[Artemisia] FW:Changes to Denver Fabrics Stores (for the sewing clan out there)

Bradley Wolf idahobrad at cableone.net
Fri Feb 24 07:38:24 CST 2006

For those who use and shop at Denver Fabrics, in person or on-line...

Important Changes 
at Denver Fabrics

Fabric stores across the country have experienced substantial 
declines in sales in recent years. There are fewer and fewer people 
who know how to sew, and fewer still who have time to sew. There is 
no denying that the market for fabric and sewing supplies is 
shrinking. This is a long term trend, and one that is not likely to 
see a reversal.

Many fabric stores have closed their doors, and many more are on the 
verge of experiencing the same fate. We don't want their fate to be 

It is clear to us that if we are to have a sustainable business we 
must change the way we sell fabric. We must convert our business into 
a simpler, lower overhead operation with an emphasis on areas of 
greatest strength. What this means for our customers is that 2006 
will be a year of watching Denver Fabrics change. What you will see 
is not fine tuning but rather a complete reconfiguring of our entire 

We are communicating with you now at the beginning of our change 
process so that you will better understand what we are doing and know 
what to expect. In effect, the information that follows represents 
the major elements of our business plan.

Consolidating Our Stores
Our two Annex stores will close this year. The South Annex is 
scheduled to close this spring or early summer. We expect to close 
the North Annex at the end of October. Many of the fabrics at our 
Annex stores cannot be found in any other store including our main 
store. These fabrics, including the popular Annex sample cuts, will 
continue to be offered by us following the closure of the Annex 
stores. Our reorganization plan calls for dedicating a portion of the 
main store floor space to these fabrics.

Main Store Pricing
We have always prided ourselves on offering low, competitive prices. 
In the future, our prices will be even lower. In fact, most of the 
fashion and bridal fabrics at our main store are now being marked 
with new, lower everyday prices. It is our intention to maintain 
these lower prices on a permanent basis. Our prices will increase 
only if wholesale prices increase, and we do not see that happening 
any time soon. 

Main Store Fabric and Notions
We regard our selections of fashion and decorator fabrics as the core 
of our business and as our most important contributions to the home 
sewing community. We will be significantly increasing our selection 
of these fabrics. In order to facilitate this expansion of our 
fashion and decorator fabric inventory, we will be discontinuing 
quilting fabric and reducing the size of our notions department.

Although we know a great many of our customers have enjoyed shopping 
our quilting fabric department, our quilting fabric selection is not 
unique. There are many other stores in the Denver area offering the 
same fabrics. By dropping quilting fabric, we are able to devote more 
space and resources to fashion and decorator fabric. Quilting fabric 
customers should expect wonderful bargains as we sell out our 
quilting fabric and quilting notions inventory. 

Our notions department has been one of the largest of any fabric 
store in the country. Although we are reducing the size of the 
department, we will continue to offer an outstanding selection of 
notions for apparel and decorator projects. Many of the reductions in 
our notions department are related to quilting supplies and craft 

We are also reducing our patterns inventory. We will be keeping 
Simplicity and Kwik Sew but dropping McCall's and Vogue. Both lines 
are available at a 50% discount on the McCall's web site. Among the 
small pattern lines, we will keep Folkwear, Green Pepper and Loese 
Hines. Buckaroo Bobbins, Eagles View, Jean Hardy, Neue Mode and 
Suitability will be available from our web site. 

At some point during the year, our fashion fabric inventory will 
briefly shrink in order to accommodate refixturing of the store. Once 
this has been accomplished, the fashion fabric inventory will be 
restored and expanded.

Self-Service at Main Store Cutting Tables
Beginning March 1, customers shopping at our main store will cut 
their own fabric and trim. This new policy will apply to all fabric 
except silk, decorator fabric and any cuts of five yards or more. 
Main store customers who need assistance with cutting may request 
help from our sales staff. While our Annex stores remain open, 
customers shopping these stores will continue to have all fabric cut 
by Annex store staff.

Denver Fabrics Discount Cards
The Denver Fabrics Discount Card program has been a major feature of 
our business since 1983, and we have many loyal customers who have 
renewed their cards year after year. However, given the scale of our 
new price reductions, we will not be able to continue the Discount 
Card program next year. 

Although we know there will be customers who will miss Discount Card 
benefits, we believe that the savings realized with our new lower 
fabric prices will more than offset the lost benefits. For the 
balance of 2006, current Cardholders will profit from both the new, 
lower prices and the Discount Card benefits. 

Business Discount
With our new low main store prices, we can no longer offer businesses 
an additional discount. We have already advised business customers of 
this change through a separate communication. Businesses with sales 
tax numbers will still be exempt from sales tax.

The New Look of Denver Fabrics
When all of our changes have been made, the fashion fabric area of 
our main store will look very different. The conventional bolt 
fixtures that now dominate this part of our main store will be 
replaced with warehouse style shelving. This shelving allows us to 
inventory more fabric in the same space and also allows us to reduce 
our overhead. Although the look will be similar to our Annex stores, 
the organizational plan will be different. We will have a section of 
fabric shelving organized by color as we do now in the Annex stores, 
but many fabrics will be organized by type. Fabrics like silk, wool, 
linen, broadcloth, cotton twills, and polar fleece will have their 
own distinct areas. We are not planning to refixture the Decorator 
Fabrics Department.

Our web site experienced strong growth last year, and we expect to 
see more growth this year. We just completed a software development 
project that allows us to credit the cost of fabric swatches towards 
the customer's next purchase. This means that customers will 
frequently obtain their swatches at no cost. If you have not already 
shopped our web site, we encourage you to pay a visit. Our site has a 
huge fabric selection, and many of the fabrics are exclusively 
available online.

Looking to the Future
Our hope is that by providing you with this information we can 
minimize confusion and inconvenience. We ask that you bear with us 
and grant us your support through this transition period. Your 
patience and understanding will be rewarded with improved fabric 
selection, lower prices and a better Denver Fabrics. 

Thank you,

Bill Cisney

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