in a timely manner; and

·             we may be unable to expand our existing distribution centers or use third-party distribution centers on a cost-effective basis to provide merchandise for sale by our new stores.

We May Fail to Optimize or Adequately Maintain Our Perpetual Inventory and Automated Replenishment Systems

We have completed the rollout of our perpetual inventory, automated replenishment, and weighted average cost stock ledger systems, which we believe are necessary to properly forecast, manage, and analyze our inventory levels, margins, and merchandise ordering quantities. We may fail to properly optimize the effectiveness of these systems, or to adequately support and maintain the systems, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and operating results.

13




Improvements to Our Supply Chain May Not Be Fully Successful

An important part of our efforts to achieve efficiencies, cost reductions, and sales and cash flow growth is the identification and implementation of improvements to our supply chain, including merchandise ordering, transportation, and receipt processing. During fiscal 2007, we will continue to implement a number of enhancements to our distribution systems with select suppliers, enabling us to evaluate our ability to distribute additional SKUs through our distribution centers. Significant changes to our supply chain could have a material adverse impact on our operating results.

Changes in Customer Demands Could Materially Adversely Affect Our Sales, Operating Results, and Cash Flow

Our success depends on our ability to anticipate and respond in a timely manner to changing customer demands and preferences for products and supplies used in creative activities. If we misjudge the market, we may significantly overstock unpopular products and be forced to take significant inventory markdowns, which would have a negative impact on our operating results and cash flow. Also, shortages of key items could have a material adverse impact on our operating results. In addition, adverse weather conditions, unfavorable economic trends, and consumer confidence volatility could have a material adverse impact on our sales and operating results.

Unexpected or Unfavorable Consumer Responses to Our Promotional or Merchandising Programs Could Materially Adversely Affect Our Sales, Operating Results, and Cash Flow

Brand recognition, quality, and price have a significant influence on consumers’ choices among competing products and brands. Advertising, promotion, merchandising, and the pace and timing of new product introductions also have a significant impact on consumers’ buying decisions. If we misjudge consumer responses to our existing or future promotional activities,  this could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and operating results.

We believe changes in our merchandise offering help drive sales at our stores. We could be materially adversely affected by poor operational execution of changes to our merchandise offering or by unexpected consumer responses to changes in our merchandise offering.

Changes in Newspaper Subscription Rates May Result in Reduced Exposure to Our Circular Advertisements

The majority of our promotional activities utilize circular advertisements in local newspapers. A continued decline in consumer subscriptions of these newspapers could reduce the frequency in which consumers receive our circular advertisements, thereby negatively affecting sales, operating results, and cash flow.

Changes in Consumer Confidence Could Result in a Reduction in Consumer Spending on Items Perceived to be Discretionary

Our stores offer arts and crafts supplies and products for the crafter and do-it-yourself home decorator, which some customers may perceive as discretionary. Should their perception of the economy deteriorate, consumers may change spending patterns to reduce the amount spent on discretionary items.

Failure to Adequately Maintain the Security of Our Electronic and Other Confidential Information Could Materially Adversely Affect Our Financial Condition and Operating Results

We have become increasingly centralized and dependent upon automated information technology processes. In addition, a portion of our business operations is conducted over the Internet, increasing the risk of viruses that could cause system failures and disruptions of operations. Any failure to maintain the security of our data and our customers’ confidential information, including via the penetration of our network security and the misappropriation of confidential information, could put us at a competitive disadvantage, result in deterioration in our customers’ confidence in us, subject us to potential litigation and liability, and fines and penalties, resulting in a possible material adverse impact on our financial condition and operating results.

Our Suppliers May Fail Us

Many of our suppliers are small firms that produce a limited number of items. Given their limited resources, these firms are susceptible to cash flow issues, production difficulties, quality control issues, and problems in delivering agreed-upon quantities on schedule. We cannot assure you that we would be able, if necessary, to return products to these suppliers and obtain refunds of our purchase price or obtain reimbursement or indemnification from them if their products prove defective. In

14




addition, these suppliers may be unable to withstand a downturn in economic conditions. Significant failures on the part of our key suppliers could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

In addition, many of these suppliers require extensive advance notice of our requirements in order to supply products in the quantities we desire. This long lead time requires us to place orders far in advance of the time when certain products will be offered for sale, exposing us to risk of shifts in demand.

Our Reliance on Foreign Suppliers Increases Our Risk of Obtaining Adequate, Timely, and Cost-Effective Product Supplies

We rely to a significant extent on foreign manufacturers of various products that we sell. In addition, many of our domestic suppliers purchase a portion of their products from foreign sources. This reliance increases the risk that we will not have adequate and timely supplies of various products due to local political, economic, social, or environmental conditions (including acts of terrorism, the outbreak of war, or the occurrence of natural disaster), transportation delays (including dock strikes and other work stoppages), restrictive actions by foreign governments, or changes in United States laws and regulations affecting imports or domestic distribution. Reliance on foreign manufacturers also increases our exposure to fluctuations in exchange rates (including the potential revaluation of the Chinese Yuan) and trade infringement claims and reduces our ability to return product for various reasons.

All of our products manufactured overseas and imported into the United States are subject to duties collected by the United States Customs Service. We may be subjected to additional duties, significant monetary penalties, the seizure and the forfeiture of the products we are attempting to import, or the loss of import privileges if we or our suppliers are found to be in violation of U.S. laws and regulations applicable to the importation of our products.

