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 850 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 name Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft. 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.
Based in Ohio, the company operates fabric retail shops nationwide under the banner names Jo-Ann and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft. Jo-Ann Stores’ three distribution centers are in Hudson, Ohio; Visalia, California; and Opelika, Alabama.
The company's 850-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. Its stores showcase more than 100,000 moderately priced items that are used in sewing, crafting, and home-decorating projects.
Sales and Marketing
Jo-Ann Stores sells its products through its nationwide network of stores, distribution centers, and online.
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.
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 had plans to open another 65 stores.
That year, the company and Craft Retail Group (CRG), part of UK-based Ideal Shopping Direct, teamed up to launch CRG’s Create and Craft TV shopping format in the US.
To bolster its online and mobile business, Jo-Ann Stores has also 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.
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. Its marketing efforts include blogs and customer idea galleries.
To stay ahead of rivals, Jo-Ann Stores 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.
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. Now part of the private equity investor's portfolio, Jo-Ann Stores has accelerated its expansion plans by upgrading its stores amid increased competition with crafts retailer Michaels.