Jo-Ann Fabrics Is Closing Stores, Starting Jan. 22

Crafters will want to double-check whether their store is affected.

Jo-Ann Fabrics, now formally known as JOANN, is a crafter's heaven. The popular retail chain carries everything from sewing patterns and beads to yarn and thread, making it a one-stop shopping destination whenever you start a new project. But if you regularly rely on your local store for supplies, you might be dismayed to learn that JOANN will soon be closing some locations soon. Read on to find out which stores will be shutting down, starting Jan. 22.

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Different arts and craft stores have shut down in recent months.

woman shopping at arts and craft store
siamionau pavel / Shutterstock

JOANN isn't the only crafty chain shuttering locations, as the beloved Texas-based retailer Asel Art Supply recently announced on Facebook that it is going out of business and closing all stores by Dec. 31. The bright side? Customers can save at an ongoing closing sale at all six brick-and-mortar stores before they're gone for good, with prices currently slashed up to 50 percent.

Even merchants without physical stores have faced difficulties, as Fabric.com, an online retailer, posted an alert that they will "no longer sell products." The warning was published on the store's website, confirming that the fabric retailer officially shut down on Oct. 20, after being in business for almost 30 years. According to the Associated Press (AP), the decision came down from Amazon—which acquired Fabric.com in 2008—in order to cut costs.

Thankfully, JOANN is still in business, even though certain stores are on the chopping block.

Customers in West Virginia will lose a location.

joann fabrics shopping carts
melissamn / Shutterstock

A JOANN store in Bridgeport, West Virginia will see its final day on Jan. 22, 2023, CBS-affiliate WDTV reported. The store is located in Meadowbrook Mall, which is currently undergoing renovations to make room for a new tenant, per a Nov. 15 article posted by the Cafaro Company, the mall's owner.

A total of 11 units are being demolished at the mall, and they "are scattered from one end to the other," Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said. This included the "soon-to-be-leaving" JOANN store, which has been in business at Meadowbrook mall for more than 30 years.

The retailer is having a sale leading up to the closure.

Closing down sale sign on shop window
iStock

Per WDTV, JOANN officials confirmed that a closing sale will begin on Nov. 27, ahead of the January closure. When the Bridgeport store is gone, the closest JOANN locations will be in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, both of which are over an hour away.

According to Kerr, other retailers at Meadowbrook decided to move to other areas of the mall, including a Marshalls location and a comic book store, but JOANN is one business that decided to close instead. "While there were some changes and some stores have closed, other stores have decided to keep open and relocate to different portions of the mall and that speaks volumes for the future of the mall," Kerr said.

Meadowbrook's new retailer has yet to be confirmed, but Cafaro anticipates making a formal announcement in January, according to the company's website.

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Another store on the East Coast is also closing its doors.

walking out of joann fabrics store
Sadie Mantell / Shutterstock

Also closing on Jan. 22 is a JOANN store in Keene, New HampshireThe Keene Sentinel reported. The store is located in the West Street Shopping Center, with a liquidation sale kicking off on the same day as the Bridgeport location. An employee confirmed the closing date to The Keene Sentinel, adding that the retailer's lease expires at the end of January. The employee requested that they not be named, as they didn't want to "jeopardize their employment before the store closes," the outlet reported.

Store associates were informed of the closure six weeks ago, but weren't provided with a reason, according to the employee. "It's been tough; it was a shock and a disappointment," they said. "I wish they would have relocated us instead of closing down."

In a statement provided to Best Life, JOANN confirmed that, overall, it has "no plans to closes its stores, and will continue to be the source for creators to bring their inspiration to reality."

"In alignment with standard brick and mortar business processes, JOANN closes stores occasionally while simultaneously investing in, and opening brand new stores to best meet the needs of our customers," the retailer said, adding that eight stores in total (out of 800) are closing in the next three months. "JOANN will continue to unveil new stores with updated features and offerings in 2023. JOANN physical store locations and the ecommerce business will continue to be available to customers, as we advance our mission to inspire creativity."

The closest JOANN location is a bit of a drive from Keene, but another craft store is coming to town.

exterior of a hobby lobby store in the daytime
Shutterstock/Jim Lambert

Current employees were offered the opportunity to transfer to other JOANN stores, but this would potentially involve a commute or a move. Much like the situation in West Virginia, the closest stores to Keene aren't necessarily close by.

"It's hard for most of us because we're from Keene and the nearest Jo-Ann is an hour away at least," the employee told The Keene Sentinel. The outlet notes that the closest locations within the state of New Hampshire are in Nashua and Concord, but the closest JOANN store, in general, is in Leominster, Massachusetts. The craft chain confirmed that current team members who do not have another JOANN store within a 25-mile radius will be given a severance package.

Crafters in Keene won't be totally out of luck though, as The Keene Sentinel further reported that a Hobby Lobby is slated to open at West Street Shopping Center. An official date hasn't been confirmed, but the store's signage is in place and the store is undergoing renovations.

The JOANN closure and Hobby Lobby opening have not been officially connected, but The Keene Sentinel called attention to Hobby Lobby's lease, which is available online through Cheshire County. The document states that "no portion of the Shopping Center, except for the Leased Premises, shall be used for the sale of art supplies, craft supplies, fabrics, photo frames, framed art, wall art, and wall decor." However, stores are able sell supplies, so long as they meet certain sales and square footage requirements.

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