Tag Archives | Jo-Ann Stores

Update | Warehouse Sales, Moves, Jobs, Trends, and more!

Today, in this Friday edition of the Update column, we’ve got news, jobs, food for thought, and some great sales. (Disclaimer: Author not responsible for damage to your wallet!)

Sales. It’s warehouse sale time! Bella Blvd is selling warehouse sale grab boxes for $25 plus $10/box domestic shipping through their online store while they last. Boxes are described in the FAQ as approximately 70% paper and 30% embellishments, with only 2-3% variation in contents between boxes. [Sold out]

Simple Stories is also running their own warehouse sale, with $200 value boxes selling for $49.99 (plus $10 shipping). Boxes contain mostly the same contents but may vary by 2-3%.

Moves. Up-and-coming stamp company Reverse Confetti has announced that they have signed a lease to move operations into a combined classroom/warehouse space in August when construction on the new building is complete.


The “Green Library” at Etsy. Credit: Emily Andrews

Also moving up – in am much less modest way – is Etsy. The company recently moved into a new headquarters that is a few blocks from their previous Brooklyn building, but twice the size of the old space. More than 850 people work in the new space, which was designed and built following the sustainability standards of the Living Building Challenge from the International Living Future Institute. And of course, a large portion of the decor and furnishings in Etsy’s new headquarters are items that come from Etsy’s own artisans and sellers.

Honors. Sara Davies, founder of British manufacturer Crafter’s Companion, was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List this month. According the government website describing the various royal honors, the MBA is “awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community.” The honors are considered by a committee, but are ultimately approved by the Queen herself. Awards are formally awarded to honorees by the Queen in ceremonies at Buckingham Palace.

Sara Davies

Sara Davies

Davies said of the honor: “I am thrilled, honoured and so genuinely humbled by this recognition. I was surprised to hear that I would receive an MBE and have no idea where the nomination originated but I’m incredibly grateful. By becoming an MBE, I hope it helps raise the profile of our sector and what a thriving industry it is. I also hope it inspires others entrepreneurs in craft to believe, innovate and put our industry firmly on the map.”

The 32-year-old entrepreneur is being recognized for her work growing Crafter’s Companion from its founding in her college dorm room barely over 10 years ago into an operation that employs nearly 100 people on two continents. Davies is also a past board member of the Craft & Hobby Association, and the founding board chair of CHA-UK.

Jobs. The following industry positions are currently listed as open and available:

Jo-Ann Crafts has posted full-time positions for Inventory Management Planner, Copy Writer, Associate Seasonal Buyer, Sourcing Assistant, and a Store Planning Coordinator (Interior Designer or Architect) in their Hudson, OH headquarters within the past week. These positions are accessible in the online job portal.

History. The crafts industry sometimes likes to think that we invented scrapbooking, but of course it has been around for centuries. The Messy Nessy Chic blog has a look at a fascinating scrapbook compiled in the late 1930’s documenting the life of a young woman named Lotta June Miller, who traveled cross country from Spokane to Pennsylvania to take up a position as theatre director at a teacher’s college. It’s a fascinating read, and a great look at the roots of scrapbooking.

Trends. has an interesting profile up showing how a group of women is getting together regularly to color, following the growth of the adult coloring trend in the last year. This is an especially interesting look at the current coloring trend when viewed from the perspective of the rise – and then fall – in popularity of the group “crop” in the scrapbooking industry.

Retailers. The oft-controversial Hobby Lobby was the target of anti-gay bigotry at their store in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Florida yesterday. An unknown person rearranged letters on the store’s shelves (an increasingly common internet meme) to display an anti-gay message, which was removed immediately upon discovery by store staff. Hobby Lobby communications coordinator Bob Miller told local station News4Jax in a statement that “It is beyond unfortunate that some individuals would use items intended to bring beauty and joy through creativity to instead propagate hate, especially at a time when love is so critically needed right now.”


Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts Names New CEO

JoannLogoThumbnailJo-Ann Fabric & Crafts has announced that Jill Soltau will be taking over as CEO effective March 2nd. Jim Kerr, the company’s CFO, had been serving as interim CEO since the sudden departure of CEO Travis Smith last August for undisclosed reasons. Jo-Ann’s is owned by private equity company Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.

