:x My Quot is The Super Center is Stupid for not having FABRICS!!!!!!BJR
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:x My Quot is The Super Center is Stupid for not having FABRICS!!!!!!BJR
What's the www for thisnthatfabrics??? BJR
:x Oh Yea,Ol Sam is rolling over as we speak! Sam was the best!!! Some of the guys round here went Hunting with him!! BJR
OK, folks, here's the deal with WalMart and the fall-out from all the other "big-box" stores. Americans vote with their dollars. Over the last 30 years, Americans have voted for the "big box" stores. Americans have voted the local merchant out of business because it's easier, quicker, and cheaper,to go to the mega super market, the mega department store, and the mega pet shop rather than support the local Main Street merchants. However, as many Americans have painfully discovered, easier, quicker, and cheaper isn't necessarily the ultimate outcome of a landscape dotted with "big box" stores.
I wholeheartedly agree that WalMart is a curse and a big contributor to the blight on the economic landscape of regions, towns, and neighborhoods. WalMart has been a major contributor to the decline and death of innumerable local shopping areas (downtown, uptowns, whatever one wants to call them). It doesn't matter if those areas are small farm towns in the Midwest or "suburban sprawl" areas in metropolitan regions.
Local politicians court and sell out to companies like WalMart. These elected officials want as many of the "big box" stores as possible because they contribute a significant amount of commercial and real estate tax dollars, ostensibly for the "good of the community". Well, we know how well that plan works for the "good of the community".
In the 1950's and early 1960's my Father-in-law was part owner of a locally-owned, thriving, honest-to-goodness "downtown" department store that carried everything from ladies' lingerie to microwaves and TVs. That store was a part of the thriving and growing downtown in a large Central Illinois community. In 1964, he knew the end of local downtowns was a matter of time when he saw that K-Mart could sell a TV at a lower price, retail, than what it cost him to purchase the same TV at wholesale. By 1968, my Father in Law's store was in the process of closing. It was gone by 1970.
The trend continued in that Midwestern town throughout the '70's. Downtown died. All major commercial activity went to the suburbs...and the steady tide of "big box" / "big parking lot" stores continues to this day.
As a "hometown" girl, it would almost break my heart to visit my family and see what had happened to the downtown of my childhood. Familiar business and favorite stores had become parking lots or were closed. I never could figure the parking lot thing since so much of the commercial business had gone to the big box shopping centers at the edge of town. Obviously, the downtown parking lots were empty and the mega-stores' lots were packed. So much for the wisdom of local policiticans. Oh, and the tax money that these gargantuan monuments to commercialism generate...in this case, it's going to a different town, ajacent to my hometown.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area...population is in the millions. I moved here to a "bedroom community" 25 years ago. At that time, my family could buy well-made clothes, shoes, toys, groceries, Rx, automobiles and applicances from local merchants. Many were the hours I wandered the globe while browsing through the travel section of our locally-owned book stores. If I remember correctly, there were 2 or 3 very good fabric shops. I could get Pendelton yard goods easily. I had little to no reason to leave town to shop. I knew the merchants and they knew me.
Today, I can't buy a pair of well-made anything in my local community. It's all at the "big box" stores...with employee turn-over at obscene rates.
Between San Jose and and Hayward, CA, along I-880 on the east side of the bay, there is a Wal-Mart and / or a Home Depot in San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont, Union City, Hayward. You don't want to know how many other redundancies of other "big box" store clog that corridor. What I've described is a distance of about 40 miles -- through traffic and world-class traffic.
I'm completely sympathetic --and just as angry / frustrated -- with the plight of my fellow quilters and the angst of fabric stores' closing. Those fabric stores are to us what "Cheers" was to Frazer, Cliff, Norm, and all the others. "Everyone knows your name" -- or what colors we like for our quilting projects.
When I had what turned out to be minor sugery a few years ago, after I had talked with my family, guess who I called to give them the news. Yep...my friends at the quilt shop, all of whom had been praying for me and my family. Unfortunately, that store has closed...because the owner retired.
There are some other quilt shops in the area, but I'm having to travel further and further. As my friend from the now-closed quilt shop told me, "You could go for 10 years and never buy another piece of yardage." Well, yeah, she was right, but... :wink:
The convenience of a one-stop shopping "big box" store does enable an economy of scale, i.e. lower prices (sometimes), but at what price? That's where the choice of how and where we spend those "left over" dollars comes into play. "Left over" dollars = what's left after all the assotred taxes levied on us by those who are so concerned about the "good of the community", allowing us to attempt to acquire some of the necessities of life.
In the context of those who are so concerned about the "good of the community", I'm reminded of a bumper sticker I saw recently. "Your Village Called, Looking for You. They Want Their Idiot Back."
