Direct sales papercrafting company Close To My Heart has quietly started producing strap hinge page protectors that will work in Creative Memories albums that were left incomplete when that company discontinued its traditional album line as part of its recent bankruptcy and subsequent restructuring as “Ahni & Zoe” with a new product line.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. filed suit Wednesday in Federal Court to stop implementation of mandates in the Obama administration’s healthcare law which would require it to cover birth control methods that its ownership says it is opposed to on religious grounds.
David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, is well-known for running the family company in accordance with his family’s conservative Christian beliefs. Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday and the company prides itself on paying its employees wages above usual retail industry standards.
Unless the court overturns the coverage mandate in the ACA law, on January 1st Hobby Lobby will be required to begin covering the morning after pill and other forms of contraception such as the IUD, which the company’s ownership holds to be in violation of their religious beliefs, according to the lawsuit filings. They are asking the court to declare the ACA mandate unconstitutional, and for a stay to block it going into effect. According to a press statement, the company believes they could face fines of $1.3 million per day for failing to comply with the coverage mandate if it is not blocked. [Read more...]
Well, it’s Friday the 13th…here’s the latest news that you should know before you run screaming to hide from things that go bump in the night!
New mid releases, like hordes of undead zombies, just keep coming! This week we’ve got new announcements from Pink Paislee and Authentique Paper.
Stores, a publication of the National Retail Federation, has released its Stores Hot 100 list of the country’s fastest growing retailers – and several craft-related stores made the 2011 list. The list is ranked based on year to year sales growth from 2009 to 2010. All retailers with domestic U.S. sales of over $300 million were eligible.
Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com, an often overlooked player in the crafts retail market, landed in the number 10 spot on the list by posting 23.8% growth from 2009 to 2010. Stores attributes this to the growing portfolio of markets that company has expanded into, including travel (by selling discount hotel rooms). A ranking penalty incurred by the company from Google over accusations it manipulated Google results by embedding links in school websites in return for promised discounts has left Stores skeptical that Overstock can repeat those year-to-year growth results, however.
Both home shopping networks made the list. HSN ranked highest, coming in at number 44 with 9% year-over-year growth. Known for its promotion of lines like Cricut, Anna Griffin and Martha Stewart Crafts with custom created bundles during its on-air craft specials, HSN is definitely a force in the new model of retailing and their growth reflects that. Although nearly twice the size of HSN in total sales, home shopping network QVC was further down the list at number 85 due to experiencing a smaller (but still impressive) amount of year to year sales growth (5%).
Near the bottom of the Stores list we find two craft chain stores. First up is Jo-Ann Stores. That chain placed in 95th on the chart with 4.4% sales growth, on $2.079 billion in retail sales from 751 stores. The other craft chain on the list, Hobby Lobby, came in at number 96, also showing 4.4% sales growth in the surveyed period. Privately-held Hobby Lobby’s sales were reported as $2.093 billion, surpassing Jo-Ann Stores, and with only 497 store locations. Hobby Lobby’s growth numbers were undoubtedly helped by opening of new locations – it experienced store growth in the covered period of 5.7%, while Jo-Ann Stores only expanded their locations by 0.7%.
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The Joplin, MO store of Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts was among the scores of businesses destroyed in the F5 tornado that swept through the heart of the city’s business district on Sunday evening, decimating the Joplin and killing at least 125 people.
The Jo-Ann’s store, located in a strip mall on Rangeline Road, was open for business at the time of tornado, and there were both staff and customers inside the store according to a Jo-Ann Stores spokesperson. There were no fatalities at the store, but the store itself was described by the company as destroyed.
As heavily damaged as this shopping center is, the area around it is largely completely leveled. Piles of debris mark the former locations of restaurants and shops lining the business strip. The video below can help give some grasp of the massive scale of the destruction in that area of Joplin. The Jo-Ann’s is the large store in the middle of the strip mall that appears across the street near the end of the video.
Jo-Ann Stores says that it is assisting both its employees and the community at large as they attempt to recover from this devastating event. Some Jo-Ann’s employees did unfortunately lose their homes in the disaster.
Other area crafts stores largely escaped damage in the tornado on Sunday. Hobby Lobby’s Joplin store – which is located near the devastated Walmart and Home Depot seen frequently in news reports – sustained relatively minor damage in the storm according to Facebook postings. The store’s windows were blown out and since the parking lot is being used as a staging area by emergency personnel, they will have to wait till the area is more secure to get approval from authorities to re-open the store.
Michael’s Stores’ location in Joplin was fortunate to be located approximately a quarter-mile outside of the tornado’s path. The store sustained no damage and there were no injuries.
Please join Scrapbook Update in donating to the Red Cross to provide support to the victims of the tornadoes and floods that have devastated the midwestern United States this spring: