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Old 03-08-2007, 06:20 AM   #1  
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Default Have your LSS been closing?

Hello,

Wow. We've got a trend going up here, and it's not a good one! I live in the Chicago suburbs, and I'd say within a 10-mile radius in the last two years five of the 7 LSS (local scrapbook/stamp stores) have closed! Three were right here in town. They were small, didn't have a lot that I wanted, but each one had SOMETHING I would go there for. Before she went out of business, the one gal was trying to sell the store. She gave up, but what she had told me was that it was hard to work with the vendors (companies). She said many of them had tough quotas for a small store, like you have to order so much a month to carry the product. She also said she could only mark stuff up so much. It's a SHAME that they are being pushed out like that. I think with online retail, it's tough, and also with the "big" guys. But the LSS have stuff they don't have and nice personal touches. We've got hardly ANY left around here.

Wonder what the trend is around the country?
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:24 AM   #2  
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I've lived here for almost 4 years and have stamped for a little over 3 years. We've not had a LSS in Omaha since I've lived here. I've heard of some that closed. There are a couple of scrapbooking stores (where I can get accessories, etc), but I've seen 2 or 3 open and then close since I've been here. Too sad because I really love my LSS. In SC, I had three stores within 15 miles and loved them all!
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:31 AM   #3  
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I really don't have many LSS near me, I have all the big chain stores here. One just opened a couple of miles from my house and I'm thrilled. They've only been open a couple of months. I hope they can make a go of it competing with the big stores.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:32 AM   #4  
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After working part-time at my favorite LSS the last year-and-a-half, I can tell you it takes A LOT of work to keep a scrap store running and the profit margin is not great. Vendors set the retail prices on their products so the stores don't really get a say in the pricing. And yes, most vendors have an order minimum and that can be hard to work with. Add to that how many times that new lines come out each year and the mind-set of the consumer to always have the latest products . . . . it can be very tricky to have the right inventory. Plus there's just SO much stuff to pick from. I used to want to have my own scrap store . . . working part-time in one opened my eyes to the reality and now I'd never have my own scrap store! I just always try to shop locally if at all possible . . . that's our only hope of keeping our LSS open.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:33 AM   #5  
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We have had a handful close in the Portland area - one very large one (the owner retired). It is sad as I went to all of them, though we still have some really nice ones here
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:35 AM   #6  
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Yes! Some have closed but then new ones pop up. Go figure?
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:43 AM   #7  
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Yes, the only one that was within 20 miles of me has recently closed down.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:45 AM   #8  
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All 3 LSS's that were near me closed in the last 6 months! This is very sad considering I think our crafts are bigger and more popular than ever; unfortunately, with the internet and the bigger craft stores, it's got to be really hard to make a go of it; luckily, there are 2 more that I shop at although they're quite a but further away!
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:46 AM   #9  
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There is only one LSS plus an Archivers (that is actually 20 minutes away) in my area and the LSS seems to be doing relatively well. I am sure there are others hidden away around here, but I have not ever seen them...
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:48 AM   #10  
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Seems that the 2 that I have near me are doing very well. More for scrapbooking, but they do carry some stamps and TONS of paper and fun alter-ables. I visit both of them regularly and really hope that they stay going strong! Shopping online can be grest when you don't have time to browse....but nothing beats an hour or so walking through the store!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:51 AM   #11  
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One of the only 2 near me have closed. I've been considering opening one for over a year now, but if the margins are that slim, hmmmmm...???

What states are you guys in that have the closing stores?
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:53 AM   #12  
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We have had 2 in our area within the last 4 years. Both of them closed within 2 years of opening. I know they both struggled the whole time they were open. I used to shop at both, but it was very hard to compete with the big guys when they were offering things at 405 off all the time. Now there are non around me. Just the big guys.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:54 AM   #13  
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That was supposed to say 40 % off.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:56 AM   #14  
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One here closed last year. The other one within 20 miles has doubled its size in the same time frame though.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:00 AM   #15  
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We had a really great LSS that was in Old Colorado City that closed a while back, I loved that store, and they always had a great selection of rubber.

