- Crafts retailer A.C. Moore has promoted President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Anthony Piperno to the CEO position, the company said Wednesday.
- He will replace current CEO Pepe Piperno, Anthony Piperno's father, who took over control of the retailer after his family purchased it in 2011, following years of supplying it through crafts wholesaler Sbar's, which Piperno owns.
- Pepe Piperno will transition to chairman to "provide the company with industry expertise, guidance and strategic insight," A.C. Moore said.
A.C. Moore launched its first store in Moorestown, New Jersey, in 1985 with 45,000 SKUs, 35 employees and a 20,000-square-foot store. That was the same year Pepe Piperno took over as president for the distributor Sbar's, which would forge close business ties to the retailer.
Today A.C. Moore operates 142 stores and has 5,000 employees. It's had a relationship with the Piperno family since the days it was expanding along the East Coast, where the retailer still has most of its stores.
Starting in 2005, Anthony Piperno ran Sbar's sales and merchandising units, according to his LinkedIn account. With the acquisition of A.C. Moore, he took over merchandising for the retailer, graduating through the management ranks. He took on the president role from Pepe Piperno last year.
According to a press release at the time, it was Anthony Piperno who spearheaded the acquisition of online arts and craft retailer Blitsy and an exclusive partnership with handcraft marketplace Zibbet to deepen and expand A.C. Moore's digital efforts.
Anthony Piperno said in a statement at the time, "These dynamic additions to our company can rapidly accelerate adoption of our proprietary product across a global audience of creative consumers and position our family as industry leaders among arts and crafts enthusiasts everywhere."
Online, A.C. Moore has to contend with the likes of Amazon and Etsy. Brick-and-mortar has large players, too, of course, with Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joann in the space. The latter has tried to modernize its business with concept stores, in-store tech and targeted purchase programs. Michaels, meanwhile, has lost market share (to Amazon and Walmart) and this year shuttered its Pat Catan's banner.