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Jo-Ann Not Happy With Quarter

Hudson, Ohio — Jo-Ann Stores experienced an “unsatisfactory” first quarter, the company said during its quarterly call last week, in part do to prolonged poor performance in its home décor textiles categories.

Driving sales, instead, were paper crafting and yarn.

While home décor textiles products have historically been a “consistent” business for the company, said Alan Rosskamm, CEO, sales of these goods began softening last year and weaknesses persisted into the first quarter.

Only fleece has performed well within the home décor textiles categories.

Rosskamm said part of the problem is that the current market trends call for solid colored looks, as opposed to Jo-Ann's core offerings of prints.

“Prints have always been better for our business,” he said, “so in addition to the overall softness you see in the home business, the lack of real print direction has really hurt (our) business.”

But the company has not lost hope for its home décor textiles business, a segment of its soft lines area — which occupies 45 percent of the selling floor space of its stores, hard lines taking up 55 percent. Rosskamm alluded to future improvements being made to boost the categories.

“When a business is challenged, you need to find a way to innovate and a way to differentiate,” Rosskamm continued. “We're not as far along, in that process in the home decor textiles categories as we believe we are in the seasonal categories. But we do have some new energy and new eyes on that business, and we feel we have some opportunities. We are doing everything (we can) about it from our sourcing structure to various elements in the assortments.”

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