We still have one LSS here in Colorado Springs, but it has more scrapbooking supplies than rubber… Way back when the old store was filled with rubber.

We also have one Archiver’s, four Hobby Lobby’s, three Michaels and one JoAnn’s, that the LSS has to compete against.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:07 AM   #16  
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We had 3 and 2 stamp stores and now we only have the one lss anymore. All the others have closed within the past 2 years. I do LOVE the lss we have, they will order anything that they can for you. I've had them order special paper, stamps, punches etc... As long as they carry the brand, they will order whatever you want. Now they have said that they won't really carry anything that Michaels carries that you can use a coupon for, like the Cuttlebug stuff. I can totally understand that though, they can't compete with the bulk buying.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:13 AM   #17  
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Our biggest one did not close, she just quit carrying any stamping stuff and went to home decor instead. We have a huge community of stampers but she said that SU is where they are buying and she cannot stay in business. Sad for those who want to stamp but not use SU exclusively. We do have some stamp stores about 60 miles from here. It is a pain so I buy mostly online.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:14 AM   #18  
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We have had 2 stamp store closings within the past year and there was stuff at each store that I purchased -- not a lot though. I have a secret vow to myself to go to one that is still open and purchase regularly. I really like being able to buy stuff and not have to wait for shipping. I would hate for another store to go out of business.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:21 AM   #19  
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We have had 2 stores close in 1 year. I was very good friends with one of the owners, and they were profitable, but it definitley took a chunk out of their business when Michael's opened. The stamp section was the most profitable part of the store. Another one opened and replaced the other that closed, and they have stores in 2 other cities. One of their stores is great, then they opened this one and they NEVER get new stuff. They even didn't get Valentine paper this year! I was shocked, the store might as well not even be there, in my opinion.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:22 AM   #20  
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We only have one LSS here in Topeka, Kansas. Then Hobby Lobb, we finally got a Michaels last spring. I love the LSS though and hope it never close's.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:29 AM   #21  
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I'm in Massachusetts; 2 of the one's I mentioned that closed were in Southern, NH and one here in MA; the 2 I still visit (cause I agree w/Sue, nothing like walking around the store!) are in Mass; Absolutely Everything and Inkaboutit; both great stoores! I NEVER leave empty handed!

Hi Laura, good to see you here!!! How goes the recovery?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:32 AM   #22  
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the big guys? when you guys say that do you mean michaels and Joanns? because i don't even consider them a scrapbook/stamp store. their products are so limited, and their prices are so high. i teach/am a design team member at one of my local scrapbook stores here in Langley, and they're always expanding, but more than that, they carry 50 times more product than the "big guys" and i don't think they're ever in danger of closing. (thank god) i don't buy a lot online to try to support the LSS's and that, perhaps, is the key. spread the love around.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:35 AM   #23  
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One has closed but the other 2 I frequent tend to keep up with stock and trends and seem to be doing terrific, at least I hope so cause I don't know what I would do without them ;^)
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:39 AM   #24  
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We also had a lss close here and we have another one but nobody goes to it because she has the same stuff as she did 5 years ago. Her husband owns the building and has his business on the other side so she hasn't much for overhead. The one that closed had classes all the time and I loved going in there. I do believe its too easy to order online and also ebay kills many sales. Hobbies/crafts have always been hard to sell because you can't keep up with the fast changes. We have a great LSS 2 hours away, yes its far but I really enjoy going there when I get to go.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:05 AM   #25  
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Hello Kathy! *waves* Are you talking about the stamping store that keeps their stamps in the windows, or the Accent Frames place down by Ruckers?

