Creative Memories has announced it’s new, broader vision – it’s shift in strategy. Acknowledging the huge amount of competition in the craft market they feel they need to move to the larger, and less crowded, portion of the market - the one that likes quick and easy products, whether traditional or digitally produced.
"The absence of pages and protectors is a new concept to many" and "we will have albums and pages but they will be fresh and new" are 2 statements recently made by various sources at CM that really, really surprised me. I knew they were simplifying but never thought they would decide to not offer these hallmark items. Personally, and as a CMC for over 12 years, I don’t think this is a good idea. More about this in a bit – first the important details that you need to know:
As part of the bankruptcy process, CM has submitted a plan to the court for approval and have requested to offer all current traditional products on a While Supplies Last basis.
For some core products that are produced in-house by CM, (I think these will most likely be page refills, page protectors and album coversets) Creative Memories intends to offer a "Last Chance” order period in July. The proposed timing is July 8-31, 2013. CM used the term “build on demand” to describe how these will be sold – I think that means pre-orders will be taken and then the items will be manufactured.
CM’s current HOSTESS Rewards program will be discontinued at the end of June.
- Parties need to be held on or before June 30
- Parties need to be closed by June 30
- Host Rewards need to be redeemed by June 30
REWARDS CLUB credits will need to be redeemed by August 21st. No new Rewards Club members are being accepted – current club members can earn credit until August 21st.
Regarding CM DIGITAL: Creative Memories said they are continuing to seek out the best way to transition it’s digital business, but do not yet have a solution they can share. I believe that CM will be also simplifying digital. I remain confident that arrangements will be made with a 3rd party for support of SBC+ and MM. If not - know that in the worst case scenario - other avenues are being explored by myself and a very large number of CMCs and we will share that information if the need arises.
Check to see if you have any product credits that you purchased or ones that came with SBC+ content. There are some out there with expiration dates into 2014 and they will need to be used by August 21st 2013 DO NOT wait until then to upload & order. There are always problems with CM at the end of a sale and I can’t even imagine how overwhelmed their system is going to be around 8-21. The sooner you can upload & order any digital products the better!!
I recently took inventory of the coversets on my shelf and placed an order for the pages and protectors that I needed to complete those. Please do the same and place your order – using a credit card as soon as possible. I do not want anyone to miss out on the supplies they need...but also do not want you to panic. I don't plan to "stock up" and I don't think you should either.
It’s looking more and more like CM has made a decision to not only focus on new, potential customers (which could be a great new start for them) but also sending a message to loyal customers to change their way of scrapbooking or spend their money elsewhere. I can’t begin to tell you how awful I think the decision is to not offer pages, protectors and coversets. I know the full details haven’t been announced by CM – at least not in a clear, honest form - but it has been said to many people and in various forums that CM believes people are just too frazzled to scrapbook and that is why they are offering the Fast 2 Fabulous albums (preassembled albums with pre-printed pages) and PicFolios ( probably with an updated design.) With this cookie cutter approach to album making it’s a sure bet “Creative” will not be in their new name. CM has said that refills for the F2F albums will be available and I can’t imagine them offering albums without page protectors. It makes no sense to me to not offer these components separately (and plain, unprinted pages) to keep a HUGE portion of your current customer base happy – and coming back with their money for years to come.
Also – this is what CM’s plan is if their plan is approved. Not one word (that I’ve seen) has been mentioned about what will happen if this plan isn’t approved. Switching from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (liquidation) is a very realistic reality, in my opinion, if this plan is denied.
I’ve shared the link to send comments to CM before and I’ll share it again but I am also sharing a link to their Facebook page. If you click on “Posts by Others” you’ll see a lot of people telling CM how much they hope CM will continue to offer their coversets, pages and protectors. Please let them know your feelings, too.