Significant Increases in Inflation or Commodity Prices such as Petroleum, Natural Gas, Electricity, Steel and Paper May Adversely Affect Our Costs, Including Cost of Merchandise

Commodity prices, including oil, have risen significantly in the last few years. This increase and any future increases in commodity prices or inflation may adversely affect our costs, including cost of merchandise and distribution costs.   Furthermore, the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers, which is exacerbated by higher fuel prices. Our operating results may be adversely affected if we are unable to secure adequate trucking resources to fulfill our delivery schedules to the stores, particularly as we deliver our fall and Christmas seasonal merchandise.

Our Information Systems May Prove Inadequate

We depend on our management information systems for many aspects of our business. We will be materially adversely affected if our management information systems are disrupted or we are unable to improve, upgrade, maintain, and expand our systems, particularly in light of our continued significant increases in the number of stores.

A Weak Fourth Quarter Would Materially Adversely Affect Our Operating Results

Our business is highly seasonal. Our inventories and short-term borrowings grow in the second and third fiscal quarters as we prepare for our peak selling season in the third and fourth fiscal quarters. Our most important quarter in terms of sales, profitability, and cash flow historically has been the fourth fiscal quarter. If for any reason our fourth fiscal quarter results were substantially below expectations, our operating results for the full year would be materially adversely affected, and we could have substantial excess inventory, especially in seasonal merchandise that is difficult to liquidate.

Competition Could Negatively Impact Our Operations

The retail arts and crafts industry is competitive, which could result in the reduction of our prices and our loss of market share. We must remain competitive in the areas of quality, price, breadth of selection, customer service, and convenience. We compete with mass merchants (e.g., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.), who dedicate a portion of their selling space to a limited selection of craft supplies and seasonal and holiday merchandise, regional chains, and local merchants. We also compete with specialty arts and crafts retailers, which include Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc., Jo-Ann Superstores (operated by Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.), and Garden Ridge Corporation. Some of our competitors, particularly the mass merchants, are larger and have greater financial resources than we do. In addition, alternative methods of selling crafts, such as over the Internet, could result in additional competitors in the future and increased price competition since our customers could more readily comparison shop. Furthermore, we ultimately compete with alternative sources of entertainment and leisure for our customers.

15




The Interests of Our Controlling Stockholders May Conflict with the Interests of Our Creditors

The Sponsors indirectly own over 93% of the Company’s Common Stock.  The interests of these funds as equity holders may conflict with those of our creditors. The controlling stockholders may have an incentive to increase the value of their investment or cause us to distribute funds at the expense of our financial condition and affect our ability to make payments on the outstanding notes.  In addition, these funds will have the power to elect a majority of our board of directors and appoint new officers and management and, therefore, effectively will control many other major decisions regarding our operations.

We Face Risks Related to SEC Staff Comments

We have received written comments from the SEC staff regarding our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2005 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended April 29, 2006. Following correspondence and discussions with the SEC staff regarding these comments, we made changes to our prior period financial statements and included certain disclosures about those changes in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2006. Although we believe we fully addressed the SEC’s comments with the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, if the SEC staff disagrees with the changes to our financial statements and the related disclosures, we might have to amend our financial statements or disclosures in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2005 and subsequent periodic reports, or prior periodic reports.

ITEM 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments.

Not applicable.

ITEM 2.  Properties.

We lease substantially all of the sites for our Michaels, Aaron Brothers, Recollections, and Star Decorators Wholesale stores, with the majority of our stores having initial lease terms of approximately 10 years. The base rental rates for Michaels stores generally range from $120,000 to $390,000 per year. Rental payments for stores open for the full 12-month period of fiscal 2006 averaged $265,400 for our Michaels stores, $150,200 for our Aaron Brothers stores, $110,800 for our Recollection stores, and $285,500 for our Star Decorators Wholesale stores. The leases are generally renewable, with increases in lease rental rates. Lessors have made leasehold improvements to prepare our stores for opening under a majority of our existing leases. As of February 3, 2007, in connection with stores that we plan to open or relocate in future fiscal years, we had signed 48 leases for Michaels stores.

As of March 30, 2007, we lease and occupy the following non-store facilities:

 

 

Square

 

 

 

Footage

 

Distribution centers:

 

 

 

Centralia, Washington

 

715,000

 

City of Commerce, California (Aaron Brothers)

 

174,000

 

Hazleton, Pennsylvania

 

692,000

 

Jacksonville, Florida

 

791,000

 

Lancaster, California

 

763,000

 

New Lenox, Illinois

 

693,000

 

Tarrant County, Texas (including Recollections)

 

431,000

 

 

 

4,259,000

 

 

 

 

 

Artistree:

 

 

 

City of Industry, California (regional processing center)

 

90,000

 

Coppell, Texas (regional processing and fulfillment operations center)

 

230,000

 

Kernersville, North Carolina (manufacturing plant and regional processing center)

 

156,000

 

 

 

476,000

 

 

 

 

 

Office space:

 

 

 

Coppell, Texas (corporate satellite office)

 

67,000

 

Grand Prairie, Texas (corporate processing center)

 

35,000

 

Irving, Texas (corporate headquarters)

 

217,000

 

 

 

319,000

 

 

 

 

 

Coppell, Texas (new store staging warehouse)

 

29,000

 

 

 

5,083,000

 

 

The following table indicates the number of our retail stores and wholesale operations located in each state or province as of March 30, 2007:

16




 

 

 

Number of Stores

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron

 

 

 

Star Decorators

 

 

 

State/Province

 

Michaels

 

Brothers

 

Recollections

 

Wholesale

 

Total

 

Alabama

 

10

 

 

 

 

10

 

Alaska

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

Alberta

 

15

 

 

 

 

15

 

Arizona

 

25

 

9

 

3

 

1

 

