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Thread: WalMart's Decison to Discontinue Carrying Fabric

  1. #51
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    I am one who does NOT buy party supplies, go to parties where WM assumes everyone uses this stuff, nor do I do scrapbooking. I do sew & sew allot. I just spent over $100.00 yesterday at JoAnn's. With todays crappy economy most of us buy things that we can get more than one times use out of & that ain't throw-away party supplies. If they wanted to add these items to their shelves so be it, but they should have never removed the fabric.

    Here's a true example of WM's wonderful community charity:
    A WM Rep came to the motorcycle club my huz belongs to several years ago. The club is non-profit & does charity for children who have illiness. They donate to any other organization as long as they get some kind of recognition. The club has raised & donated many thousands of dollars over the years. The club's walls are lined with plaques & trophies for donations. WM was asking the club (which has around 65 members) to donate to them, so they could take that money & donate it to a local family who had a terminal child. The club asked if they did this would the club get any recognition. The answer was NO, but WM would. We were shocked that such a big company would consider such a thing. The club told this person we don't do that, but would donate directly to the family. The rep refused to give the club the families name & address. I've heard more stores like this. WM is all about image.

    One of the things I hate the most about WM...is to walk into the store & hear a dept of employees "chanting" & clapping. Nothing like a good brain washing to get your day started. I have relatives that work there & they hate this.

    If K-Mart sold fabric I bet most of us would flock to them to not only buy fabrics, but other items as well. At least K-Mart doesn't make their employees "chant" every day.

  2. #52
    Junior Member Ladybugnana's Avatar
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    Tried and got a cracker box answer that meant nothing. I dont think they even read their emails.

  3. #53
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    From what I have read, Walmart is still one of the companies still making money in this economy. We may tell them we will quit buying there when the fabric dept goes, but the profits still go up. How many times a day does someone buy several hundred dollars of fabric? They make a lot more money selling TVs, clothes, food, drugs, etc. They say they are community oriented, but maybe they see Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross as more valuable. They have been threatened with boycotts from quilters for years, and it hasn't changed the bottom line for them. They are not our friends, they are corporate America.

  4. #54
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feather3
    Here's a true example of WM's wonderful community charity:
    A WM Rep came to the motorcycle club my huz belongs to several years ago. The club is non-profit & does charity for children who have illiness. They donate to any other organization as long as they get some kind of recognition. The club has raised & donated many thousands of dollars over the years. The club's walls are lined with plaques & trophies for donations. WM was asking the club (which has around 65 members) to donate to them, so they could take that money & donate it to a local family who had a terminal child. The club asked if they did this would the club get any recognition. The answer was NO, but WM would. We were shocked that such a big company would consider such a thing. The club told this person we don't do that, but would donate directly to the family. The rep refused to give the club the families name & address. I've heard more stores like this. WM is all about image.
    In light of the above, I wanted to relay a story about our local Starbucks. Starbucks has a program where they will pay local charitable organizations $10 per hour for every hour one of their Starbuck's employees volunteers at some function of the charitable organization. We did that with them last year and it was a great success. And the kicker: Starbucks does NOT want their name mentioned anywhere during the event. They realize that the event is about the CHARITY, not about STARBUCKS. That's class, and that's the way it ought to be.

  5. #55
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feather3
    I am one who does NOT buy party supplies, go to parties where WM assumes everyone uses this stuff, nor do I do scrapbooking. I do sew & sew allot. I just spent over $100.00 yesterday at JoAnn's. With todays crappy economy most of us buy things that we can get more than one times use out of & that ain't throw-away party supplies. If they wanted to add these items to their shelves so be it, but they should have never removed the fabric.

    Here's a true example of WM's wonderful community charity:
    A WM Rep came to the motorcycle club my huz belongs to several years ago. The club is non-profit & does charity for children who have illiness. They donate to any other organization as long as they get some kind of recognition. The club has raised & donated many thousands of dollars over the years. The club's walls are lined with plaques & trophies for donations. WM was asking the club (which has around 65 members) to donate to them, so they could take that money & donate it to a local family who had a terminal child. The club asked if they did this would the club get any recognition. The answer was NO, but WM would. We were shocked that such a big company would consider such a thing. The club told this person we don't do that, but would donate directly to the family. The rep refused to give the club the families name & address. I've heard more stores like this. WM is all about image.