I'm so glad that there is a super LSS here, but it is such an effort for me to get out there that I've only been there three or four times. I'm taking my Saturday today while the buses are running and will be going to the LSS this afternoon. Woohoo!
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:07 AM   #26  
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I have one very small LSS about 15 miles from me. For a small store she really carries a ton of stuff. I can always find something I want/need. There are 2 more stores both about 1.5 hours away - which I love to visit when I am in the area.

I have the 'big guys' close to me too, but honestly I would rather spend my $ at a LSS for my stamping supplies. I feel like the bigger stores inflate their prices on stamps.

I shop online too, but I like to be in a store to really look at the items - you know get a little 'touchy feely' w/the stamps - ha ha.

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:25 AM   #27  
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The scrapbook store we had on Davis highway shut down last year. There is nothing new in the area that I'm aware of.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:26 AM   #28  
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I do think most local scrap stores close for several reasons, but the one thing I think is the main reason is they don't turn over their merchandise fast enough. Not to mention their prices are high. I think that any type of crafting is trendy, and their is always new stuff coming out, but if a stores has tons of old stuff they can't afford to bring in the new stuff. Some do try, but it catches up with them financially. As for their prices I do understand, but I'm a bargain shopper so I have to shop where I can find what I want at a great price! Having said all of that, it does make me sad when each of these stores close, as I know it was a dream for most of these owners to have that store.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:09 AM   #29  
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Yes, that's a good point about being hard to keep up with the latest trends andn new line additions. I am sure it is HARD work, and just from talking to the gals that ran the stores, I knew my thoughts of opening one were going bye-bye.

The ones that I know around here that do well have one thing in common.... LOTS OF STUFF ON THE SHELVES. I think it's a gamble to buy the inventory and have to "sit" on it, but the ones that do (that also have a good location and do advertising), do well.

And by big guys, yes, I was talking about Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Joann's, Archiver's, etc. I realize that they are NOT the same, but they do compete and take biz from the smaller places.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #30  
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So far we have been very lucky in my area. One store that carries lots of stamps and some scrapbooking items.The store is called ART Plus and is located in Concord, NH. Onlyy 15 minutes away from where I live. It has been there for 10 years and I think it will be around for a long time. Our newest Scrapbooking store in Concord, NH called Scrappin'Soul Sisters just celebreated thier first year of it's opening. They seem to be doing very well and I hope they continue to becuase they also have lots of very nice things from different companies. My favorite store is located in Laconia NH only a 23 minute drive from me and has been opened for 5-6 years. It is called Stamping Memories and they have customers who come from all around the state and other near by states. She is mostly a stamping store but also carries many scrapbooking items. So far so good.

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Old 03-08-2007, 10:22 AM   #31  
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WOW! How uncanny is this thread! My cousin called me a little while ago and asked, jokingly if I wanted to buy a scrapbooking store here that is up for sale. We had a little conversation about the very thing and I told her that there is so much out there that it is hard to know what to stock and we love what we do but when it becomes too much of a business it isn't fun anymore. Internet sales are different than having to physically run a store and all the expense that goes along with that. I live in an area that has a high cost of living so rent is sky high. I like shopping and having my goodies in hand the moment I buy them but it is frustrating driving from store to store to find something and then not having any luck. This is what makes the internet so much easier.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:23 AM   #32  
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There are a lot of stamp and scrapbooking stores here in SoCal but not nearly as many as a few years ago. I mourn the loss of each and every store, even the ones I didn't visit often, because it seems to be an indicator that the growth of our industry is slowing down. To stay hot, the stores have to keep new stuff, lots of stuff and have a large and well-outfitted area for classes and crops. Those things rule out a lot of the mom & pop-type shops and leave the biggest and best standing (for a while, at least, I hope!).
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #33  
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I live on the east side of Atlanta. In the last 3 years we have had 8 LLS that I know of in the Atlanta area that have closed. During that time Archivers opened up here. I don't know how much that had to do with it but I know that it drew customer dollars away from at least 4 of the stores due to the proximity of their locations to the Archivers store. I used to work for one of the stores that closed. The owner was a member of a network of independent stores that would combine orders to meet manufacturer minimums. Our owner was good about getting the latest & greatest stuff in so we were often the 1st in the area to get stuff. However, running a store was stressful and very time consuming and I think she decided to close to get away from the stress and spend more quality time with her kids. I used to dream about opening a store. Not anymore after working in one. It's really been sad to see these stores close and I miss the variety and being able to touch & feel before I buy. Archivers is great but they don't carry everything I want. Moto of this story: Support your LLS and let the owner know you appreciate her efforts.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:22 AM   #34  
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Hey Melanie - wave back. I was talking about Lana's store closed. I was comparing the scrapbooking store in the north and Lana's store. The other two small ones are still there.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:28 PM   #35  
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One local store that has been in business a long time sells stamps and scrapbooking supplies. They also do online order business which probably keeps them afloat. Another store is mostly stamps, and they have lots of classes to attract customers. I did notice a new store that was open less than a year. I think there is more competition from online vendors.

