Second Place: Michaels Stores
Third Place: Hobby Lobby
Craft stores inhabit a peculiar place in space and time that's always one holiday ahead of the calendar. Within the glass doors of Ben Franklin, it was always colored eggs on St. Patrick's Day and pilgrim hats on Halloween. Alas, this year was the last time Ben Franklin got to bust out the bunny ears. The six Richmond-area locations were re-branded as A.C. Moore, an East Coast chain of craft stores, in the spring. Richmonders mourned. But A.C. Moore offers the same crafting products and custom framing as Ben Franklin, says spokeswoman Patti Thomas, plus a new rewards program. The second-place winner, Michaels, offers an enormous selection of scrapbooking doodads, art supplies, silk flowers and googly eyes. Third-place winner Hobby Lobby adds home décor items, sewing classes and a Christian soundtrack to the mix.