    One of the things I hate the most about WM...is to walk into the store & hear a dept of employees "chanting" & clapping. Nothing like a good brain washing to get your day started. I have relatives that work there & they hate this.

    If K-Mart sold fabric I bet most of us would flock to them to not only buy fabrics, but other items as well. At least K-Mart doesn't make their employees "chant" every day.
    I used to work at K-Mart. No chanting I promise:> But, there were some other major dislikes I had with the company. Though, I bet most employees have some issues with their employer;>

  6. #56
    Junior Member missionslady's Avatar
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    There have been some excellent suggestions given. I never thought about asking stores such as K Mart and Target if they might consider carrying fabric. That would be worth a try, especially if they knew there was a whole community of quilters looking for a good source of affordable fabric. Someone mentioned Hobby Lobby, and I agree, they have very good fabric. Some is quilt grade fabric for your nicer quilts, while they also carry more moderate priced fabric. Hobby Lobby should be commended for continuing to carry fabric along with other crafts and hobby items. Their fabric is priced lower than JoAnn's, even without a sale. We have one HL store here in Pensacola, and I would go to it more were it on my side of town. But they are a great store, and I have bought a lot of fabric from them over the years. I think we would be wise to let the corporate office of Hobby Lobby know how much we appreciate their carrying fabric, as well as the management in our local Hobby Lobby stores. Sometimes we don't appreciate these things enough until we don't have them, such as what happened with Walmart.

  7. #57
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    I went to JoAnn's about a month ago and was so angry that they raised their prices on fabric! Of course Wal-Mart quit selling fabric and JoAnn's knows they are the only game in town. What is a quilter to do?!

  8. #58
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    Many of us, whom live rural, are very limited to what stores are available. In my area within 112 miles we have WM, K-Mart & Lowes. It's 20 miles to JoAnn's. NO Hobby Lobby & Michales does not carry fabric. Now that we're left with JoAnn's I'm sure prices will go up.

  9. #59
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHSue
    From what I have read, Walmart is still one of the companies still making money in this economy. We may tell them we will quit buying there when the fabric dept goes, but the profits still go up. How many times a day does someone buy several hundred dollars of fabric? They make a lot more money selling TVs, clothes, food, drugs, etc. They say they are community oriented, but maybe they see Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross as more valuable. They have been threatened with boycotts from quilters for years, and it hasn't changed the bottom line for them. They are not our friends, they are corporate America.
    They are still making money, but according to this thread http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-66179-1.htm they aren't doing as well as they did in the past. You bet it would make a difference if quilters boycotted. They problem is there aren't enough of us that don't shop there.

  10. #60
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    We don't have Hobby Lobby either. There is only one that I know of in the whole state of Idaho.

  11. #61
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    This sure is a timely topic for me. We made a quick 3 hour trip to see our grandson for his birthday--left home Tuesday and returned home the next morning. On the way home, I was looking forward to stopping at a Wal-Mart in a little town in the Ozarks, which is/was the only one I've seen in the last 4 years with a fabric department. When I went to the place it should be--no fabric department any more. Lots of beads, wires, tiny pliers, etc., but not one thing having to do with sewing or quilting except some needles and straight pins. I was disappointed and downright mad. I wonder how many people string beads as compared to the number of people who sew and quilt?

  12. #62
    Junior Member missionslady's Avatar
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    Sadie Mae, it was encouraging to read your e-mail, how they did eventually begin carrying fabric in your store after repeatedly receiving letters requesting it. Someone suggested that snail mail may be more effective than e-mail, and that is a good point. I plan to write a snail mail letter, and I'm going to take some pre-addressed and stamped envelopes to some of my quilting meetings for any who will take them and write letters requesting Walmart to bring back fabric. Thanks again to everyone who responded. Your suggestions have been wonderful!

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    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.
    Thank you for posting this. I am a former WM employee and frankly I'm getting sick of all the WM bashing that goes on this board. I'm on the brink of leaving the board over it. Why does everything posted on this board have to turn into a controversial topic? :(

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby's Girl
    This sure is a timely topic for me. We made a quick 3 hour trip to see our grandson for his birthday--left home Tuesday and returned home the next morning. On the way home, I was looking forward to stopping at a Wal-Mart in a little town in the Ozarks, which is/was the only one I've seen in the last 4 years with a fabric department. When I went to the place it should be--no fabric department any more. Lots of beads, wires, tiny pliers, etc., but not one thing having to do with sewing or quilting except some needles and straight pins. I was disappointed and downright mad. I wonder how many people string beads as compared to the number of people who sew and quilt?
    Many do beading, but I doubt they'd be buying their stuff from Joanns, Walmart or the like. You can get better quality stuff from online vendors.

