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