38

 

Arkansas

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

British Columbia

 

12

 

 

 

 

12

 

California

 

120

 

98

 

 

1

 

219

 

Colorado

 

19

 

8

 

 

 

27

 

Connecticut

 

12

 

 

 

 

12

 

Delaware

 

4

 

 

 

 

4

 

Florida

 

53

 

 

 

 

53

 

Georgia

 

28

 

4

 

 

1

 

33

 

Idaho

 

6

 

1

 

 

 

7

 

Illinois

 

35

 

 

 

 

35

 

Indiana

 

14

 

 

 

 

14

 

Iowa

 

6

 

 

 

 

6

 

Kansas

 

8

 

 

 

 

8

 

Kentucky

 

7

 

 

 

 

7

 

Louisiana

 

11

 

 

 

 

11

 

Maine

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

Manitoba

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

Maryland

 

21

 

3

 

2

 

 

26

 

Massachusetts

 

18

 

 

 

 

18

 

Michigan

 

37

 

 

 

 

37

 

Minnesota

 

23

 

 

 

 

23

 

Mississippi

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

Missouri

 

18

 

 

 

 

18

 

Montana

 

4

 

 

 

 

4

 

Nebraska

 

4

 

 

 

 

4

 

Nevada

 

10

 

6

 

 

 

16

 

New Brunswick

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

 

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

New Hampshire

 

6

 

 

 

 

6

 

New Jersey

 

25

 

 

 

 

25

 

New Mexico

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

New York

 

41

 

 

 

 

41

 

North Carolina

 

28

 

 

 

 

28

 

North Dakota

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

Nova Scotia

 

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

Ohio

 

32

 

 

 

 

32

 

Oklahoma

 

7

 

 

 

 

7

 

Ontario

 

26

 

 

 

 

26

 

Oregon

 

13

 

4

 

 

 

17

 

Pennsylvania

 

38

 

 

 

 

38

 

Prince Edward Island

 

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

Rhode Island

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

Saskatchewan

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

South Carolina

 

9

 

 

 

 

9

 

South Dakota

 

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

Tennessee

 

10

 

 

 

 

10

 

Texas

 

60

 

22

 

4

 

1

 

87

 

Utah

 

10

 

 

 

 

10

 

Vermont

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

Virginia

 

30

 

2

 

2

 

 

34

 

Washington

 

21

 

10

 

 

 

31

 

West Virginia

 

3

 

 

 

 

3

 

Wisconsin

 

16

 

 

 

 

16

 

Total

 

926

 

167

 

11

 

4

 

1,108

 

 

17




ITEM 3.  Legal Proceedings.

Shareholder Claims

State Court Litigation

The Company is a defendant in a consolidated action filed by purported former shareholders Julie Fathergill, Feivel Gottlieb, and Roberta Schuman, who seek to represent a class of other former shareholders.  The action is a consolidation of three previously-filed lawsuits and is pending in the 192nd District Court for Dallas County, Texas.  The plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the Merger and, in addition to Michaels, the plaintiffs name as defendants certain former and then-current officers and directors of Michaels and certain other entities involved in the Merger or affiliated therewith.  The plaintiffs allege that the Merger was procedurally and financially unfair to Michaels’ then-shareholders and assert claims for breach of fiduciary duty against the individual defendants and claims for aiding and abetting such breaches against the entities.  Among other things, plaintiffs seek (i) a declaration that the Merger is void and ordering it rescinded; (ii) an accounting for, disgorgement of, and the imposition of a constructive trust on, property and profits received by the defendants; and (iii) unspecified damages, including rescissory damages. We are unable to estimate a range of possible loss, if any, in this claim, and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously.

Federal Court Litigation

The Company is also a defendant in a consolidated action filed by former purported shareholders Massachusetts Laborers’ Annuity Fund, Albert Hulliung, and James and Christine Ziolkowski, who seek to represent a class of other former shareholders.  This action is a consolidation of three previously-filed actions and is pending in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

On September 6, 2006, Massachusetts Laborers’ Annuity Fund filed a putative class action on behalf of itself and former holders of Michaels Common Stock.  The lawsuit named Michaels and all of its then-current directors as defendants.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants misrepresented and/or omitted material facts in Michaels’ annual proxy statements for 2004, 2005 and 2006, including, among other things, that Michaels’ reported financial results inflated its reported earnings by not properly recording stock-based compensation expense relating to the granting of stock options, that problems with Michaels’ internal controls prevented it from issuing accurate financial reports and projections, and that Michaels’ directors had received and acquiesced in the granting of backdated stock options.  The plaintiff asserted claims against all of the defendants of (a) violations of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder and (b) violations of Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The plaintiff sought, among other relief, an indeterminate amount of damages from the defendants and equitable or injunctive relief, including the rescission of stock option grants.  By an order dated December 8, 2006, Massachusetts Laborers’ Annuity Fund was named the lead plaintiff in this action.

On November 27, 2006, Albert Hulliung and James and Christine Ziolkowski (who had previously filed two separate stockholder derivative actions, which were consolidated on November 7, 2006) filed a consolidated class action complaint against Michaels and certain of its former officers and directors on behalf of a class of other former shareholders.  The consolidated complaint alleged that the defendants misrepresented and/or omitted material facts in Michaels’ annual proxy statements for 1993 through 2006, including, among other things, failing to disclose Michaels’ and the defendants’ alleged option backdating practices and the fact that Michaels and the defendants had reported false financial statements as a result of those practices.  The consolidated complaint also alleged that the proxy statements failed to disclose: (a) that Michaels had problems with its internal controls that prevented it from issuing accurate financial reports and projections; (b) that because of improperly recorded stock-based compensation expenses, Michaels’ reported financial results violated GAAP; (c) that Michaels’ public disclosures presented an inflated view of Michaels’ earnings by understating Michaels’s past compensation expenses; (d) that Michaels faced substantial liability for its past and ongoing backdating practices; and (e) that Michaels’ directors had received and acquiesced in the granting of backdated stock options.  The plaintiffs asserted claims against all defendants for violations of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder, and sought, among other relief, an indeterminate amount of damages from the defendants, as well as an award of attorneys fees and costs.