  15. #65
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    ----"Thank you for posting this. I am a former WM employee and frankly I'm getting sick of all the WM bashing that goes on this board. I'm on the brink of leaving the board over it. Why does everything posted on this board have to turn into a controversial topic?" ----

    I didn't want to offend anyone in any way when I complained previously about Wal-Mart's eliminating the fabric department, so I'll try to clarify my complaint.

    According to reports on TV, Wal-Mart is the only store that runs the "little guy" out of business, and no one is fat except the people who eat at McDonald's. THAT is bashing, and I don't like it. I talk back to the TV every time I hear one of those reports. What I say about WM is just friendly griping. I love Wal-Mart. We shop there almost exclusively. We spend thousands of dollars there every year. We want WM to make a profit. We own a small amount of Wal-Mart stock, have friends who work there, and know that our local WM budgets a certain amount of money each month to donate to community organizations. Yet, some of the company's marketing decisions aggravate me, such as taking out the fabric department, no longer selling embroidery supplies, not selling Creamettes pasta and Act II popcorn. Maybe they do sell lots of scrapbooking, party, and bead supplies, but when they sold fabric, I always had to wait my turn to get fabric cut. I haven't seen anyone waiting in line to buy beads. Some things just bother a griper like me.

  16. #66
    Member Shelia's Avatar
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    When WalMart discontinued the fabric department at my local store, I started phasing out my shopping. I changed my Rx's to a drugstore and began grocery shopping at BiLo and Publix. I only go to WalMart when absolutely necessary since they obviously do not care about their customer's needs. And I'm glad I stopped...we have more food and more $$ in our pockets since we started couponing and shopping at real grocery stores.
    I hate WalMart.

  17. #67
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I send an email to corporate Walmart headquarters once a week with my opinion about the Life Celebration dept instead of a fabric dept. I get the same rote reply every week. That tells me no one that can make a difference is reading the emails. I figure if Walmart can send atuo response I can send auto mail. I send the same email every week.

  18. #68
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    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?
    10 million of us could write & petition Target - but there's not a snowball's chance in He** they would EVER carry fabrics ...
    A fabric dept isn't Hip or Cool enough for Target !! :roll:

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mosquitosewgirl
    Here are the comments that I just sent to Walmart:
    It is my understanding that Walmart is planning on closing the fabric departments in all or most of their stores over a period of time. I sincerely hope that this is not true. Many of us in rural, outlying areas depend on Walmart for all of our fabric and sewing needs. Not only does Walmart carry a good selection, the quality has continued to improve. I purchased fabric, patterns, notions, other quilting and sewing supplies, as well as yarn on a regular basis from Walmart. Not only for my personal sewing and quilting, but also for charity quilts that I make.

    If the fabric section of my Walmart store closes, I will have to travel about 60 miles to get to the next closest fabric store. In addition, when I come in for fabric I always buy other merchandise as well. When I no longer have the draw of the fabric section to draw me in to the store and I am traveling to a large city for my fabric, the other purchases will end up being made elsewhere as well.

    The impacts of the alleged closures, due to lack of access to decent quality/affordable fabrics and related supplies, are: 1)personal - I won't be able to sew as much or as often; 2)community - I won't be making as many charity quilts; and my overall shopping at Walmart will significantly decrease.

    If it is due to lack of robust sales in this department, it may be that there hasn't been targeted marketing...Walmart, in our area, doesn't do any advertising for fabric, and certainly has not tooted it's own horn about the improving quality of fabrics and sewing supplies.

    Please, if this is the direction that Walmart is planning to take, rethink this decision. Do some outreach to local sewing/quilting guilds and find a way to continue to serve those of us in otherwise underserved areas.

    Thank you.
    You are so right about marketing fabrics in Walmart. There is NONE. Have never seen a fabric ad in their flyers and never seen a sale sign in their fabric section. It's like the department never existed.