Soltau is the former CEO of Shopko, having also spent time at Sears, Kohl’s and Carson Pirie Scott during her 25 year career in retail. She had been with Shopko since 2007.

“We are excited to partner with Jill as we continue to build upon Jo-Ann’s leading position in the fabric and craft industry. Jill’s passion, strategic vision and proven success make her an excellent leader for the company going forward,” said Todd Purdy, Partner, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.

“For over 70 years, Jo-Ann has been inspiring the creativity in others and I am thrilled to join the team to help drive the brand’s future success,” said Ms. Soltau. “Jo-Ann is an industry leader that has exciting opportunities to achieve even greater long-term potential. I look forward to working with the talented management team and dedicated associates to bolster Jo-Ann’s market position and create further enthusiasm for the Jo-Ann brand.”


Teresa Collins Announces New Partnerships, Products

Teresa Collins has been very busy extending her brand this year. This week she has made two major announcements of new product lines and partnerships.

The first new partnership is with big box retailer Joann Fabric & Crafts. Teresa has designed some exclusive add-ons to her January 2014 line “Hello My Name Is” for the chain, and the company is prominently promoting both that line and her other product lines with partners like Xyron and Craftwell. All of the products are currently available for sale on, and are currently showing up in local Jo-Ann stores as well.

Teresa Collins Rub OnsExclusive new products designed for the “Hello My Name Is” line for Jo-Ann stores appear to include the adornments, sticky notes, journal cards, vellum stickers, cards & envelopes, garland, wood dots, border stickers, decorative brads, rub-ons, journaling tidbits, matchbook stickers, 4.5 x 6.5 paper pad, layered stickers, layered butterfly stickers, photo banner kit, celebrate banner kit, and chipboard buttons. Continue Reading →


Industry Retailers Make NRF Stores Hot 100

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, 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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Tornado Destroys Jo-Ann’s Store in Joplin, MO

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 was, 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. Continue Reading →


Jo-Ann Stores To Go Private In Buyout

Jo-Ann Stores announced today that they have agreed to be acquired by Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., a private equity firm, for approximately $1.6 billion. The $61 per share purchase price is a 34% premium over the company’s trading price at market close on Wednesday.

Leonard Green & Partners is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm with over $9 billion in managed capital. Their retail investments include Whole Foods Market, PETCO Animal Supplies, Sports Authority, The Container Store, David’s Bridal, and Neiman Marcus.

The purchase was approved by a unanimous vote of the company’s board of directors, after a recommendation was made to it by a special committee of independent directors.

Jo-Ann Stores’ lead director and chairman of the Special Committee, Scott Cowen, explained the decision:

After a thorough assessment, the Special Committee and the board of directors concluded that the proposal put forth by Leonard Green & Partners is the best way to maximize value for shareholders, who will receive a substantial and immediate cash premium for their shares. While the company was not actively seeking this transaction, once the offer was received and negotiated, the Special Committee determined that it was in the best interest of the company’s shareholders, as well as its employees and other partners. Leonard Green & Partners has significant expertise in the retail space and is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the growth of Jo-Ann’s business.

The transaction still has to be approved by a vote of Jo-Ann Stores stockholders, and receive regulatory approval. Jo-Ann Stores also holds the right to solicit other competing offers for itself until February 14th, 2011 to ensure its stockholders receive the best deal.

Financing for the transaction will be provided by J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and TCW/Crescent Mezzanine.

The buyout of Jo-Ann Stores by a private equity firm will leave the struggling AC Moore as the only major craft chain that is publicly held. Hobby Lobby is family owned, and Michaels is owned by private equity groups Bain and Blackstone (although rumors persist that a public stock offering is in the near future).

Jo-Ann Stores has been growing steadily the past few years, increasingly its sales and improving its financial results, making it an attractive takeover target in a declining retail economy. On December 1st, the company announced its 3rd quarter 2011 sales (quarter ended Oct. 31st). Net sales were up 5.1% over the 3rd quarter of 2010, while same-store sales were up 4.1%. For the nearly-concluded Fiscal 2011 year, the company said it expected to open 30 new stores and close 25 stores. In Fiscal 2012 they are planning even more expansion – anticipating opening 55 to 60 new stores. These numbers are in addition to large numbers of store remodels that are also being done. Online has also been an area of growth for the company, where sales have gone up in double-digit percentages, although the website still accounts for only a tiny portion of the company’s total.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011.

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