18




By an order dated February 1, 2007, the Massachusetts Laborers’ Annuity Fund action was consolidated with the Hulliung/Ziolkowski action. We are unable to estimate a range of possible loss, if any, in these claims, and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously.

Employee Class Action Claims

Cotton Claim

On December 20, 2002, James Cotton, a former store manager of Michaels of Canada, ULC, our wholly-owned subsidiary, and Suzette Kennedy, a former assistant manager of Michaels of Canada, commenced a purported class proceeding against Michaels of Canada and Michaels Stores, Inc. on behalf of themselves and current and former employees employed in Canada. The Cotton claim was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and alleges that the defendants violated employment standards legislation in Ontario and other provinces and territories of Canada by failing to pay overtime compensation as required by that legislation. The Cotton claim also alleges that this conduct was in breach of the contracts of employment of those individuals. The Cotton claim seeks a declaration that the defendants have acted in breach of applicable legislation, payment to current and former employees for overtime, damages for breach of contract, punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, and costs. In May of 2005, the plaintiffs delivered material in support of their request that this action be certified as a class proceeding. Michaels filed and served its responding materials opposing class certification on January 31, 2006. A date has not yet been set for the hearing with respect to certification. We intend to contest certification of this claim as a class action. Further, we believe we have certain defenses on the merits and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously. We are unable to estimate a range of possible loss, if any, in this claim.

Clark Claim

On July 13, 2005, Michael Clark, a former Michaels store assistant manager, and Lucinda Prouty, a former Michaels store department manager, commenced a purported class action proceeding against Michaels Stores, Inc. on behalf of themselves and current and former hourly retail employees employed in California from July 13, 2001 to the present. The Clark suit was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, and alleges that Michaels failed to pay overtime wages, provide meal and rest periods (or compensation in lieu thereof), and provide itemized employee wage statements. The Clark suit also alleges that this conduct was in breach of California’s unfair competition law. The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, damages for unpaid overtime pay, meal break penalties, waiting time penalties, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Under the Class Action Fairness Act, we removed the case to federal court on August 5, 2005. The parties participated in a voluntary mediation on October 16, 2006 and have reached a tentative settlement of the case.  Contingent on court approval, the parties have agreed to a claims made process, with no material impact on our statement of operations, balance sheet, or cash flows for any period presented.

Morris Claim

On November 16, 2005, Geoffrey Morris, a former Aaron Brothers employee in San Diego, California, commenced a purported class action proceeding against Aaron Brothers, Inc. on behalf of himself and current and former Aaron Brothers employees in California from November 16, 2001 to the present. The Morris suit was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, and alleges that Aaron Brothers failed to pay overtime wages, reimburse the plaintiff for necessary expenses (including the cost of gas used in driving his car for business purposes), and provide adequate meal and rest breaks (or compensation in lieu thereof). The Morris suit also alleges that this conduct was in breach of California’s unfair competition law. The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, damages for unpaid overtime pay, meal break penalties, waiting time penalties, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Morris filed an Amended Complaint on June 8, 2006 and now seeks to represent a class of current and former assistant managers only. The parties participated in a voluntary mediation on December 15, 2006 and have reached a tentative settlement of the case. Contingent on final court approval, the parties have agreed to a claims made process, with no material impact on our statement of operations, balance sheet, or cash flows for any period presented.

DeJoseph Claim

On December 29, 2006, John DeJoseph, a former Michaels store manager in Valencia, California, commenced a purported class action proceeding against Michaels Stores, Inc. on behalf of himself and current and former salaried store employees employed in California from May 10, 2002 to the present. The DeJoseph suit was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.  The DeJoseph suit alleges that Michaels failed to pay overtime wages,  provide meal periods, accurately record hours worked, provide itemized employee wage statements, and that Michaels unlawfully made deductions

19




from employees’ earnings.  The DeJoseph suit additionally alleges that the foregoing conduct was in breach of California’s unfair competition law.  The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, damages for unpaid wages, penalties, restitution, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs.  We have begun investigation into the plaintiff’s claims. We believe we have certain meritorious defenses and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously. We are unable to estimate a range of loss, if any, in this case.

Torgerson Claim

On January 26, 2007, Katherine Torgerson, a former “lead framer” for Aaron Brothers in San Diego, California, filed a purported class action proceeding in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego.  Torgerson filed this action against Aaron Brothers, Inc. on behalf of herself and all current and former California-based leads or keyholders.  The Torgerson suit alleges that Aaron Brothers failed to provide its leads and keyholders with adequate meal and rest breaks (or compensation in lieu thereof) and accurate wage statements.  The Torgerson suit additionally alleges that the foregoing conduct was in breach of California’s unfair competition law.   The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, compensatory damages, meal and rest break penalties, waiting time penalties, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs.  We believe we have certain meritorious defenses and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously. We are unable to estimate a range of loss, if any, in this case.

