Thursday, January 18, 2007

A new trend in stores? My dream fabric store

I was skimming through posts at one of my favorite marketing blogs the other day and came across one entitled A Whole New Kind of Supermarket.

It is a post about a supermarket that Whole Foods opened in North Dallas. Not big news really until you get to the part about the spa. Yes, that's right - a spa! Doesn't that sound wonderfully self indulgent? Get away from the stress of grocery shopping with a treatment in the spa.

The article goes on to say that customers can stop by the Food Concierge Desk where staff assist you with your menu planning, personal shoppers will shop for you (because you're busy getting a massage at the spa!), or make arrangements to have your groceries delivered to your home.

Then earlier today I was reading the "I've Been Tagged" posting on Newman's Needle and one of her entries is her retirement dream of owning a bookstore. However, she says she would throw in a sewing lounge as well (and a communal wood shop, but I think she should add a shoe store - books, sewing and shoes - heaven)

Reading those postings got me to dreaming about fabric stores. Wouldn't it be fun to have a full service fabric store with extra pampering elements thrown in? What would it look like? Or is fabric shopping such a tactile experience that these concepts would be too difficult to implement? Do we shop on price alone or would we be willing to "pay" for these extras? I guess it doesn't really matter as I'm only dreaming.
  • Lots of great fabrics, the type many of us resort to purchasing online because we can't find them locally.
  • Notions - the right color thread, zipper, buttons, etc. And how about a great button selection? I can't tell you how many times I've run into Joann's or Hancock's to find a button to complete an outfit only to find nothing that would work.
  • A Fabric Concierge Desk - staffed with knowledgeable people who could suggest fabrics that would work well with the pattern you choose, or a pattern that would work well with the fabric you choose (after all, which came first - the chicken or the egg?)
  • A personal shopper to match the zippers, thread, interfacing and other notions for you.
  • Taking a clue from Nordstroms - how about a personal shopper that keeps your perferences on file and contacts you when the perfect piece of fabric arrives in the store.
  • An inviting book area, where you could sit and browse through an amazing selection of sewing, craft, and other textile related books for sale - similar to a Barnes and Noble bookstore.
  • Day care for the little ones. My children to this day will talk about how much they hated "begin dragged to the fabric stores" (their words) and as a mother I know my time was cut short by unruly kids. (I bet they did it on purpose ... I'll have to ask them next time I see them.) Come to think of it - Ikea does this, right?
  • How about a sewing lounge with instructional sewing videos played at certain times. Kind of like a free mini-sewing lesson.
  • Speaking of sewing lounges - if this is such an up and coming trend - why aren't the big chains (JoAnn's, Hancock's) setting up a sewing lounge in their stores? I know, I know, it's all about the dollar and the how much is coming in per square foot, etc., but I'm dreaming remember?
  • Home delivery service! I'll get a massage after I'm done shopping and by the time I get home my fabric will be waiting for me.
  • A spa! Love that idea. You're feet are tired from walking around looking at beautiful pieces of fabric? Go get a pedicure. Fingers cramped from stroking all those gorgeous fabrics the store now carries? Go get a manicure and hand massage. Achy back from carrying around a bolt or two of fabric? Go get a massage.
So that's my dream. What would you add to the "new kind of fabric store"? Pin It


  1. Anonymous12:35 AM

    I would add one thing to your store...Green Tea Latte! I love these things and it does help shopping when I go to Target. Of course to make the dream even better it would have to be free:) Now that would be heaven!

  2. OOOOh, a coffee bar too, that would be heaven! And I love the idea of a stitch lounge area of fabric stores - although, I'd never leave.

  3. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Well they certainly would have room for the sewing lounge if they got rid of all that craft stuff and the fleece too!

  4. Well, if we're dreaming, how about before they deliver your fabric right to your doorstep, they wash and dry it a minimum of 3 times?



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