This Beloved Fabric Retailer Just Abruptly Shut Down
The company is closing after nearly 30 years in business.
From Jo-Ann Fabrics to Michaels, those looking to explore their crafty sides have a few options when it comes to stocking up on supplies. But that list has just dwindled—and in a devastating way. One of the largest fabric retailers has just shut down abruptly, bringing a significant hit to the industry. Read on to find out what beloved company is closing up shop after nearly 30 years.
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Several companies have gone out of business this year.
The COVID pandemic set off an avalanche of company closures in 2020. But two years later, some businesses are still calling it quits. Back in July, Olympia Sports announced that it would be shuttering all of its retail stores by the end of September. The Maine-based sports chain closed its remaining 35 locations and went out of business just a few years before its 50th anniversary. Then in September, a Wisconsin-based party supply chain revealed it would be shutting down completely as well. All four 50-50 Factory Outlet locations will be closing soon, the company said.
But it's not just sports and party supplies on the line. Now, a beloved fabric retailer has just abruptly closed up shop after several decades in business.
A beloved fabric retailer has just shut down permanently.
Crafty consumers are being met with potentially devastating news right now. The beloved online retailer Fabric.com has just posted a new alert, informing shoppers that it will "no longer sell products" on its website. According to the announcement, the fabric retailer abruptly shut down on Oct. 20. The company has been around for nearly 30 years, having been originally founded in 1993 as the Phoenix Textiles Group, Inc.
"Thank you so much for supporting our business over the years," the fabric retailer wrote in the announcement on its website. "We appreciate the role we played in bringing your creations to life, and wish you the best as you continue to make this world a more beautiful place with your handmade designs!"
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The decision to end the online store was made by Amazon.
The Georgia-based retailer Fabric.com was acquired by Amazon in 2008, according to the Associated Press (AP). The news outlet reported on Oct. 21 that this marketplace giant made the call to shut down the fabric subsidiary abruptly as a way to cut costs for the company. "As part of our regular business planning, we continually evaluate the progress and potential of our offerings and have made the decision to close Fabric.com," Amazon spokesperson Betsy Harden said in a statement, per AP.
Amazon did not reveal how many employees will be impacted by the online retailer's closure but Harden said that Amazon will work to help those affected "identify other opportunities" at the company, according to the news outlet. The Craft Industry Alliance reported that employees were told about the shut down on Oct. 17, while vendors were notified two days letter on Oct. 19.
Andy Weinstock, President and CEO of Edley Fabrics, told the craft news outlet that it is likely that labor costs for cutting fabrics have become too high for Amazon's current business model. But Fabric.com was the industry's largest buyer for many fabric companies, according to the Craft Industry Alliance. "We have been selling to them since 1996," Weinstock said. "We wish their employees continued success. It will be interesting to see if anyone or any company steps up to fill the void."
Amazon is directing shoppers back to its main marketplace.
This is not the only cost-saving change that Amazon has initiated this year. The company has also announced plans to shutter its virtual primary care business Amazon Care by the end of 2022, implemented a hiring freeze for its corporate retail staff, and axed other projects, according to the AP. And now when visiting Fabric.com, shoppers are being directed back to the company's main online retail marketplace: "Amazon.com continues to offer more than a million fabrics and sewing supplies, and we encourage you to explore the Amazon fabric shop to meet your creative needs," the announcement reads.
Consumers will still be able to access Fabric.com for a few months, however. On its FAQ page, the online fabric retailer says it will still be processing and shipping all orders that were placed on or before Oct. 20. "Most orders ship within 7 [to] 10 days of placing an order," it states on Fabric.com. "The expected delivery date was provided at checkout."
The fabric retailer will also "continue to honor" its return policy, which gives customers 30 days to make a return and get their money back for most orders once they have been received. And customers will be able to access their purchase history and view receipts on the retailer's website until Dec. 30.