Governmental Inquiries and Related Matters

Non-U.S. Trust Inquiry

In early 2005, the District Attorney’s office of the County of New York and the SEC opened inquiries concerning non-U.S. trusts that directly or indirectly held shares of Michaels Common Stock and Common Stock options. A federal grand jury requested information with respect to the same facts. We are cooperating in these inquiries and have provided information in response to the requests.

Certain of these trusts and corporate subsidiaries of the trusts acquired securities of Michaels in transactions directly or indirectly with Charles J. Wyly, Jr. and Sam Wyly, who were, respectively, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors prior to the consummation of the Merger, or with other Wyly family members. In addition, subsidiaries of certain of these trusts acquired securities directly from us in private placement transactions in 1996 and 1997 and upon the exercise of stock options transferred, directly or indirectly, to the trusts or their subsidiaries by Charles Wyly, Sam Wyly, or other Wyly family members.

We understand that Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly and/or certain of their family members are beneficiaries of irrevocable non-U.S. trusts. The 1996 and 1997 private placement sales by us of Michaels securities to subsidiaries of certain of these trusts were disclosed by us in filings with the SEC. The transfer by Charles Wyly and/or Sam Wyly (or by other Wyly family members or family-related entities) of Michaels securities to certain of these trusts and subsidiaries was also disclosed in filings with the SEC by us and/or by Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly. Based on information provided to us, our SEC filings did not report securities owned by the non-U.S. trusts or their corporate subsidiaries as beneficially owned by Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly prior to 2005.

Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly filed an amended Schedule 13D with the SEC on April 8, 2005, stating that they may be deemed the beneficial owners of Michaels securities held directly or indirectly by the non-U.S. trusts.  In our 2005 and 2006 proxy statements, we included the securities held in the non-U.S. trusts or their separate subsidiaries, as reported by the Wylys, in the beneficial ownership table of our principal stockholders and management, with appropriate footnotes.

Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly had not historically reported purchases and sales of Michaels securities by the non-U.S. trusts and their subsidiaries in reports filed by them with the SEC under Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In an April 2005 letter from their counsel, Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly undertook to file any additional required Section 16 reports and to pay us the amount of any Section 16 liability. Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly have not filed additional or amended Section 16 reports with respect to the transactions in question. They have, however, since June 2005, reported on Form 4 filings the ownership of Michaels securities by the non-U.S. trusts and their subsidiaries and the sales of such securities in connection with the Merger.  In those filings, Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly have disclaimed beneficial ownership of the securities except to the extent of a pecuniary interest in the securities.

Charles Wyly and Sam Wyly made a proposal to settle the issue, without admitting or denying that they have or had, for Section 16 purposes, beneficial ownership of Michaels securities that are or were held by the non-U.S. trusts or their subsidiaries. Following that proposal, on March 15, 2006, the Board of Directors appointed a special committee of the Board to

20




investigate and make decisions on behalf of Michaels with respect to the potential Section 16 liability issue. The special committee was also given authority to investigate and respond to the governmental inquiries, described above. The special committee had retained independent counsel to advise it in these matters.

In connection with the consummation of the Merger, all the members of the Board of Directors, including the members of the special committee, resigned.  As a result, the committee no longer exists, and authority concerning those matters has now reverted to the new Board of Directors.  The independent counsel retained by the special committee is now advising the Company.  The Company and Charles Wyly, Sam Wyly and Evan Wyly entered into tolling agreements that have suspended the running of applicable statutes of limitations periods and similar defenses to the potential Section 16 claims from November 6, 2006 through October 5, 2007.

Stock Options Inquiry

On June 15, 2006, following Michaels’ announcement that its Audit Committee had initiated an internal review, referred to below, into the Company’s historical stock options practices, Michaels received a letter from the Division of Enforcement of the SEC requesting that the Company preserve all documents concerning its granting of stock options from 1990 through the present and stating that the SEC intended to request production of such documents in the future. In a letter dated November 15, 2006, the Division requested the documents. A June 16, 2006 grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York requesting documents relating to the granting of stock options during the period 1996 to the present was withdrawn in connection with a July 27, 2006 grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of the Fraud section of the Department of Justice requesting documents relating to the granting of stock options during the same period.  We are cooperating in these inquiries and have provided information in response to the requests.

On August 28, 2006, the Board of Directors appointed a special committee of the Board to investigate and make decisions on behalf of Michaels with respect to these subpoenas and any stock option grant issue raised by the SEC. This committee no longer exists as a result of the resignation of the members of the Board of Directors, including the members of this committee, in connection with the consummation of the Merger, and the authority previously given to the committee has now reverted to the new Board of Directors.

The Company’s Audit Committee conducted an internal review into the Company’s historical stock options practices and concluded that the results of the review did not support a finding of intentional misconduct.  Company management also undertook an internal review of historical stock options practices and related accounting issues from 1990 through the Merger date.  See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for more detailed information concerning the Audit Committee internal review and management’s internal review, including management’s conclusions.

Pending shareholder lawsuits against the Company, the then-current and certain former directors, and certain then-current and former officers of Michaels also include claims relating to the Company’s historical stock options practices. See “Shareholder Claims — Federal Court Litigation” above.

General

We are a defendant from time to time in lawsuits incidental to our business. Based on currently available information, we believe that resolution of all known contingencies is uncertain. There can be no assurance that future costs of such litigation would not be material to our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.

ITEM 4.  Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders.

