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Thread: WalMart's Decison to Discontinue Carrying Fabric

  1. #26
    e4
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    I am always fascinated by this topic and see many threads on this issue on this board. My spouse has been a manager of 2 different Walmart stores and they are NOT "all about the community" - that is marketing hype.

    Walmart has done an excellent job of marketing, even down to giving titles to their employees. For example, "greeters" are not there to say hello as the title would make you think - they are supposed to be there to 1) make sure carts are ready for you to take in the store so you buy more and 2) to make sure you don't walk out without paying. Yes, the nice greeter actually is a marketing and security person.

    Stores have little say on what merchandise they get - that is dictated by corporate offices in Bentonville. when our local store ran out of popcorn poppers in January they were told they couldn't get more because corporate Walmart says they are a seasonal gift item. Walmart is constantly changing what comes into the stores from year to year and customers complain all the time about not being able to find something they used to get at Walmart. Even complaints by the manager to corporate get nowhere.

    Getting rid of bolt fabric is about staff time and space. Walmart's biggest flexible expense is employee salaries so not having to have someone cut fabric is a real cost savings. Walmart also is starting to downsize its new supercenters by 20-40,000 sq feet, which will leave little room for bolt fabric that isn't high dollar/high profit.

  2. #27
    Junior Member missionslady's Avatar
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    Thanks Gramma Nan. You have made my day! We can each do what we can to make a difference. Hopefully someone at WalMart headquarters will hear us. I appreciate you taking time to contact them again.

  3. #28
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    I've discovered that when I buy fabrics at Walmart, then I do a little more shopping there.

    With no fabrics, there is no reason to even go there for me, so if no fabrics, no more money from ME. There are far too many other places to get "things" that are made in America and not in China.

  4. #29
    Junior Member missionslady's Avatar
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    I know that this is true. My brother-in-law was manager for Sam's for many years before he retired. I have a sister-in-law who works as a greeter at Walmart (and she sews!) and a brother-in-law who works in the gardening department. They have shared similar stories. This is why I directed my letter to the corporate headquarters rather than the local stores. I only hope that they care about keeping a strong image as far as serving the community. Their actions have significantly impacted the lives of thousands of women living in small towns as well as hindered our source for finding quality, affordable fabric to make quilts for hundreds of charities.

  5. #30
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    i did that and got a form letter tell me about the "celebration department" - like we don't already have celebration departments for christmas/easter/halloween/etc, etc, etc. - i'd even be glad for fat quarters & notions b/c i mostly applique.

  6. #31
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I work at Wal-Mart and sometimes they have to do things they think would be good for the business and focus on what would be more profitable in the long run. Everyone here probably goes to or holds at least one party a year whether it be birthday, graduation, wedding, baby showers, or anything else that requires decorations, cards, gift bags, wrapping paper, party favors, napkins and cups, etc. If you take pictures than you might want stuff to scrapbook all of it. That's all the stuff they include in the Celebrations section. I think that's why Wal-mart would be phasing out the fabric section in favor of expanding the Celebrations because not everyone quilts or sews, but mostly everyone goes to parties that needs supplies or want to make photo or scrap books of those moments. I know...it sucks. I hate that Wal-Mart got rid of our fabric section not long after building the Super Wal-Mart across the street. I either have to go to the quilt shop here in town (her shop is small so she doesn't have a large selection to choose from) or wait until someone goes to La Crosse or Eau Claire and go to Hancock's or JoAnn's.

    I don't like how some people on here have said that Wal-Mart is all about the money. True in a lot of aspects, but not always the truth. Our Wal-Mart has donated over 6,000 lbs of food to the community this year. Off the top of my head they donated $1000 to Boys and Girls Club and I think $2000 to the "green" school as well as smaller donations like to the library, the highschool's FFA club, a couple baseball teams, etc. Wal-Mart's involved with the Children's Miracle Network which raises funds for children's hostpitals. When employees donate enough of their time to volunteer work, Wal-Mart will make a donation to that organization...as a result, last year Wal-Mart gave a $2000 donation to Project Christmas, a group that collects donated food and presents to give to the less fortunate (can't remember how many employees and how many hours they put in).

    Sorry to get all preachy, but I don't like it when people make the company I work for to be an evil cooperation when they've given a lot away for charity.

  7. #32
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    The big issue of WM leaving quilters in our small towns and more rural areas without any local fabric source is just as important or even more than, the charity fabric issue.
    We all have stashes and our scraps abound, so having fabrics for charity quilts should NEVER be a problem for quilters and quilt groups. I've donated mucho to my local bee & guild for our projects and made numerous tops from my stash.
    Who I really feel for are all the quilters & sewers who don't have local sources anymore. I live in a suburb so it's not a problem for me. Yes we have the internet - but when we need something right away or just want to see & touch before we buy, a lot of people are out of luck ...

  8. #33
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Wal-Mart is not the lone ranger when it comes to donating to the community. I don't know of a single business where I live that does not donate. The bottom line is still money, or how would they have the money to donate???

