Michael Dupey, who created the arts and crafts superstore concept Michaels (Irving, Texas), died at his home in Dallas last weekend.
"He was a wizard. He could pick out trends like no one else could," Jim Sadler, one of Dupey's first store managers, told The Dallas Morning News. "And he was fearless about getting the next hot trend into his stores. He would move heaven and earth to make sure his stores had it."
Dupey’s retail career began in 1968 after his father purchased the struggling Ben Franklin five-and-dime store in Dallas and appointed him manager. He transformed the store's focus to craft supplies and renamed the store Michaels Arts and Crafts. Dupey's father eventually sold the company in 1983, but retained exclusive rights to the Dallas-Fort Worth territory for his son. Mr. Dupey later renamed his stores MJDesigns. At its peak, the MJDesigns chain had 57 locations and $250 million in sales. The company was forced into Chapter 11 when Michaels Stores, returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth market in the last ’90s.
In 2002, Dupey tried to start another retail concept, MPort, a discount home decor and accessories store, in Dallas, but it failed to take off.
He is survived by two children, Todd Dupey and Melissa Jabin; two grandchildren; and former wife Patty.