Michaels Acquires 10 Million-Customer Database From Hancock Fabrics

Michaels has acquired the rights to the Hancock Fabrics brand, domain names, mailing lists and intellectual property from U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware for $1.3 million. Michaels, an arts and crafts retail chain, does not sell fabric and sewing materials within its stores, but sells them exclusively online, signaling that the brand may attempt to expand further into that category.

The Hancock Fabrics mailing list will be useful to Michaels as it learns more about the different types of consumers that may purchase from them. This customer data could be beneficial for running promotional campaigns or deciding where to allocate merchandising budgets.

With the intellectual property rights, Michaels now will have access to:


  • 10.7 million customer names;

  • 8.1 million telephone numbers;

  • 9 million postal address; and

  • 2.5 million email addresses (including 200,000 from affiliate program members).

Customer financial records, including payment card and bank account numbers and other financial information, were not part of the transaction.

Michaels will allow people on the Hancock Fabrics mailing list to opt in to the service, and it has agreed to abide by the privacy policy of Hancock Fabrics, which states “We will not share any personally identifiable information with any third party without your consent.”

Lucy Thomson, the Consumer Privacy Ombudsman presiding over the sale, noted that the former Hancock Fabrics consumers can “unsubscribe from receiving Michaels’ marketing materials at any time online, by email or by phone by following the instructions provided.”

Hancock Fabrics, a chain of 263 stores in 37 states when it filed for bankruptcy in February 2016, has since gone out of business, completing its liquidation process in August 2016.

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