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Tag Archives | Jo-Ann Stores

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.”

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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 Joann.com, 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 →

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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 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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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 →

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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.

Find thousands of craft supplies online!

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Jo-Ann Stores To Exhibit At CHA Summer Craft Supershow

The Craft & Hobby Association announced this week that Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will be exhibiting at the CHA Craft Supershow in Rosemont, IL next month.

Jo-Ann Stores joins other big-box stores Michaels and Archivers in attending the Supershow in Rosemont. The company will occupy a 40 x 50 foot space at the show that will includes inspirational craft ideas and make-n-take projects.

“As more people discover the joy and creativity of sewing and crafting, Jo-Ann is especially pleased to be part of the upcoming CHA Shows in Rosemont,” explained Riddi Kline, senior vice president, marketing, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. “The CHA Craft SuperShow is in line with our own goals of providing consumers with a wide array of fabrics, sewing, and crafting supplies, while inspiring customers with knowledge, helpful service and value. The Show will help us better understand how to inspire our customers as they interact with various products.”

The CHA Craft Supershow will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on July 30-31st, 2010.

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