    If fabric doubles in price at the first of the year I won't be purchasing any fabric. So this subject may become irrelevant.

  9. #34
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    Flying V Goddess -
    I have to differ on one point - I don't think there are as many Scrapbookers out there, as there are sewers and quilters. The only Scrapbook shop around closed a few months ago, and I see less of it in the stores. I think that craze has peaked. By contrast, there are 4 good quilt shops within 5-10 miles of me. They all seem to be doing very well too
    Quilting continues to be a multi-billion $$$ market and more young sewers are becoming quilters as well.
    The International Quilt Festival held here every year is the largest convention (of any kind) in Houston - and probably one of the largest in the US I'd bet. Every year the attendance tops 50,000 + (in just 4 days) and it keeps growing. I think WM has missed the boat in their market research !!

  10. #35
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    Walmart is so big it's in charge. They dictate the price they'll pay to a manufacturer for the goods they make. In order for the goods to be placed on the shelves at Walmarts around the country, the manufacturers have to accept that price. If they don't, then they lose the possibility of being sold at Walmart.
    Walmart's charitable giving is small compared to what it should be considering the business they do. It's just big enough to be more than that of smaller chains and stores.
    I used to buy non-food items at Walmart rather than the grocery store to save money until I realized that I wasn't saving enough to make it worth my time. I have a big Walmart less than a mile from me, but I don't set foot in the door as often as monthly. I hate to see them run smaller stores out of business. I try to buy locally.

  11. #36
    e4
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    I certainly didn't mean to knock Walmart for trying to make a buck - that is what they are in business to do. And I am happy that they do contribute money and jobs to the community. I do have a problem with the hype about Walmart being such a good community citizen when I know that as a percentage of sales and profits, many local businesses, including my recently closed LQS, gave a much larger percentage of income to the local community than the $6,000 my local Walmart gave last year.

  12. #37
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe that WM is "for the community" when the wages/benefits packages they pay cause most employees to need food stamps and other benefits.
    It's all about the money. If Sam Walton were alive today he would just spit, seeing what it has become.

    http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch...2_profiles.cfm

  13. #38
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    Personally, I would like to wee then do away with all the Wilton products and less party products. It's so easy to order party products on line and fabric I like to feel the texture which you can't on line. It's like Wal Mart is trying to be a high priced retail store now and not what they were when they started out. I have written to them about the fabrics also and spoken with some clerks about it and even they feel it should be brought back . It's so hard when you live in the country and have to drive at least 160 miles round trip just for fabric.

  14. #39
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    We can't forget that America's economy is based on capitalism and the freedom for a business to do what they want. On the flip side...we are free to shop where we want. I too get tired of hearing how evil Wal-mart is..how come K-mart and Target aren't branded as such and why aren't we in an uproar about them not having fabric sections. It's a free country which is way better than the alternative.
    Piece or Peace! :D

  15. #40
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    Sorry, but Walmart IS all about the money. So we donate a few thousand to the communty every year. This town is about 45,000 now in population. This store makes about $95 million a year. Whoop tee do - so they donated $10,000. Just a drop in the bucket to me.

    Never thought about it but when I go back to work, I'll grab my gun and see what the mark up on some of the fabrics are-I'll just check a few so I don't get caught ;).

    Be back later to let ya know.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    I find it hard to believe that WM is "for the community" when the wages/benefits packages they pay cause most employees to need food stamps and other benefits.
    It's all about the money. If Sam Walton were alive today he would just spit, seeing what it has become.

    http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch...2_profiles.cfm
    I read this complete article, and it just brings up a whole lot of questions for me. For example, if only a fraction of these statements are true, I cannot immagine why some of the attorneys out there haven't jumped on a chance to sue a large corporation like WM. Or have they and it has all had secrecy clauses? I am not saying they aren't telling the truth, I just have a lot of quetions. Also, don't they have accident reports that have to be completed when on the job?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by missionslady
    I think you are right. In some stores they will offer cut fabric in the form of fat quarters and panels. However what most of us need for charity quilts would be sold by the yard, especially for quilt backings. I think you are right in their wanting to eliminate someone to be available to cut the fabric. But then that provides someone a job too! That certainly benefits the community!
    Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Fat quarters, I'd rather buy my stuff by the yard.

  18. #43
    Junior Member missionslady's Avatar
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    I do not feel that WalMart is evil, and I certainly don't want to portray that. I do feel that their decision to discontinue having a fabric department in their stores was unwise, and hurt a lot of people. To my knowledge Target never carried fabric. I remember K-Mart carrying it many years ago, but at that time there were many other stores who did so it was not an issue.

