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Thread: Quilt Shops Closing

  1. #11
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    Quilts shops will come and go like Scissor Queen states. Many small businesses fail to thrive for various reasons, some not even making it through the first year. They don't plan to fail, they just fail to plan. It is hard as the quilt shop owners who didn't have a solid business plan going in just survive and limp along until they go out of business. They have to pay rent, teachers, maybe employees, utilities,insurances, invoices from all the various suppliers, repairs to the machines they keep in the store, and of course, they are holding all that inventory until someone buys it. Just like with our quilted items, the "stuff" that is in a quilt shop may not appeal to every potentional quilt shop buyer at the "price" the owner/seller thinks she/he should get. With the economy being the way it is, many folks are finding ways to save money by looking for discounts, shopping from stash, and using clothing for quilts. I have seen posts here about what makes a great quilt shop but the problem is - do they have the cash flow to put all these great ideas into place? It is sad.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    As time goes on, I think we’ll see more and more Quilt Shops closing.

    One of the newest and fastest growing reasons is called “Showrooming”, in which shoppers look at merchandise in stores, but buy online at lower prices. Sometimes they’ll do it on their Smart Phone right there in the retail shop to make sure that they get the correct pattern number. Even if a shop has a lot of foot traffic, sales are declining. It’s not just the fabric shops that are seeing an increase in showrooming. It’s becoming a major problem in most retail shops that sell merchandise that is also for sale online.

    While both types of businesses might hire staff, pay rent, pay for electricity, and pay for telephone service, the costs are usually higher for a retail outlet than for a warehouse operation. The brick & mortar shops usually have to pay much more for building maintenance, store fixtures, and real estate taxes, due to their location and public access. Online-only shops usually have very low overhead.

    Shop Owners see the problem, and many are getting out of the retail business because of it. Some retire, some relocate their inventory to a cheaper facility and change their business to online-only, and others simply go into another line of work. Who can afford to put up with all of the cost just to be a showroom for someone else?

    I think that the brick and mortar retail shops have probably outlived their usefulness.

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
    ThayerRags Fabric Center
    http://thayerrags.com/

  3. #13
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    My favorite local quilt shop hasn't bought any new fabric for ages. I was bold and asked her if she was planning on going out of business. She said no, but I don't think that is true. I don't think she wants to, but I think everyone is shopping online nowadays. I asked her why she didn't put her business back online and she said it cost $2,800 just for the initial cost to get her online business going. I think she should do it. I really do.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    My favorite local quilt shop hasn't bought any new fabric for ages. I was bold and asked her if she was planning on going out of business. She said no, but I don't think that is true. I don't think she wants to, but I think everyone is shopping online nowadays. I asked her why she didn't put her business back online and she said it cost $2,800 just for the initial cost to get her online business going. I think she should do it. I really do.
    Most likely, she is "hoping" that things will work out and not have to go out of business. I too have been in a shop with old fabric- those I can get on Craigslist postings- and wonder how they stay in business. I have spoken with four owners whose shops are struggling, up for sale or went out of business. One of them sold her half to the co-owner for less than her original investment because she and her husband were always arguing about the "shop". None of the rest of them have a plan for a retirement date, a list of potential buyers or want to accept that they are operating on a month to month basis. My DGM had a saying, "If your outgo is bigger than your income, it is your upkeep that is YOUR DOWNFALL!" The few stores that will survive are owned by folks who understand "business". Businesses are supposed to be profitable, period. So if they aren't making a profit, then they will eventually go out of business.
    Last edited by AUQuilter; 02-03-2013 at 11:35 AM.

  5. #15
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    Everone has made a valid statement. We can all look at the shop owners choices and find fault, or the location, or the stock on hand or price. Their is so much that factors in I think. But as non shop owners, if we like our LQS at all, and we don't want to see them close, we need to accept some responsibility for stores closing. Shopping on line is a biggie for sure. I know sometimes the price is cheaper, but with shipping included, maybe not as great a savings as we first thought. Most of the Quilt Shops I frequent offer me sooo much more than fabric. You walk in the door and you are home again. Surrounded by fabric, friends and ideas. Sure you can see the fabric on line or in a catalog . Not the same as touching it, feeling piece by piece just how wounderful that next quilt is going to feel.

    Most Quilt Shop owners heart and soul are invested in that shop, I know each time I walk through those doors.....my heart and soul will be fed as well.

    If we love'em we've got to support'em. Just saying, IMHO.

  6. #16
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    Our Qs closed here about a year ago. It had been in business 42 years. She closed the brick and mortar store and moved all her inventory out to her farm, and has an on line business only now. Buying on line is convenient and sometimes you get really good prices, but I prefer to shop in store. I like to see and feel the fabric, plus I love the atmosphere of most shops. That shop was also a gathering place for us, classes, all day sew ins, etc.I really miss it and all the friends I made there over the years.

  7. #17
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    Well, we did loose all those Scrapbook stores several years ago. There use to be a lot of those around here too.

  8. #18
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    South Louisiana
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    I rarely buy online. I love to feel the fabric, see the true colors, and put fabrics together. I make scrappy quilts and just lining up my selected fabrics gives me an incredible thrill. I would not get that buying online. I know I spend more buying from my LQS, but this is my only extravagance.
    Hand quilting preserves my sanity.

  9. #19
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    I believe there's two reasons for it. The first reason is the economy. People are still purchasing fabric, but not in the quantity that they used to. The second reason is online shopping. There's so many more fabric stores to shop in without having to use the time to go to the store, use the gas (especially use the gas), and many of those sites have free shipping if you buy over a certain amount or a lowered shipping.

  10. #20
    Member kookey426's Avatar
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    coffeebreak,I think you hit the nail on the head! Most people do not have the disposable income to afford $12 or more per yard on an everyday project.I know a lot of ladies that sew quilts,baby clothes,etc,for charity,and you have to keep the prices down.In this economy there is alot of upheaval when it comes to businesses,and you have to really be prepared and have a great business plan and CUSTOMER SERVICE to outlast the enormous competition!

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