The following matters were submitted during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 to a vote of our stockholders:

·                    Following the resignations from our board of directors of each of Charles J. Wyly, Jr., Sam Wyly, Richard E. Hanlon, Richard C. Marcus, Liz Minyard and Cece Smith upon consummation of the Merger, on October 31, 2006, eight new directors were elected by our stockholders to Michaels’ board of directors: Josh Bekenstein, a managing director at Bain, Michael Chae, a senior managing director at Blackstone in the private equity group, Todd Cook, a principal of Bain, Matthew Kabaker, a principal at Blackstone in the private equity group, Lewis Klessel, an executive vice president in the private equity portfolio practice at Bain, Matthew Levin, a managing director at Bain, David McVeigh, an executive director at Blackstone in the private equity group, and James Quella, a senior managing director and senior

21




                          operating partner at Blackstone in the private equity group.  These directors were elected by the written consent of stockholders holding 100% of our outstanding Common Stock.

·                    On January 4, 2007, our stockholders approved the annual base compensation for each of Jeffrey N. Boyer, President and Chief Financial Officer, Gregory A. Sandfort, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Thomas C. DeCaro, Executive Vice President — Supply Chain and approved our Compensation Policy Regarding Company Cars.  These matters were approved by the written consent of stockholders holding approximately 94% of our outstanding Common Stock.

·                    On January 19, 2007, our stockholders approved certain amendments to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, including amendments to increase the number of our authorized shares of Common Stock to 220,000,000 and to clarify that compensation arrangements with officers and employees of Michaels are not transactions with affiliates requiring stockholder approval.  Our stockholders also approved a stock dividend of 1.9333 shares of Common Stock for each outstanding share of Common Stock (excluding any shares of treasury stock) to effect a 2.9333 to 1 stock split.  These matters were approved by the written consent of stockholders holding approximately 94% of our outstanding Common Stock.

PART II

ITEM 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Market Information

Prior to the Merger, our Common Stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MIK.” Subsequent to the Merger, our Common Stock is privately held and there is no established public trading market for our stock.

Holders

As of April 2, 2007, there were 41 holders of record of our Common Stock.

Dividends

Prior to the Merger, Michaels declared quarterly cash dividends as follows:

Declaration Date

 

Payable Date

 

Amount
per Share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2006:

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2006

 

April 28, 2006

 

$

0.036

 

June 20, 2006

 

July 31, 2006

 

0.041

 

September 12, 2006

 

October 31, 2006

 

0.041

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2005:

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2005

 

April 29, 2005

 

$

0.024

 

June 16, 2005

 

July 29, 2005

 

0.034

 

September 13, 2005

 

October 31, 2005

 

0.034

 

December 6, 2005

 

January 31, 2006

 

0.034

 

 

The per share amounts in the table above were adjusted to retroactively reflect the 2.9333-for-one Common Stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend to stockholders of record as of the close of business on January 26, 2007. Our credit facilities and the indentures governing our notes permit dividends to be paid, but there are restrictions as to the amounts which could be paid based on formulas set forth in our debt instruments and agreements.  Also, our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation prohibits us from declaring or paying dividends prior to an initial public offering or change of control without the approval of holders of a majority of our outstanding Common Stock.

22




ITEM 6.  Selected Financial Data.

The following financial information for the five most recent fiscal years has been derived from our consolidated financial statements. This information should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere herein. Fiscal years 2005 and prior were restated as further described in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”.

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

 

 

 

 

(as restated)

 

(as restated)

 

(as restated)

 

(as restated)

 

 

 

(In thousands except per share and store data)

 

Results of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

3,864,976

 

$

3,676,365

 

$

3,393,251

 

$

3,091,256

 

$

2,856,373

 

Operating income

 

203,147

 

381,101

 

342,771

 

292,267

 

242,784

 

Income before cumulative effect of
accounting change

 

41,096

 

228,213

 

203,954

 

171,659

 

131,280

 

Cumulative effect of accounting change,
net of income tax (1) (2)

 

 

7,491

 

 

 

6,296

 

Net income

 

41,096

 

220,722

 

203,954

 

171,659

 

124,984

 

Basic earnings per common share before
cumulative effect of accounting change (3)

 

n/a

 

0.57

 

0.51

 

0.44

 

0.34

 

Basic earnings per common share after
cumulative effect of accounting change (3)

 

n/a

 

0.55

 

0.51

 

0.44

 

0.32

 

Diluted earnings per common share before
cumulative effect of accounting change (3)

 

n/a

 

0.56

 

0.50

 

0.42

 

0.32

 

Diluted earnings per common share after
cumulative effect of accounting change (3)

 

n/a

 

0.55

 

0.50

 

0.42

 

0.30

 

Dividends per common share (3)

 

0.12

 

0.13

 

0.09

 

0.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and equivalents

 

$

30,098

 

$

452,449

 

$

535,852

 

$

341,825

 

$

218,031

 

Merchandise inventories

 

847,529

 

784,173

 

789,351

 

754,228

 

682,681

 

Total current assets

 

1,000,180

 

1,314,726

 

1,481,651

 

1,199,192

 

990,754

 

Total assets

 

1,693,002

 

1,875,633

 

2,022,040

 

1,732,573

 

1,497,458

 

Total current liabilities

 

741,997

 

496,766

 

511,940

 

371,159

 

301,133

 

Long-term debt

 

3,728,745

 

 

200,000

 

200,000

 

200,000

 

Total liabilities

 

4,568,325

 

588,206

 

814,495

 

657,499

 

569,291

 

Stockholders’ (deficit) equity

 

(2,875,323

)

1,287,427

 

1,207,545

 

1,075,074

 

928,167

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Financial Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flow from operating activities

 

$

157,113

 

$

363,956

 

$

431,375

 

$

292,834

 

$

111,561

 

Cash flow from investing activities

 

(142,585

)

(67,918

)

(144,709

)

(106,333

)

(110,158

)

Cash flow from financing activities

 

(436,879

)

(379,441

)

(92,639

)

(62,707

)

23,603

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Operating Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average net sales per selling square foot (4)

 

$

224

 

$

221

 

$

216

 

$

210

 

$

212

 

Comparable store sales increase (5)

 

0.3

%

3.6

%

4.7

%

2.5

%

4.2

%

Total selling square footage

 

18,130

 

17,365

 

16,612

 

15,681

 

14,610

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stores Open at End of Year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michaels

 

920

 

885

 

844

 

804

 

754

 

Aaron Brothers

 

166

 

166

 

164

 

158

 

148

 

Recollections

 

11

 

11

 

8

 

2

 

 

Star Decorators Wholesale

 

4

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

2

 

Total stores open at end of year

 

1,101

 

1,066

 

1,019

 

967

 

904

 


(Notes on following page.)

