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Closing of Hancock’s Fabrics in Cheyenne

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Phillippa | Posted in General Discussion on

About a year and a half ago, JoAnn’s closed, now Hancock’s is closing, leaving us with only Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby, neither of which carry the kind of thing I would be interested in buying.

The first story was that the landlord was raising the rent, then the employees found out tht Hancock’s aws trying to make the landlord lower the rent.. Who to believe?? Is this a trend throughout the country? Fabric stores going away?


  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    It depends on what you mean by a trend.  I think the economy is so tight right now that there are a lot of companies trying anthing they can to lower the bottom line and make a profit.  Unfortunately the consumer is always the one to lose in this situation.  Just remember JoAnn's is online and most of what you would find in the store you can find online. Of course that may be another reason for the symptoms as well, the rise of online shops that do not need a lot of hands on in all areas.

    1. rjf | | #2

      I buy some materials online but reluctantly since the more we buy online, the more we'll have to buy online.  You have to know exactly what you want so you're stuck buying the same brands because you know them.  It's so much better to see and feel the goods and to have the chance to get something you hadn't planned on but is just right.  And it's nice to talk to the sales people because they have good ideas you may not have thought about.  Perhaps we've created a monster.    rjf 

  2. Rebecca1 | | #3

    This is a trend all over the country and it goes beyond online stores but is a reflection of how we spend our money and time as well as how our society is changing.  I have a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences education (I teach high school) and a Master's in fashion design.  In the ten years I have taught I have seen fabric stores close, schools drop home ec programs, and colleges discontinue textile and clothing programs.  Miami University of Oxford, Ohio dropped their family and consumer sciences department completely with 150 students enrolled in their fashion merchandising program. Ohio State University has a textiles and clothing degree but have dropped the technical aspects of the program, they no longer teach sewing, pattern making, and draping so students have to attend a community design college to learn any technical skills.  What does this have to do with the closing of fabric stores?  Demand, demand, demand!  Sewing isn't being taught in homes or schools at nearly the rate it was ten years ago.  My city used to have three major fabric retailers within a five mile radius, now there is one store that is filled with furniture and craft items with a few garment fabrics thrown in.  It also used to be cheaper to make your clothes than to purchase rtw but the opposite is now true.  Home sewing is still the best way to control every aspect of our clothing but who has time to spend hours and hours on a pair of pants when you can shop at Kohl's and purchase a well made garment for $30.00?  We have made clothing disposable, modern consumers buy new instead of repairing garments because of the cost plus they lack the skills to make basic repairs.  I remember my mother darning socks but darning eggs are now collectors items.  Clothing retailers have 6 selling seasons so we move through trends very quickly, our clothing "uglies" out before it wears out. Where home sewers have the edge is the ability to create unique items that meet our individual needs.  The chain fabric stores have also gone crafty, retailers can make more money per square foot of retail floor space selling silk flowers and glue sticks than they can with garment textiles.  I know this is longer than a typical response but there is more to this trend than online sales, it is a reflection of how retailing is changing with the lifestyle of the consumer. 

  3. Altoida | | #4

    This seemed to be the trend where I live (mid-sized Midwestern town), and I was really afraid sewing was dying.  But the last few years many ethnic groups (who sew) have arrived, and the fabric stores here are now thriving!  We have Mill End, Hancocks, Joannes, and a couple local ones. 

    Edited 4/7/2004 1:53 pm ET by Marilyn

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