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I thought that I'd post my two cents worth on how the economy has affected the closing of quilt shop businesses. I was intrigued by a previous post  by another reader and the many responses. Always like to read other opinions. I posted the following in response to that previous post. I believe that this is a valuable discussion, so I invite others to also post.

 

There are hardly any LQS in Jersey. One must go across the borders of NY and PA to find anything decent. Yes, JoAnn's is there in a pinch. And Walmart has some textiles (not much to choose from and you do have to be picky). I believe it is the amount of taxes that businesses have to pay in general to the state which they are doing their business. Couple that with the rising costs of producing textiles, the artists' creative demand, production costs etc. and you have a hefty price tag on fabrics. Remember when calicos were $1.99 a  yard? Well the economy since then has quadrupled and the rising costs have not met the demand of available dollars to sustain inventory purchases for businesses to entice the buyers of their products. So much of what is on the shelves is less due to loss of revenue for income. With that being said, the business owner has to make their payments on the inventory, their rent if they don't own the building space, utilities, outstanding debt, insurances, salaries, health insurance (if appropriate), travel, contracts on sewing machines, and above all, the bank if they have a business loan and the list goes on. The business owner must be a smart cookie to run a profitable business where one buys low and sells high, no matter what the commodity is. Also one has to take into consideration what the 'traffic will bear'. The online purchasing has made a significant impact on smaller business and we, the consumer know this. Loyalty is only as deep as one's pocketbook. If the man down the street sells his 'eggs' at $1.00/a half dozen and an unknown sells his 'eggs' at $.98/ a dozen, the consumer may choose to save a few cents and buy cheaper deal to feed his family , his habit etc.  Business people have to be one step ahead of their competition in order to maintain and stay in business. It's the law of economics.

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Comment by Kathy/WA on October 16, 2013 at 4:15pm

You took the econ class in college didn't you!  I agree with both comments on here. Yes things are expensive and the cost of operating a business, the costs go on and on.  One thing was mentioned that the internet is bad for LQS.  I say the LQS should get on the band wagon and open an internet website.  Some of these companies already have their stores and employees in place. Trust me there is a business need for it.  How many of us have tried to find another yard of material that our own local store doesn't carry any more.  It took me a while of searching the internet and a few phone calls to find a specific material but I did find it thanks to the internet and patient employees when I called and asked them to look for something.

I live in a city with a couple of good quilt stores.  One has no internet options and the other just has a webpage about their store.  25 miles out of the city a town of a few thousand has a quilt store and they do have an internet business.  I know they are there and every month or so when I can afford it I drive out to see what is new.  Every time I go there the girls are cutting material orders from the internet.  It's not the only business they have, I know because I've been to the store and their internet website doesn't have  half of what the store does.  The girls are friendly and we chat.  I do believe it comes down to the owners of these stores and their abilities as owners to look for ways to expand their business and catch the attention of prospective buyers any way they can.

Comment by handstitcher/IL on October 16, 2013 at 3:39pm

The bottom line for me is that I want to keep our LQSs in existence. I try to shop local when I can to support local businesses and to keep my tax dollars local as well. I hate to see small shops run over by big chains.

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on October 16, 2013 at 6:39am

I never knew anyone to get rich from owning a LQS in California ...  They have to just love it.

Comment by Pam/NY on October 16, 2013 at 5:42am

Agree...

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