    One thing that I have noticed is that their fat quarters and jelly rolls are VERY reasonably priced. At least that is something.

    WM is also selling 5 yard bolts, but fabric is of undetermined origin, and, so far the ones I've seen are butt ugly.

    I wonder if we organized a 'boycott Walmart' day for quilters, whether they would notice the decrease in sales. Now it's happening on a onesy/twosy basis, so probably our departure isn't noticed.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGurl
    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?
    10 million of us could write & petition Target - but there's not a snowball's chance in He** they would EVER carry fabrics ...
    A fabric dept isn't Hip or Cool enough for Target !! :roll:
    Ummm

    How many people in the younger generation are into crafts? A bit more then you would think. They are also into "green" stuff. I think it would be accepted.

  21. #71
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    I, and I'm sure many on this forum, appreciate the suggestions, such as the one about Target. One of these might end up being a solution to what is a real dilema for so many of us. It's difficult, or impossible, for people who live in areas where there are a variety of shopping choices, to understand how disappointing Wal-Mart's merchandising decisions can be to small town and rural residents. Even if Target, K-Mart, etc., did sell fabric, it wouldn't affect as many people as Wal-Mart's having fabric and quilting/sewing supplies. Those stores aren't as widespread as Wal-Mart stores, which are located within shopping distance of more Americans than any of the other chains. For example, I live in a rural area, but there are 7 Wal-Marts within an hour driving time, but only one Target, which is about 75 miles from my home. I order most of my fabric from online retailers, but many people my age don't use computers, so that option isn't open to them. Also, there are so many, who, like me, aren't physically able to drive or travel longer distances to shop.

  22. #72
    Senior Member mosquitosewgirl's Avatar
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    @those of you who are or were Walmart employees...You are right that this is not the place to bash anyone or anything. I feel badly that the conversation can take on a controversial tone that would make you want to leave this great board. I love the employees at my Walmart and I comment to the positive on the website as well. In fact, even my comments that I posted earlier on this thread were intended (I believe, successfully) to be constructive, and honest. Maybe you could help the conversation be less controversial and more constructive if you know of ways to help us be proactive in lobbying the corporate offices.

  23. #73
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzsooz
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess


    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.
    Thank you for posting this. I am a former WM employee and frankly I'm getting sick of all the WM bashing that goes on this board. I'm on the brink of leaving the board over it. Why does everything posted on this board have to turn into a controversial topic? :(
    I certainly understand your feelings. 3 or 4 months ago there was a topic about Hancock Fabrics and how horrible they were etc... It did hurt my feelings because I taught classes at our local store. I was a certified elementay teacher and I know how to teach! Finally I put "unwatch" because it was that bad.

    I did not mean to bash WM. I just had to make a personal decision for me. For example the other day I purchased a gallon of Miracle Whip for $3. In addition to the price of gas to go to WM, I can't afford to go other places, when I can get this kind of a bargain.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby's Girl
    I, and I'm sure many on this forum, appreciate the suggestions, such as the one about Target. One of these might end up being a solution to what is a real dilema for so many of us. It's difficult, or impossible, for people who live in areas where there are a variety of shopping choices, to understand how disappointing Wal-Mart's merchandising decisions can be to small town and rural residents. Even if Target, K-Mart, etc., did sell fabric, it wouldn't affect as many people as Wal-Mart's having fabric and quilting/sewing supplies. Those stores aren't as widespread as Wal-Mart stores, which are located within shopping distance of more Americans than any of the other chains. For example, I live in a rural area, but there are 7 Wal-Marts within an hour driving time, but only one Target, which is about 75 miles from my home. I order most of my fabric from online retailers, but many people my age don't use computers, so that option isn't open to them. Also, there are so many, who, like me, aren't physically able to drive or travel longer distances to shop.
    Connecting Threads sends out Catalogs, maybe another option would be to get ahold of a variety of Catalogs from some manufacturers and see if you can place a big order.

    If you guys got together, and asked for samples so you could feel the fabric, they might even get behind this.

    I'm thinking Avan, but for catalogue fabricl.

  25. #75

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    I bet ole Sam is turning in his grave to see what his kids have done to his vision. It started out as a made in America store and now everything is made somewhere else than America. If only the Chinese could make good cheap fabric I'll bet that we'd still have it in our stores!!!

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