At Michaels, we believe anyone can make, and we’re on a mission to inspire and encourage everyone to unleash their inner maker. With helpful store Team Members and a broad selection of merchandise, combined with compelling in-store events and online content, we believe we offer the most complete arts and crafts experience and are the preferred destination in the industry.
With 1,367 stores (consisting of 1,223 Michaels stores in the 49 states and Canada and 109 Aaron Brothers stores) as of January 28, 2017, and $5.2 billion in sales in fiscal 2016, The Michaels Companies is the largest arts and crafts specialty provider in North America. In addition to our retail outlets, we also own Artistree, a manufacturer of high quality custom and specialty framing merchandise, and Darice, a premier wholesale distributor in the craft, gift and decor industry.
Our stores are at the heart of our customer engagement strategy, showcasing our artistic and creative products while providing an opportunity for our store Team Members to interact with customers and help them develop creative ideas. We carry a broad and deep assortment of more than 30,000 stock-keeping units ("SKUs") in arts, crafts, scrapbooking, floral, framing, home décor, seasonal offerings, and children's hobbies that enable us to satisfy the diverse needs of our customers. We have also developed a robust online platform which promotes social networking and includes expert tips, project ideas, marketing content and information about upcoming in-store events. In recent years, we have capitalized on our market-leading scale to create a team and infrastructure dedicated to designing, sourcing and delivering high quality, on-trend merchandise, including a growing number of products under our portfolio of private brands.
Our private branded products, which represented approximately 57% of net sales in fiscal 2016, are only available at Michaels and allow us to further differentiate our merchandise while enhancing product margins. We are also able to use our scale and market leadership to identify and secure exclusive third party products. We believe our compelling store experience and broad product offering distinguish us from our competitors and position Michaels as the leading brand that defines arts and crafts.