There is one thing that even the frustation of "big boxes" can't take away from quilters. They can't take away the fun and satisfaction of our creativity. Continue on, friends.
I refuse to shop at walmart for anything!I realize that some people might not have a choice but to shop there,but if you do, go elsewhere! they are not all that.And if you really look online you can find fabrics starting at 3-4 dollars a yard.the reason Walmart are closing their fabric depts and it is stated on another thread is because it is not cost effective, too labor intensive,they would have to have someone available to measure and cut fabric and it costs them money to do that, they want everything ready to pick up and go.
I agree that it's sad what is happening to small downtown America. It's disappearing so fast sometimes I want to cry.Originally Posted by MCH
However, I cannot afford to shop at those stores. I don't have any "left over" dollars. Hubby and I are living on less than $35K a year, just over 1/3 of what we were making 2 years ago. The bills have gone up...electricity, gas for the car, the cost of food...but our income has crashed. The mortgage company doesn't care if we eat or not as long as the payment comes in. If we don't pay the electricity, it gets shut off.
The one place I can afford to pinch a little is by shopping at a "big box" store. It enables me to buy a decent sugar substitute for my husband so I can make him muffins (no, I don't buy them, I make them from scratch...store made costs too much!) once a week or so as a treat. I can even splurge on a carton of sugar-free ice cream once in a while.
I feel like a deserter sometimes but the way that the economy is going I can't see only eating once a day so we can patronize the local grocery, which carries 2 sugar substitutes on a good day and no sugar-free ice cream at all...and as for low carb stuff, forget it...only the basics there.
I make my own bread. I make my own muffins and a lot of other baked goods, mostly for cost but also because decent-tasting diabetic-friendly baked goods simply aren't available. I cook from scratch. I don't buy mixes or pre-cooked foods. We have chickens for eggs and occasionally some meat. I have to make sure my husband eats 3 meals and a snack daily to regulate his blood sugar and that we both get all our medications and even with union insurance we're still putting out almost $100 a month for that.
When I was working we shopped at Schnuck's or Dierberg's or wherever...but I can't do it now. They are further away and therefore not only am I paying more for food, but more for gas as well. When you have $3 left to get through the week after the bills are paid and you've bought groceries and put gas in the car to get to work and back, choosing to shop at a smaller store further away that costs more simply isn't a choice.
As for the local quilt shops...I don't go in there any more. I can't stand to see all that pretty stuff and know I can't buy it. I look for the labels at WalMart that tell me that the fabric is overstocked major designer stuff and I get it there, or on ebay, or on sale on the Internet. I just can't do the $8-9.50 a yard these days.
We don't eat out. We don't go to movies. We drive a 2000 minivan with no A/C and 133,000+ miles on it. We have one TV, one computer, no blackberries or ipods or laptops. I sew on a Kenmore and I got a Janome on sale right before I got sick. I made our curtains and our shower curtain. I make Christmas and birthday gifts.
We don't waste a penny. I have to replace hubby's jeans this summer somehow because the patches are wearing thin. I'm serious. This isn't a convenience thing for me or a cheapskate thing. This is what we can afford, like it or not, and there are a lot of people in our community in the same situation we're in. This is a lower-middle-class rural community being eaten up from the edges by the yuppie crackerbox "neighborhoods" and we're fighting tooth and nail to keep what we have.
Trisha in MO
:x I say we Get out of the BOX and Quick! We Quilt out of the box so yes lets shop out of the box if we can and when my wm goes out of Fabrics I'm out of the Box except and only if I need something I can't find elsewhere,and I will do my darnds't to stay out of wm!! BJR
Just a bit of a clarification.
"Left-over" dollars are not the dollars we have after we have scrambled to pay for food, shelter, clothing, heating, transportation, electricity, Rx and other things we need to survive.
All of us have earned dollars in return for our time and work. Look at the check given for that work...how much of that check is "skimmed" right off the top to pay for myriad taxes? Those dollars that remain are the "left overs." That's what we get for our time and work. Those other dollars have been taken from you and me and "re-distributed". From those remaining left-overs we have to find ways to exchange those for food, shelter, clothing, and Rx, for example. Folks find ways to stretch those dollars and to be creative in how we do that. It's time-consuming, it's hard, and it hurts. That's all compounded if we have kids at home or are on a fixed income.
Anything that may remain is "discretionary dollars" to buy those nice, but not necessary things...and many of us don't have lot's, if any, of those dollars these days. This of discretionary dollars as the "left overs from the left overs".
Oops! a typo!
Should have read, "Think of discretionary dollars as the "left-overs from the left-overs."