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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creative Memories Bankruptcy Update

The official word from CM is things are “business as usual” however as the company has recently filed for bankruptcy this is certainly not the case. 

CM recently gained access to a trust that will allow them to (hopefully) continue operations – exactly how long that will be is unknown. 

CM has told it’s consultants that our product line will be trimmed.  Exactly what will stay and what will go remains a mystery. 

CM has been constantly reminding us of it’s mission – that of simple, completed pages that focus on the photos and the words behind them.  This along with comments that refer to CM  “getting of the scrapbooking roller coaster”  lead me to the following conclusions about the future of CM’s product offerings:

*Again – this is my opinion*

CM will continue to offer albums (including Fast 2 Fabulous albums and Picfolios) white Refill Pages and Page Protectors .

I believe the 7-inch Trimmer, Tape Runner and Tape Runner Refills will also be available.

I would imagine support will still be offered for Memory Manager and Storybook Creator Plus including products from the Digital Center.  There will not be any more digital freebies in the project center (this is confirmed – as well as for Rewards Club members.)  It’s very possible that the amount of new digital artwork and kit releases will be reduced in the near future. 

I have heard from a reliable source that CM will be working to help make it easier for people to print their photos on the go – via their mobile devices.

So, where does that leave  you – and me?

Hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

CM is a business and as so it’s bottom line is to make money.  Yes, a business can also care about it’s employees and customers, and have a wonderful mission – but without money it can’t exist.  It is not unreasonable to imagine that CM (or any business – especially one that has filed for bankruptcy 2 times in 5 years) could very possibly shut it’s doors for good with little or no warning. 

I’m hoping for the best but believe in proceeding with a bit of caution. 

Here are a few ways you can do the same:

  • Always use a credit card to purchase products from CM online.
  • Use up any product credits and/or Rewards Club credits.
  • Purchase any items you need – pages & protectors for existing albums, if you like to have “matching” albums then purchase those now,  supporting items for products you currently own (replacement blades and cutting strip for the 12” rotary trimmer, Border Maker cartridges, etc.)


I will still continue to hold all scheduled events and will continue to hold crops and weekend retreats – even if Creative Memories isn’t able to pull out of this.  Workshops are a bit iffy – currently I offer these to give you ideas for & help you use your CM products and tools.  I’m holding off on scheduling any new workshops until I know what exactly what items CM will be selling.

Thanks for your words of encouragement over the past weeks.  I love CM’s albums and tools and hope the best for the company but I also know that it is the people I’ve met as a CM consultant – in person and online – that has really made this a rewarding endeavor


Anonymous said...

They are discontinuing all refills and page protesters per the motion they recently filed in bankruptcy court. Honestly, if there are no refills and protectors, why bother continuing at all?

Anonymous said...

I can't get on their website at all. Glad I ordered my storybook the other day, I can't even access the photo site to see when it will ship. Not too sure if they didn't close the doors already.

Anonymous said...

I was able to get into the digital center....let's be positive here! pages and protectors would HAVE to be in the new company, not sure if it was in Lisa's post here or where I read it, but pages, protectors (I personally LOVE the side loading which I hope will be back, will be ordering several packages in July or whenever this last call is) adhesives will be back too and the 7" trimmer...just making a smaller inventory of items. Though I'm trending to SBC more I hope that they can continue the digital SBC producst and creating books with all the great digital that CM has created!

Anonymous said...

It's all about the up and coming generation . . . digital!! I am fifty and left the traditional scrap booking behind years ago. The entire photo consumer market of competing CM companies like Snapfish, Instagram, pinterest, Facebook, Adobe, etc. embrace digital photography. The up and coming generation will not be traditional scapbookers, period. CM is a business. The bottom line, businesses need to make money. CM will have to adapt to the current target market or die.

Anonymous said...

Well I used to work at CM and many of my friends just got the notice that they should start to look for employment. Next month you will see the doors shut for good.

Great case study on how not to run a company. For years they could have joined forces with Adobe, Shutterfly, Nikon etc.. and would have been a force in the memory preservation space for a very long time. Nepotism killed the company.

rgm said...

I retired from The Antioch Co., parent company of Creative Memories, in Yellow Springs ,Ohio in 2007 just 6 months before first bankruptcy. I luckily timed my exit to my advantage because nobody was able to get any of their retirement out of the ESOP after that first Bankruptcy. There were millions of dollars owed to employees and not one person received a penny after Myself and one other employee retired. The Morgan family received somewhere between 75 and 100 million in an earlier sale of their personal stock. There were some less than obove board arrangement that came into question and law suits filed but there is little chance for recovery. The group of banks that took over finally fired the last Morgan a granddaughter of the original founder. I loved working at Antioch Co. up until a couple years before I quit, because I had made a promise to myself to never work again for a company that I didn't believe in. That belief left in 2005 or so.

Lisa Graham said...

RGM - I have been following the lawsuit against the Morgans - I have no idea if what they did was legal (I can't imagine it was) but it certainly was unethical and immoral. I am glad you got out with your retirement money and am so very sorry that so many lost theirs.

Lisa Graham said...

As far as employees being let go - CM did issue a WARN notice earlier in the year but the latest word from them is that they don't anticipate laying off or firing any employees at this time. If anyone has info to share - especially regarding this please feel free to email me.

W.G. said...

According to this article, they're planning to lay off a total of 163 people:

Lisa Graham said...

Yes, the anticipated date for the layoffs is between June 15 and 28. CM announced that there would be no layoffs "at this time." So - we wait.

Anonymous said...

There site has been down all day. An IT person who was let go also took out the web server before he left. They should just put up a sign to shop for CM products on eBay.

Anonymous said...

You never give access to computers after you fire someone from IT. You make sure everything is taken away before you give them the boot, or while you are giving them the boot.

Anonymous said...

really sad for those who have invested so much time and money, consultants and customers to all of the sudden find themselves in this situation.

Lisa Graham said...

That's very interesting about the IT person. I wish I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee - it sounds like you have a lot to share. You have my email address if you want to - there are lots of us trying to sift through everything hoping for a clearer picture of what's going on. As tough as this is on the Consultants & customers I can't even imagine what the employees are going through - and what former employees went through.

Anonymous said...

Like you Lisa, I was committed to the mission. Please remember that it does not take a company to manage the preservation of family stories. It should never be about the product. That's marketing. There are thousands of places for good products but family history is in our hearts and there are few that can teach. That is the value of what you know.

Lori Troutman said...

I heard they will discontinue the sale of albums, pages & protectors. Is this really true?

Allan Morais said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allan Morais said...

The bankruptcy filing will protect CM from losing everything. The bankruptcy order will give them the chance to restructure, reorganize and rebuild the company. They'll not be the first to be on and off the bankruptcy, but I wish them the best.
[Allan Morais]

Anonymous said...

my husband is following this bankruptcy. He just told me the consultants and others on the creditors committee were paid $20,000 each for two months on the committee. he works with other bankruptcies and say this is outrageous for a company of creative memories size.

Jaden Allred said...

I hope the best for CM! This bankruptcy move may be the last resort to save the business; let's hope it will work for them. It would be a sad thing if CM shut for good; their scrapbook designs are wonderful. I hope for the best for you and the company's endeavor!Jaden @