Jo-Ann Stores has the fabric store market all sewn up. It's the #1 fabric retailer (ahead of Hancock Fabrics) nationwide, operating more than 800 stores in 49 states. The company sells a variety of fabrics and sewing supplies, craft materials, frames, home decorations, artificial floral items, and seasonal goods. Most of its small-format stores (averaging 15,000 sq. ft.) are located in strip mall shopping centers and operate under the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft name. The company also operates large-format Jo-Ann superstores (36,000 sq. ft. on average) and an e-commerce site, Joann.com. The company is owned by acquisitive private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.
Change in Company Type
Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners took Jo-Ann Stores private in 2011, paying $1.6 billion (roughly $61 a share) in cash. The fabrics retailer wasn't actively marketing itself when the offer came along. The move has allowed the company to accelerate its expansion plans and fund efforts to upgrade its stores amid increased competition with crafts retailer Michaels.
Based in Ohio, the company operates fabric retail shops nationwide under the banner names Jo-Ann and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.
The company's 800-plus retail stores are supported by distribution centers located in Alabama, California, and Ohio. Jo-Ann Stores rings up all of its sales in the US.
Jo-Ann Stores is in growth mode under new ownership. The retailer has expanded its footprint, particularly in Washington and Michigan, by opening new stores. In 2014 the company aims to open another 65 stores.
To bolster its online and mobile business, Jo-Ann Stores enlisted the help of Demandware Commerce to strengthen its digital e-commerce strategy. It's tapping Demandware's cloud-based infrastructure to meet improved operational and performance metrics.
Initially prompted by the recent recession, changes in consumer behavior are helping Jo-Ann Stores stay on top in the fabric retailing business. Families spending more time together and making their own gifts and clothes is a trend that continues today.
E-commerce is another key business channel for Jo-Ann Stores. It works to keep the site fresh by regularly adding new products, implementing more targeted marketing campaigns, and upgrading website technology and user pages.
Sales and Marketing
To stay ahead of rivals, Jo-Ann has partnered with celebrities. It has teamed up with Tori Spelling to launch the Styled by Tori Spelling line of fashion jewelry, the first licensed jewelry line to be carried by Jo-Ann Stores. Previously, it launched the Christie Brinkley Home collection of organic cotton and other eco-friendly fabrics.
Jo-Ann Stores is owned by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP.