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Arts & crafts

Retail decline

(52 Posts)
H1954 Fri 21-Dec-18 00:24:34

Is it my imagination or are the number of independent haberdashers/fabric shops dwindling? Seems like the big chain stores are cashing in with fabrics, knitting yarns and notions at astronomical prices? Has anybody be else noticed this?

tanith Fri 21-Dec-18 07:00:16

It’s hardly a recent thing they have disappeared from all our local shopping centres over the last 20 years. Wool shops likewise, all crafty shops seem to be now in big retail outlets like Hobbycraft, Dunelm etc. You can find stalls in local markets occasionally otherwise it’s big prices in big shops, it’s a great shame.

Anja Fri 21-Dec-18 07:20:41

We still have our wool/sewing shop in our little market town. Hope it manages to survive.

M0nica Fri 21-Dec-18 07:56:31

We have a marvellous set of wool, fabric and craft shops in our town, all owned by the same family. One does everything sewing on the dressmaking and craft side. One does soft furnishing and knitting and the third does ribbon, cake making and craft kits.

They are all thriving. They all have so much stock they have narrow aisles and people are jockeying for position to get at the stock and queueing at the till.

Another nearby town has a wonderful wool shop. I lived in that town 60 years ago and remember buying wool for my first knitting projects there. It is still going strong

Pittcity Fri 21-Dec-18 08:10:03

We have a large craft, wool, sewing etc. shop that is thriving. DD knows the family that owns it and branches in nearby towns and they say that lack of competition is great for them.
DD manages a shoe shop and says that the December takings are only a quarter of last year's...all retail is suffering.

JessK Fri 21-Dec-18 09:49:09

We have nothing locally, the nearest is fifteen miles away. They are very good and you can order online too saving a trip.

Maggiemaybe Fri 21-Dec-18 09:57:11

I think if anything this area’s picking up round here. This sort of shop now tends to offer sewing/craft classes and they’re often over-subscribed.

Maybelle Fri 21-Dec-18 10:39:24

One of my favourite independent fabric and haberdashery shops closed last year, but have opened an online shop now.
But miss the opportunity to have a wander around and impulse buy.

EllanVannin Fri 21-Dec-18 10:51:34

If big stores are suffering what chance the smaller ones ?

Online buying is handier if the weather's bad or if you don't want to venture out for some reason but the added ( increased )postage puts paid to any bargain that might be.

Councils are a lot to blame for the increases in rent and rates of businesses on the high street. Sadly, nobody sees the fruits of their increases----well not here in the North West anyway as most of their departments are in an utter shambles !

NanaandGrampy Fri 21-Dec-18 11:06:46

I used to own a wool and haberdashery shop many moons ago and the one thing that put me off ever doing it again was the absolutely vast amount of money that needed to be tied up in stock.

Those type of shops unlike the big chains can't operate a 'just in time' ordering system- they need everything in every variation on the shelves.

Im lucky to have a couple of good ones in driving distance and I use them whenever I can despite them being a little dearer in some lines just to help them stay open.

sodapop Fri 21-Dec-18 13:14:30

Exactly EllanVannin local councils treat high streets as cash cows. High rates and extortionate parking fees. Such a shame its all dying out.

TrixieBakes Fri 21-Dec-18 13:47:46

I've noticed it, too. When all else failed I used to go to John Lewis but it seems that they have closed their haberdashery now. Are fewer people sewing?

EllanVannin Fri 21-Dec-18 13:53:31

One of the main reasons why a lot of people are left homeless too sodapop-----extortionate rents and rates and general utility increases. It's criminal and nobody seems to care.

Bathsheba Fri 21-Dec-18 14:25:39

Fabric and haberdashery shops have been disappearing for a long, long time. Used to be that, apart from the independent ones, many department stores would have a fabric/wool/ haberdashery department, but not any more. They've either got rid of those departments, or the store itself has closed down altogether.
I used to be able to take my pick of Debenhams, Co-op and House of Fraser in the city centre. Now the Co-op store has closed, and the other two have long since shut down their fabric and wool departments.
There was a lovely little wool and haberdashery shop in our local high street, just a short walk from my house. I loved that shop, it was so handy for me. But then the landlord increased the rent out of all proportion, so they had to close. Within 2 days the shop had re-opened as a sandwich bar, owned and run by a friend of the landlord angry
We have a couple of independent fabric shops in the city centre, and others within driving distance, so it's not too bad here, but nothing like it was.

