This August, Joann’s Fabrics is celebrating its 75th Anniversary by giving a gift to all of us who love fabric, crafts, paint, DIY, etc.
They are getting a makeover, and all I can say is: It’s about time.
I do like to go to my local Joann’s, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw things on the floor at the checkout line (or the fabric line) and walk away. Either they don’t have enough help, or the help doesn’t care, or the place is just a mess or all of the above.
And yet, if I need plastic snaps, or a white button, or home decor fabric, or any number of sewing notions and I need it NOW, it’s the place we go.
They are starting with a name change…from Joann’s Fabrics to just Joann’s. Because they want folks to remember they are so much more than just fabric. (Honestly, I think that’s just their marketing department catching up to real life, because who of us already didn’t know that’s where to go for storage or plastic flowers or beads or…whatever.)
But the most exciting aspect is that they will be updating their 800 stores this fall and into next year. They already have a prototype store that’s been updated in Columbus OH.
Who’s up for a road trip to Columbus?
New features in Joann’s stores:
A cutting bar: You’ll be able to check in, and get a text when your fabric is cut. In the meantime, you can wander around the store. Anyone who’s ever stood in line while folks dawdle and chitchat or worse, know this can be a frustrating and time-consuming wait.
Creator’s Studio: I love this idea. You can rent a sewing machine, grab a cup of coffee, a cookie, or attend an event or class. The studio is positioned in the middle of the store, not shoved away in a corner. It’s meant to revolve around community…possibly a place for bees to meet? I don’t know how this will work but am anxious to see it in action.
A Custom Shop: Tailoring, custom design? Sounds like they are working toward a specialization that very few other places have. (With good reason.) I’m guessing this would be a place for alterations and some custom services, possibly home dec.
Expanded merchandising: They are planning on carrying more sewing machines from different manufacturers, for every budget. Obviously, this gets complicated because sewing machines need service, but we’ll see where this goes.
All of this is great news for anyone who loves crafts of any kind. And we already know that all crafts overlap. Sewists are often also knitters or scrapbookers or bakers (or gardeners…hey, Joann’s don’t forget about that!) We need a place to go that’s inspiring and caters to customers’ needs.
Of course, we still love our independent quilt shops, and they will ALWAYS be our first choice for quilt fabric. But in a world where so many shops are disappearing because of online competition, it’s good to know that someone is investing in us.
And in our $3.7 billion in discretionary spending.