23




(Notes from table on preceding page.)

(1)             We changed our method of accounting for merchandise inventories from a retail inventory method to the weighted average cost method in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. As a result, we recorded a non-cash charge of $7.5 million, net of income tax, in fiscal 2005 for the cumulative effect of accounting change on prior fiscal years. For further information with respect to this change and other accounting items that affect the comparability of our financial statements, please see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Accounting items.”

(2)             We changed our accounting policy with respect to recording cooperative advertising allowances as of the beginning of fiscal 2002. As a result, we recorded a non-cash charge of $6.3 million, net of income tax, in fiscal 2002 for the cumulative effect of accounting change on fiscal years prior to fiscal 2002.

(3)             The per share amounts in the table were retroactively adjusted to reflect a 2.9333-for-one Common Stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend to stockholders of record as of the close of business on January 26, 2007.

(4)             The calculation of average net sales per selling square foot includes only Michaels stores open longer than 36 months, and excludes Aaron Brothers, Recollections, and Star Decorators Wholesale stores.

(5)             Comparable store sales increase represents the increase in net sales for stores open the same number of months in the indicated and comparable period of the previous year, including stores that were relocated or expanded during either period. A store is deemed to become comparable in its 14th month of operation in order to eliminate grand opening sales distortions. A store temporarily closed more than 2 weeks due to a catastrophic event is not considered comparable during the month it closed. If a store is closed longer than 2 weeks but less than 2 months, it becomes comparable in the month in which it reopens, subject to a mid-month convention. A store closed longer than 2 months becomes comparable in its 14th month of operation after its reopening.

ITEM 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following discussion, as well as other portions of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs. Any statements contained herein (including, but not limited to, statements to the effect that Michaels or its management “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “expects,” “believes,” “intends,” and other similar expressions) that are not statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements and should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes contained elsewhere in this report. Specific examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our forecasts of financial performance, capital expenditures, working capital requirements, workers’ compensation claims exposure and forecasts of effective tax rate. Our actual results could materially differ from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and particularly in “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

Restatement of Consolidated Financial Statements

On April 2, 2007, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, in consultation with management and our independent registered public accounting firm, determined that our application of our retail inventory method of accounting for merchandise inventory in our Michaels stores contained certain deficiencies. The correction of our retail inventory method resulted in a restatement of our consolidated financial statements for years prior to fiscal 2006.

Our restatement also encompasses other charges recorded in prior fiscal years, the effects of which were previously considered immaterial to their respective periods.  These charges include the correction of an error regarding the deferral of costs related to preparing our inventory for sale and vendor allowance recognition, recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 in the amount of $15.0 million, net of an income tax benefit of $8.9 million.  We also included the lease accounting correction, recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 in the amount of $8.0 million, net of an income tax benefit of $4.8 million. For purposes of this restatement, these previously reported cumulative charges were recorded in each of the prior periods to which they relate.

Finally, our restatement includes the resolution of our previously reported internal review of stock options grant practices. Based on our analysis, the amount of additional non-cash compensation cost that should have been recorded was approximately

24




$27.1 million, net of income tax benefits of approximately $12.7 million, all of which relates to periods prior to fiscal 2001. In our restatement, we recognized this additional compensation cost as an adjustment to our beginning retained earnings and additional paid-in capital balances for fiscal 2002.  For periods presented in this report, this adjustment does not affect results of operations and only resulted in an adjustment of offsetting amounts within the “net cash provided by operating activities” section of our consolidated statements of cash flows, with no change to total cash flow or the classification of cash flows between operating activities, investing activities, or financing activities.

The tables below provide a reconciliation of our consolidated statements of income for fiscal years 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and our consolidated balance sheets as of the end of each fiscal year 2002 through 2005, from amounts previously reported to the restated amounts, with disclosure of the effect of each category of restatement.  Following the tables are additional disclosures surrounding each type of item affecting the restatements. See also the disclosures in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements.

 

 

Income Statement

 

 

 

Fiscal 2002

 

 

 

(In thousands except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

Correction of

 

Lease

 

Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As

 

Inventory

 

Accounting

 

Options

 

Total

 

As

 

 

 

Reported

 

Valuation

 

Correction

 

Correction

 

Adjustments

 

Restated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

2,856,373

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

2,856,373

 

Cost of sales and occupancy expense

 

1,803,991

 

27,182

 

(172

)

 

27,010

 

1,831,001

 

Gross profit

 

1,052,382

 

(27,182

)

172

 

 

(27,010

)

1,025,372

 

Selling, general and administrative expense

 

773,944

 

 

 

 

 

773,944

 

Store pre-opening costs

 

8,644

 

 

 

 

 

8,644

 

Operating income

 

269,794

 

(27,182

)

172

 

 

(27,010

)

242,784

 

Interest expense

 

21,074

 