M0nica Fri 21-Dec-18 19:59:51

Many more re sewing and knitting than before. There is a real revival in home activities like that. Look at the number of sewing, making and doing magazines on the book shelves in supermarkets and newsagents.

While high rates do not help, I think the real problem has been property developers and the like charging very high rents - and I think council tax is based on rental value

I was in London today, at Covent Garden. I haven't been there for a decade or more but I was so disappointed by it. The Christmas decorations were fabulous but it used to be an area with quirky little stores. Only one remains - Pollocks Toyshop, - all the rest were the same old same old luxury brands: Dior, Mulberry, Katherine Millen, etc etc. It is only the luxury brands who can afford the rent.

The same has happened in High Streets all round the country all the big chains have outlets in all the big towns and many of the smaller ones. There are three small towns within 5 miles of the village I live in. All three have a branch of FatFace. why? Every town in the country looks like every other town in the country, same chains, same window dressing, all the same and so boring.

If the rents and rates were reduced, more independent stores opened, so that shopping became interesting again, people might be tempted to visit their local shops, rather than just go online.

Jalima1108 Fri 21-Dec-18 20:41:35

We had about four yarn and fabric shops but are down to two fabric shops and one yarn shop.
We're lucky to still have those, I think, and they have had to add services, making some garments, alternations and the yarn shop giving classes.

Willow10 Sat 22-Dec-18 10:00:18

My first job when I left school at 15 was in a large department store on the dress fabric and paper patterns. Half of the floor was taken up with fabrics of all types, and one area filled with drawers and drawers of paper patterns. I learned to sew all my own clothes and continued to make my children's when they were small - it was often much cheaper. Then the cheap clothes started coming into the shops from abroad, so people just lost interest in making their own. I was looking at a very small selection of paper patterns in Hobbycraft recently and couldn't believe the price. Unless you are doing it as a hobby, there is no incentive to dressmake any more. I have started to knit again though, just to keep busy on dark winter evenings.

Chewbacca Sat 22-Dec-18 10:09:41

Within a 3 mile radius of where I live we had 3 excellent knitting and sewing shops; all of them gone now. It's not just the products that have been lost; we've also lost the knowledge and expertise that the usually ladies in those shops offered. I remember buying a knitting pattern and wool for a project that was outside of my ability and I was able to pop in and ask them for advice. Their assistance helped me to improve my skills tremendously. You can buy all of the products online, but you can't buy support and a wealth of experience. sad

Jayelld Sat 22-Dec-18 10:11:19

We have a lovely craft shop that sells a bit of everything and the owner will always order if she hasn't got it in stock. Three charity shops and one discount shop sells wool and haberdashery.
But the best shop is run by a charity called Workaid which sells everything from wool to needles to material to craft to tools, lawnmowers etc as well as repairing, reconditioning and sending contines of tools, sewing macines etc to villages in Africa. The containers then become homes, classrooms, wards or workshops. My favourite shop!!!!!

Hm999 Sat 22-Dec-18 10:22:44

Problem with buying wool from a big store is the stock they carry is usually manmade

David1968 Sat 22-Dec-18 10:42:45

At least three excellent independent wool/haberdashery shops in my local area. One used to be simply a stall in the indoor market. When (sadly) the market closed, the stall owners moved to a nearby shop, which appears to be very popular. It sells all sorts of wools, sewing materials, "notions" and buttons. The latter can be bought "loose", you can buy one or forty - in a range of colours and sizes. Wonderful choices for the shopper.

Liz46 Sat 22-Dec-18 10:49:58

I do a lot of knitting for a dementia charity (supplying the local hospital). I don't need 'quality' wool but get some really good yarn from Aldi, Home Bargains, Poundland etc.

Eskay10 Sat 22-Dec-18 10:54:29

Does anyone buy wool directly from the mill, and if so, which one. JohnLewis was always my go to store, but their material choice is so limited now and their designer wools very expensive, although JL do their own ranges too.

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Dec-18 11:13:06

Plenty if craft/art/hobby shops in my nearest town, likewise fabric/wools/assorted materials and haberdashers too plus independent carpet shops and fact, we're 80% independents.

Magrithea Sat 22-Dec-18 11:17:30

We have a small craft shop in one nearby town (knitting and sewing things) and a good haberdashers in the other which I try and use. The chains don't offer useful advice and help for people like me who don't really sew!!