    The reason for this emphasis with WalMart dropping fabric departments is because of the way in which they began, which was in small town America. That is where they grew and established such a firm foundation. Their advertising has always focused on how they strive to better the community and the many ways they help their customers. When the decision was made to discontinue carrying full-size fabric departments with fabric on the bolt, it left women living in small towns with NO SOURCE in which to purchase fabrics unless they drove long distances or ordered fabric online. I do that too, but there are times when you need to see what you are buying beforehand in order to match it. Also, you incur shipping charges. I have acquired a lot of scraps which I use when making charity quilts, but we need lengths of fabric from the bolt for the backings. Also, I would sometimes purchase a pretty, colorful panel when when making quilts for children and then go to my scrap bag to find coordinating pieces. I am the primary buyer for the baby quilts our church makes for a charity, and I cannot count the many yards of fabric I purchased from WalMart for this project alone. We also made cloth books for the children, and WalMart carried a good selection of those. I don't feel that they have broken any laws here, and I don't feel that the company is bad. But I do feel that they let us down in a big way. Their actions hurt small town America that had made them great, and they do have imposed a hardship for those of us who delight in making quilts for charities. I wish the people at corporate headquarters could see the face of a child undergoing chemo treatments, when they are given a colorful quilt of their very own; or people who have lost their jobs and have been forced to live in a shelter. They literally cry when given a handmade quilt. I could go on and on. I guess I just wish that WalMart could go back to their roots, to the things that made them great. I'm not on a campaign to down them. I just wish they would hear us and recognize the repercussions of their decision. Thanks to all who have written. I appreciate your comments and it is nice that you care too!

  19. #44

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    I live in Arkansas and there are many of that have tried over and over.

  20. #45
    Senior Member quiltnmom's Avatar
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    Well I sent yet another email politely asking that Walmart reconsider the decision to take out the full service fabric department. It would be nice if they would send me an acknowledge of my email this time. I have emailed them once a week for the last 2 months politely expressing my discontent.

  21. #46
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    Ok, what I scanned was one of the Fabrics of the Month, two of the Christmas, and two of the fall. None of these were on Clearance. Prices ranged from $2.44-$5.44. The mark up range was between 45% to 63%. They are making great profits on this. But anymore, Walmart is all about change.

  22. #47
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    When they put the first Wal-Mart in Jerome, there were only precuts. All of the women in the area sent them letters, and about 6 months later they brought in fabric.

    I wonder if snail mail would get more attention. I have no idea. I just wonder if all of a sudden corporate got snail mails bombarded to them if they would notice...

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by missionslady
    I do not feel that WalMart is evil, and I certainly don't want to portray that. I do feel that their decision to discontinue having a fabric department in their stores was unwise, and hurt a lot of people. To my knowledge Target never carried fabric. I remember K-Mart carrying it many years ago, but at that time there were many other stores who did so it was not an issue.

    The reason for this emphasis with WalMart dropping fabric departments is because of the way in which they began, which was in small town America. That is where they grew and established such a firm foundation. Their advertising has always focused on how they strive to better the community and the many ways they help their customers. When the decision was made to discontinue carrying full-size fabric departments with fabric on the bolt, it left women living in small towns with NO SOURCE in which to purchase fabrics unless they drove long distances or ordered fabric online. I do that too, but there are times when you need to see what you are buying beforehand in order to match it. Also, you incur shipping charges. I have acquired a lot of scraps which I use when making charity quilts, but we need lengths of fabric from the bolt for the backings. Also, I would sometimes purchase a pretty, colorful panel when when making quilts for children and then go to my scrap bag to find coordinating pieces. I am the primary buyer for the baby quilts our church makes for a charity, and I cannot count the many yards of fabric I purchased from WalMart for this project alone. We also made cloth books for the children, and WalMart carried a good selection of those. I don't feel that they have broken any laws here, and I don't feel that the company is bad. But I do feel that they let us down in a big way. Their actions hurt small town America that had made them great, and they do have imposed a hardship for those of us who delight in making quilts for charities. I wish the people at corporate headquarters could see the face of a child undergoing chemo treatments, when they are given a colorful quilt of their very own; or people who have lost their jobs and have been forced to live in a shelter. They literally cry when given a handmade quilt. I could go on and on. I guess I just wish that WalMart could go back to their roots, to the things that made them great. I'm not on a campaign to down them. I just wish they would hear us and recognize the repercussions of their decision. Thanks to all who have written. I appreciate your comments and it is nice that you care too!
    Any reason y'all can't ask Target to carry fabric? They are a business, if they can make profit, I can't see why they wouldn't do it, especially if y'all were specific and got a bunch of people to sign stuff.

    If one store won't carry stuff, why not go to another?

  24. #49
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cizzors
    Ok, what I scanned was one of the Fabrics of the Month, two of the Christmas, and two of the fall. None of these were on Clearance. Prices ranged from $2.44-$5.44. The mark up range was between 45% to 63%. They are making great profits on this. But anymore, Walmart is all about change.
    Actually, the typical mark-up is 100%, so that's inexpensive.

  25. #50
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    I GOT FABRIC AT HOBBY LOBBY IT WAS CHEAP AND GOOD QUIALITY SUZIEQ

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