 

 

 

 

21,074

 

Other (income) and expense, net

 

(1,669

)

 

 

 

 

(1,669

)

Income before income taxes and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cumulative effect of accounting change

 

250,389

 

(27,182

)

172

 

 

(27,010

)

223,379

 

Provision for income taxes

 

102,659

 

(10,631

)

71

 

 

(10,560

)

92,099

 

Income before cumulative effect of accounting change

 

147,730

 

(16,551

)

101

 

 

(16,450

)

131,280

 

Cumulative effect of accounting change, net of income tax

 

7,433

 

(1,137

)

 

 

(1,137

)

6,296

 

Net income

 

$

140,297

 

$

(15,414

)

$

101

 

$

 

$

(15,313

)

$

124,984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per common share before cumulativeeffect of accounting change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.38

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.00

 

$

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.34

 

Diluted

 

$

0.36

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.00

 

$

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per common share after cumulative effect of accounting change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.36

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.00

 

$

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.32

 

Diluted

 

$

0.34

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.00

 

$

 

$

(0.04

)

$

0.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

391,002

 

391,002

 

391,002

 

391,002

 

391,002

 

391,002

 

Diluted

 

413,893

 

413,893

 

413,893

 

413,893

 

413,893

 

413,893

 

 

25




 

 

 

Balance Sheet
Fiscal 2002
For the year ended February 1, 2003
(In thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correction of

 

Lease

 

Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As

 

Inventory

 

Accounting

 

Options

 

Total

 

As

 

 

 

Reported

 

Valuation

 

Correction

 

Correction

 

Adjustments

 

Restated

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and equivalents

 

$

218,031

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

218,031

 

Merchandise inventories

 

809,418

 

(126,737

)

 

 

(126,737

)

682,681

 

Prepaid expenses and other

 

18,639

 

 

 

 

 

18,639

 

Deferred income taxes

 

20,352

 

49,287

 

 

1,764

 

51,051

 

71,403

 

Total current assets

 

1,066,440

 

(77,450

)

 

1,764

 

(75,686

)

990,754

 

Property and equipment, at cost

 

716,299

 

 

27,946

 

 

27,946

 

744,245

 

Less accumulated depreciation

 

(348,602

)

 

(15,775

)

 

(15,775

)

(364,377

)

 

 

367,697

 

 

12,171

 

 

12,171

 

379,868

 

Goodwill, net

 

115,839

 

 

 

 

 

115,839

 

Other assets

 

10,997

 

 

 

 

 

10,997

 

 

 

126,836

 

 

 

 

 

126,836

 

Total assets

 

$

1,560,973

 

$

(77,450

)

$

12,171

 

$

1,764

 

$

(63,515

)

$

1,497,458

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities And Stockholders’ Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

94,764

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

94,764

 

Accrued liabilities and other

 

181,867

 

 

1,679

 

 

1,679

 

183,546

 

Income taxes payable

 

22,823

 

 

 

 

 

22,823

 

Total current liabilities

 

299,454

 

 

1,679

 

 

1,679

 

301,133

 

9 1/4% Senior Notes due 2009

 

200,000

 

 

 

 

 

200,000

 

Deferred income taxes

 

21,511

 

 

(4,935

)

 

(4,935

)

16,576

 

Other long-term liabilities

 

27,981

 

 

23,601

 

 

23,601

 

51,582

 

Total long-term liabilities

 

249,492

 

 

18,666

 

 

18,666

 

268,158

 

 

 

548,946

 

 

20,345

 

 

20,345

 

569,291

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ equity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common stock

 

39,582

 

 

 

 

 

39,582

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

471,957

 

 

 

28,861

 

28,861

 

500,818

 

Retained earnings

 

502,665

 

(77,483

)

(8,174

)

(27,097

)

(112,754

)

389,911

 

Accumulated other comprehensive income

 

(2,177

)

33

 

 

 

33

 

(2,144

)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

1,012,027

 

(77,450

)

(8,174

)

1,764

 

(83,860

)

928,167

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

 

$

1,560,973

 

$

(77,450

)

$

12,171

 

$

1,764

 

$

(63,515

)

$

1,497,458

 

 

26




 

 

 

Income Statement
Fiscal 2003
(In thousands except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correction

 

Lease

 

Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As

 

of Inventory

 

Accounting

 

Options

 

Total

 

As

 

 

 

Reported

 

Valuation

 

Correction

 

Correction

 

Adjustments

 

Restated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

3,091,256

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

3,091,256

 

Cost of sales and occupancy expense

 

1,957,273

 

10,692

 

(208

)

 

10,484

 

1,967,757

 

Gross profit

 

1,133,983

 

(10,692

)

208

 

 

(10,484

)

1,123,499

 

Selling, general and administrative expense

 

823,161

 

 

 

 

 

823,161

 

Store pre-opening costs

 

8,071

 

 

 

 

 

8,071

 

Operating income

 

302,751

 

(10,692

)

208

 

 

(10,484

)

292,267

 

Interest expense

 

20,262

 

 

 

 

 

20,262

 

Other (income) and expense, net

 

(2,701

)

 

 

 

 

(2,701

)

Income before income taxes and cumulative effect of accounting change

 

285,190

 

(10,692

)

208

 

 

(10,484

)

274,706

 

Provision for income taxes

 

107,345

 

(4,376

)

78

 

 

(4,298

)

103,047

 

Income before cumulative effect of accounting change

 

177,845

 

(6,316

)

130

 

 

(6,186

)

171,659

 

Cumulative effect of accounting change, net of income tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

177,845

 

$

(6,316

)

$

130

 

$

 

$

(6,186