Sunday, 11 February 2018

My Favourite Fabric Shop Is CLOSING Its Doors

Beware, this is a long wordy post.

So saddened to see the announcement that my favourite place to get my patchwork fabric is closing its bricks & mortar stores.
Textile Traders is a Western Australian company... it sells fabrics for dressmaking, patchwork, & home decorating... ready made curtains & all the associated hardware... sewing notions, patterns, zips & threads etc... sewing machine & tables...
 Their patchwork fabric is the branded stuff... I've seen Red Rooster, Moda, Makower, Henry Glass... even picked up Bonnie & Camille and Kate Spain a few times!
They don't sell ranges or the newest patchwork fabrics, but they have enough to be able to put fabrics together from across their stock & make a fab quilt or project.
Their standard prices for patchwork fabric is around half the standard price of a specialised patchwork store... & like many other retailers, they often had specials... their "buy 2, get 1 free" is famous!
Their announcement includes a declaration that they are going to focus on the online aspect of their business... well it had better be top-notch because their current online system is terrible & won't stand up against any competition, or satisfy customers who are used to efficient sites.
 Apparently, the stores will be closing around August.

Clearly there are many & widely various factors as to why this closure is happening... this post is going to be long enough as it is, so I'm not going into analysis. It all just goes to show that even though a business can look to be doing ok, maybe it really isn't... And needs to change its model to survive in any capacity at all.

Well might I whinge that this leaves Mandurah with only 3 shops that sell patchwork fabric... I'm very aware that many sewists don't have a shop within coo-ee of their town, so having 3 is nothing to cry about... plus there are several great specialist stores within a 1-hour drive of me, so again I don't have a valid complaint.
In any case, aside from needing to buy thread, needles & other notions, I could sew with what fabric  I already own until I'm at least 149 years old.

It's just sad to lose a business that offers good service & has knowledgeable friendly staff... the other retailers just don't come near Textile Traders for that aspect. So many times I have been helped out by the ladies there... when I've been stuck with putting colours together, or unable to work out a pattern, or need accurate information about the differences between particular interfacing products. They have the knowledge that the other shops either don't have, or don't care to give to someone who wants advice but isn't spending.
Sadly too, closing the shops means loss of jobs for many of their loyal employees.

Some of my most loved quilts & projects have been made with fabrics from Textile Traders...
 my 'Sunshine & Daisies' designed by Toni Alexander (Red Boots Quilt Co) helped to distract me from my grief after my MIL died in 2015.
Gratuitous pic of the Site Manager
 The business is a WA institution... sadly now, it's another illustration of the changing nature of how retail & business works, and also the way that hobbies/skills change & evolve over time.
I just hope that their employees can get other work... it's going to be tough for them.

Sorry for the long post... just wanted to share my thoughts!

14 comments:

Chookyblue...... said...

always sad to see a patch work shop close.......especially a good one..........glad you still have some around..........I have none.........

Helen said...

Very sad to hear your fabric shop is closing. We are loosing too many of them.

I am said...

Hi Anthea oh no its always sad to see shops closing down,i do love your quilt that you made from there fabrics,love the pic of your puppy sitting on your quilt. xx

Fiona said...

It is sad to see another go down... we have lost a couple this last few months here in SEQ...
Hugz

sunny said...

That's said to hear. We have two very nice shops in our town, and several others nearby. They each specialize in different fabrics, so I frequent them all!

Ondrea said...

What a lovely tribute to your patchwork shop. I understand how you are feeling as my fav shop is closing soon too. I buy a lot of my Civil War repros there and they also have Cosmo threads that I use. As you said, it is a sign of the times. Very sad.

Anita : Shabby Quilt said...

Always sad to see a patchwork shop close. We have also have several in Brisbane close lately.

kiwikid said...

Very sad to hear of another retailer closing the doors. I was talking to a lady who runs a patchwork shop in a SE Melbourne suburb and she said she does not make any money but keeps going as it gives her something to do and people to talk to as she is a widow.

O'faigh said...

Sign of the times.I too am saddened by the closing of a local patchwork store where I live.I have been going there for twenty years.When I first moved back to the peninsula I had no job hence no funds for my passion for patchwork.Glenda from A little different had a 50 cent scrap box.After work I would go in and sit on the floor and fossick through the box.I made a queen size scrappy quilt.I called it my depression quilt.Each year Glenda would sell some of her samples and Imhad the sheer pleasure of purchasing them for myself family and friends.

Jo said...

So sad to see another shop close. I do not buy fabric online. I would rather see it, touch it and buy it. Hope you use up the ones that are near you..

Sharmayne said...

Always sad to see a good business have to close it's doors - lucky as you said to have others to use which may help to keep their doors open now

Susan said...

Always sad - there have been so many closing in Brisbane recently - I don't want to end up buying fabric on line...but like you I could make scrap quilts for a long time yet.

Joy from Days Filled With Joy said...

So sad... I know a lot of patchwork shops have closed down in Vic too.. it's such a shame.. I know that it might be cheaper to buy in from overseas, but I love to support the Aussie shops... they are the ones that are there for us when we need something on a whim, and it is such a struggle for them to compete... I guess that is life these days.. xx

Raewyn said...

Reading through the comments - so many closures, so sad to read of them all. There is a lot of competition out there particularly with the big chain places, those that can sell fabrics (etc) at prices that stand-alone shops can't even buy it in at. It's a bitter cycle... buying everything online forces bricks and mortar to close which encourages more online shopping...and so on. Hopefully your other shops improve their service so you get to enjoy spending time there too.

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