• Cecile Corral

Jo-Ann to Reduce Home

Hudson, Ohio — The fate of the home category is bleak at Jo-Ann Stores, where sales for textiles and decorative goods have been on a steady decline, forcing the retailer to reduce its shelf space considerably in the coming year.

During Jo-Ann Stores Inc.'s third quarter earnings call, Alan Rosskamm, CEO, said the company will instead ante up its craft selection, which has been a bright spot in the merchandise mix.

“We have plans now under way to meaningfully alter our merchandise assortments in the second quarter of next year by reducing the space and inventory investment to our down-trending finished seasonal and home décor businesses and increasing our commitment to craft components,” he explained. “Although it will create some additional markdowns of discontinued products and some incremental merchandising expense in the first half of next year, by third quarter we expect our stores to benefit with fresher, more competitive product assortments.”

During the quarter, soft lines represented 60 percent of sales volume and decreased approximately 3.5 percent on a same-store sales basis. The primary cause of this softness, the retailer noted, was home decorating textiles and apparel fabric along with recent weaknesses being seen in the quilting business.

Hard lines, defined as all non-sewing businesses, represented 40 percent of the company's sales volume and increased approximately 7 percent on a same-store sales basis. Within hard lines, the core craft business was strongest; adversely, it was some finished seasonal, home accents and floral goods that hampered the category.

Aside from implementing a new focus on craft goods, other efforts being pursued to help in Jo-Ann Stores' turnaround include: the reduction of new stores for next year to 25 to 30; a streamlined capital spending plan that will be less than 60 percent of this year's; improved efficiencies and reduced costs in distribution; and a cutback in total buy while better flowing product in stores.

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HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!