Aaron Brothers, a custom framing and art supplies business, will close its Berkeley location July 27 as the nationwide chain shuts down stand-alone stores.
Aaron Brothers’ owner, Michaels Stores Inc., is absorbing the framing store into its main business. Although the stand-alone Aaron Brothers stores, such as the Berkeley location, will close, these stores will be integrated into Michaels locations.
“The custom framing that’s currently in Michaels would be transferred to Aaron Brothers,” said Sahai Carpenter, an employee at the Aaron Brothers location in Berkeley on Shattuck Avenue. “The Aaron Brothers employees would also be transferred to Michaels, which is kind of nice, because we’re not all losing our jobs.”
Founded in 1946, Aaron Brothers has been offering custom frames and artwork for more than 70 years. The company began selling art supplies in the 1960s and was acquired by Michaels Stores Inc. in 1995.
According to Carpenter, the Berkeley location of Aaron Brothers has existed for about 20 years.
Although many of Aaron Brothers’ customers mainly come to the store to purchase their picture frames and customize their own, the store does not only provide frames and art supplies — its shelves are also stocked with makeup, toys and various other items.
Peggy Azcona, another Berkeley resident who has been an Aaron Brothers customer for many years, said she has many memories of the store.
“I come to buy frames, and I came during Christmas to buy gifts for my grandkids,” Azcona said. “I’m not surprised, but … I’m sad that all the little, local stores are closing.”