Adventures in Card-Making · craft stores · Perspectives

The Disappearing Act

Dear fellow Crafters,

Over the holidays, a disturbing force came over the land. It was the announcement that two craft stores in our state were closing their doors. (A.C.Moore and Joanne’s Fabric Store) Then, amidst the hue and cry came the news that these closings were national!

According to news reports the 145 stores failed to adapt to the changing marketplace.Some of A.C. Moore stores were to merge with Michael’s. Then on the heels of that news came another bombshell -Joanne’s was closing nationwide also. Now it seems that both of these retailers failed to realize the changing dynamic of today’s consumers. The target crafter with the most disposable income was either not interested in making something from scratch -wanting to buy items already made or simply did not have the time to pursue the craft.The other thing was that the core dynamic of both stores stayed much the same. Oh, some new vendors were added  but mostly both the layout of the stores and the merchandise (seasonal and trending) remained the same. Discounts were routinely offered in print and on-line but we’re ever changing and so many items were excluded. From a corporate point of view closing made sense as apparently a fair to middling number of stores were not meeting their quotas.

To the crafter though -you and me – our crafting world just became more complicated.We were faced with the dilemma of shopping online directly from the manufacturer or Amazon or Wal-Mart.

Here’s my question for you – if you’re an American crafter where are you going to shop for your supplies?

Please share your comments below. We are all in this together!

craft stores

Craft stores on the web

Dear fellow crafters,

I saw a TV show last month that was really interesting. The main topic was about marketing and the commentator was talking about retail stores that used social media to sell their products as opposed to staying a “brick and mortar” store.

Years ago, a mall had one or two major retail outlets like J.C. Penney’s or Macy’s at either end and smaller specialty stores in the middle. Now we see giant retailers are getting smaller or going completely out if business -,i.e. Caldor’s for instance.

The advent of selling on the internet doomed many of the stores we used to love to shop in. If you’re of a certain age, you appreciate the ability to touch, feel and buy an item in the same moment.

Now that experience has evolved into an “in store “experience like the net. Catalogs that can be opened with a flick of your stylus, size charts,  reviews are all at your fingertips and some items can be shipped to your store for you.

Some of my favorite craft stores that sell on the internet are Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Joanne’s, A.C. Moore, Ben Franklin and Blick Art Materials.

~Sallie

craft stores

Craft Stores

Craft Stores

Dear Fellow Crafters,

     When I was getting ready to retire from my “day job” as a Senior Customer Service Rep for a large manufacturing firm, my co-workers started asking me which craft stores I shopped in. Now, they all knew I rubber stamped and die-cutted (is that a word?) because they had received greeting cards over the years. They didn’t really know where I shopped. My guess at the time (which proved correct) was that they wanted to give me some gift cards.

     I think we all have had that experience. My favorite “Brick and Mortar” stores are (in no particular order)  are Joanne, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and A C Moore. Each of these stores carry different inventory. For instance, my local Michaels, doesn’t carry a lot of rubber stamps, while Joanne’s does. Hobby Lobby carries different card stock and A C Moore has a lot of dies. Joanne’s carries Craft Magazines and Michaels does not. And the list of differences and similarities goes on.

     What motivates me to shop are several reasons – I’m running out of some particular item; I’ve got an occasion/holiday coming up; I’ve been commissioned by someone; a new die or stamp has been advertised.

     One tip for all of you is to set up an on-line account with your favorite store. A lot of time, that item you can’t find on the shelf is actually “on-line” and sometimes (Yeah!) it is on sale.  Please share your comments in the box below.

‘Til next time,

Sallie