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A Couple Quick Retail Bits



November 11, 2009 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: JAS.DL , TLB.DL , BLOKA.DL

Jo-Ann Stores (JAS): is actually hiring holiday workers, whoa! I recently wrote about a lot of retailers that are planning to hire less temporary help this year. Apparently last quarter Jo-Ann Stores had success including a trend toward hand-made holiday gifts. Interesting... (and my original CAPS pick of JAS actually did have a thesis that was heavy on the idea that in the "new normal" climate, a lot of people were going to remember the whole concept of making things themselves... I guess we shall see, but wow, hand-made holiday gifts). Anyway, I don't track JAS all that closely (which is embarrassing since it is a CAPS pick that has gone quite well, so maybe I will start following it more closely!) but I do find this interesting.

Talbots (TLB): Yuck. I missed this back in mid-October.

Blockbuster (BBI): Well, I haven't looked closely at the company or its financial condition in a long time although I am pretty sure it's safe to assume things are still plenty rough for Blockbuster. All I know is every day on my way to work I see a Blockbuster on my route that's covered with big "sale" and "closing this location" signs. (Oops, here we go, Rick Munarriz covered planned store closures recently and I missed the news.) I guess I should pop in and see what DVDs I might pick up (maybe I can finally add The Shining to my collection, since it's one of my all-time favorite flicks?) but an ugly sign of the times nonetheless...  

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 11, 2009 at 3:44 PM, lemoneater (57.13) wrote:

That is interesting about Jo-Ann Stores. I wonder if that is good news for Hancock Fabric. Hancock went bankrupt, but last I saw it was listed OTC and the local store stayed open. It is looking better stocked than it was shortly before bankruptcy. Is Hancocks making a comeback?

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#2) On November 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM, TMFLomax (89.34) wrote:

Ah, interesting, lemoneater... I had never heard of Hancock Fabric till you mentioned it (whoops again). More food for thought on that sub-sector of retail... (which several years ago, I would probably have left for dead, thinking not too terribly many people were interested in sewing a button on something or darning a sock anymore, much less anything more complex!).

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#3) On November 11, 2009 at 4:45 PM, lemoneater (57.13) wrote:

Some of my relatives are avid seamstresses so they have built in radar for fabric shops:) Hobby Lobby also carries sewing supplies but not as much as Hancocks. I heard a rumor that Walmart is phasing out its craft department. Do you know if that is true? I wonder what kind of profit margin this sub sector has?

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#4) On November 12, 2009 at 6:14 PM, TMFLomax (89.34) wrote:

Seamstresses are very cool. I have so much respect for people who can make stuff themselves (unfortunately I am one of the people who is a bit hard pressed to sew on a button, ha). You know, I remember hearing that same rumor that Wal-Mart was phasing out the craft department early in the recession and thinking it was a huge mistake, but for the life of me I can't remember where I heard it.

I have no idea what profit margin this sub sector has but of course that would be another interesting nugget to look into. Doesn't it seem like it would have pretty high profit margins? I need to look into this more! 

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#5) On November 13, 2009 at 12:16 PM, lemoneater (57.13) wrote:

Thanks for replying. Perhaps Wal-Mart realized it would be foolish to phase out crafts at this time. I prefer crocheting to sewing. Probably because I'm not crazy about cutting out patterns and patiently pinning them.

Except for Lowe's I have been frightened away from retail stocks. Perhaps, I should reconsider the opportunities. I enjoy reading your articles very much.

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