Hancock Fabrics Liquidating

Hancock Fabrics closing down

Sewing and crafts chain store Hancock Fabrics is closing its doors and liquidating after nearly sixty years in business.

Hancock Fabrics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on February 2nd, its second bankruptcy filing in less than a decade. The initial bankruptcy plan called for closing 70 of the chain’s 260 stores. But reorganization plans failed,  as did attempts to find a buyer for the company as an operating concern. This resulted in the company’s assets being sold to a liquidator at an auction on Tuesday. The sale to the liquidator was approved by the bankruptcy court on Thursday, effectively ending the existence of Hancock Fabrics.

Store closing sales began in all of Hancock’s remaining stores yesterday under the direction of the liquidator, Great American Group.  While the stores may appear the same to shoppers visiting them, with the same staff and signage, the store operations are now owned and run by Great American using the Hancock name under license from the stores’ former owner and the store leases under court order. According to court documents, the sales must terminate and Great American must vacate the Hancock store locations by July 31st.

The same documents stipulate that for the first 21 days of the going out of business sale that store locations must accept returns of purchases (with receipt) that were made prior to the start of the going out of business sale. All sales are final during the going out of business sale, and no previously distributed sale ads or coupons will be honored. Currently, the going out of business sale is offering a 30% off storewide discount.

The demise of Hancock Fabrics will leave Joann Fabric & Crafts virtually unchallenged as the nation’s major fabric chain retailer, excepting perhaps the fabric department at Walmart. Local retailers and online options will be the only alternative to Joann’s for sewists looking for wider options.


18 Responses to Hancock Fabrics Liquidating

  1. ss20ts April 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    Wow! What a sad day! I have visited them when I travel.

    • Theresa Tefteller April 6, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      I am very sad to here that the store is CLOSEING. I wish they could find a way to keep it open. It sure would made a lot of people excited.

  2. Barbara April 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    I feel very sad about the loss of Hancock’s. I’ve shopped there almost all my life, being an avid clothing seamstress. It is so hard to find good quality apparel fabrics now. We used to have several nice fabric shops in my city (Atlanta) but one by one most of them closed, as more women abandoned sewing in favor of buying cheap Chinese imported clothes. I started to worry about Hancock’s a few years ago when they began to drop the better quality silk, cotton, and other natural fiber fabrics in favor of huge stacks of cheap fleece and low grade polyester dress fabrics. Then they eliminated even more of their apparel fabric stock and started filling up the store space with craft fabrics, dozens of pillow forms, and various home décor items like lamps and figurines. That is NOT what I wanted from a fabric store. I hate to have to go to JoAnn’s and search through all the craft items looking for decent apparel fabric. We have only one tiny independent fabric store left in my part of the city. I will have to depend on them just for basics like spools of thread, pins, etc. Ordering apparel fabric online is a poor alternative to in-store shopping because you can’t feel the texture, weight and drape of the fabric, and you can’t be sure the web photo shows the true color of the fabric.

    • Lori April 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      I completely agree with you. Even with their reduced inventory, many of their apparel fabrics were still better quality than what I have seen at the JoAnns’s stores, especially their jersey knits. Hancock still carried the 100% cotton knits, try finding that online or at JoAnn’s. I have always preferred to select my fabric by feel; you can’t do that with online shopping.

  3. Michele April 3, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    I agree with Barbara. And I also wanted to add that I really enjoy your blog and read it regularly. Thanks so much for keeping us informed!

    • Nancy Nally April 3, 2016 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks so much Michele!

  4. Eleanor April 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    I don’t count Walmart as a viable fabric option. Their fabrics are cheap and trying to find apparel fabrics almost nonexistent. Now that JoAnn’s has no competition to speak of I see our options for apparel fabrics falling away even more.

  5. Jennifer April 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    Walmart? Really??? What about Hobby Lobby? I’ve gotten some amazing fabric from them over the years.

    • Nancy Nally April 5, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      I don’t recall seeing it in the store I get to occasionally (not close by). Will have to check on that.

    • ss20ts April 5, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      Hobby Lobby isn’t all over the country. Closest Hobby Lobby to me is 1.5 hours away. They’re not open until 9pm nor are they open on Sundays. That’s an issue for some folks as well. I get there about once maybe twice a year. They don’t have a huge fabric selection either….certainly nothing like Joann or Hancock. It’s not much larger than the selection at my local WalMart.

      I’m a quilter and don’t find any fabric at chain stores suitable for my work. I only shop at local quilt shops and online quilt shops.

      • Nancy Nally April 5, 2016 at 11:43 am #

        I occasionally buy fabrics at Joann but only if I can’t find what I want at my local quilt store.

  6. slbram177 April 5, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    thank you for this informative discussion. Helps to understand a little more.

  7. gabmcann April 6, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    Sad news

  8. Loretta Dolman April 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Joann will have a practical monopoly! I wish they would stay open and dedicate the store to fabric. Shopping online isn’t the same as going to a store – you need to see the color and feel the fabric.

  9. Michelle Clark April 11, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    All of the Hobby Lobby stores I have visited have a much larger fabric department than Walmart.

  10. Sheri Elmont April 12, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    I have a special place in my heart for Hancock’s. It was my first job in HS, I started out by doing inventory, and would dream of walls of buttons and zippers, and then they hired me. Here in Portland, OR we have Fabric Depot which is huge!

    • Maria R. April 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

      My first real job was at House of Fabrics. It was sad when that store closed too. I think it was known in some parts of the country as So-Fro Fabrics. I spent 7 years working there.

  11. Karen Shuler August 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    Here we are almost in September 2017 and Joann’s is taking full advantage of the demise of Hancock Fabrics! Their prices are higher than ever and in many cases absolutely ridiculous. $13 for five universal bobbin spools that are less than $2 per dozen anywhere else. Even with a 40% off sale, Joann’s prices on most fabrics are still higher than regular prices at WalMart. Although they have a very limited selection, many of Wal-Mart’s fabrics are comparable in quality to JoAnn’s.
    I suspect that Michael’s will not be a viable replacement for Hancocks either, because Michael’s has pretty high prices on most of their stock, and I doubt that they will be any more reasonable than Joann’s.
    Unfortunately there is no place else to buy fabric in the area I live, so I will make-do with Walmart’s limited selection rather than buy from Joann’s.

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