It is sad because it is these small stores with classes and salespeople who know the products and techniques who really feed the industry.

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Old 03-08-2007, 12:48 PM   #36  
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I don't think online stores have as much to do with it as the Big Box stores. We stampers are very instant gratification types. I hate to wait and that's why we always compliment the online places that ship super fast right here at SCS. We tell each other who we think is doing a great job. We actually would rather go and buy it and have it today if the stores had it in stock.

But, when a small retailer orders the cuttlebug, they have to spend at least $1000.00 to place an order with provocraft and then JoAnn's and Michaels' sell it with the 40% off coupon, that spells trouble for the little guy. I think the stores that are most successful are the ones who have stuff the bigger ones don't, which is getting harder to find.

Truly, if every Michael's a JoAnns had tons of scalloped giga punches that we could all buy with the coupon, who would buy them from the smaller vendors?

Now, I love a sale and a coupon as much as the next gal but I do think that the constant coupons hurt our smaller retailers. They do some coupons too, but like people have already stated, the mark-up isn't enough to warrant the small guy doing 40% off. Once you add in credit cards charges and other overhead, it would cost the little guy to be in business if he tried to compete with those 40% off coupons on a regular basis.

Those coupons are intended to have us come in and fill our carts and choose one of the items to buy at 40% off. They used to always do 50% off but that did cost them money if someone used a credit card. And very rarely are people filling their cart. They just go in and buy one thing with the coupon. (The cuttlebug, primascolor pencils, etc...)

I have heard Julie HRR say that she prefers to shop at the LSS because they give great service and they usually back up their products with education. Some of the bigger stores do too but there is a certain charm to a smaller brick and mortar shop. Food for thought.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:53 PM   #37  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cynamom
Hello,

Wow. We've got a trend going up here, and it's not a good one! I live in the Chicago suburbs, and I'd say within a 10-mile radius in the last two years five of the 7 LSS (local scrapbook/stamp stores) have closed! Three were right here in town. They were small, didn't have a lot that I wanted, but each one had SOMETHING I would go there for. Before she went out of business, the one gal was trying to sell the store. She gave up, but what she had told me was that it was hard to work with the vendors (companies). She said many of them had tough quotas for a small store, like you have to order so much a month to carry the product. She also said she could only mark stuff up so much. It's a SHAME that they are being pushed out like that. I think with online retail, it's tough, and also with the "big" guys. But the LSS have stuff they don't have and nice personal touches. We've got hardly ANY left around here.

Wonder what the trend is around the country?
I know of at least two that are still open and going strong.
http://www.thescrapshack.com/

and
http://www.thecottagestamper.com/

these area both in St. Charles IL.
The Scrap Shack is located on Route 64 Just pass Randall Road on the North side of the road.
And
The Cottage Stamper is located on 3rd. Street in St. Charles.
2 Block South of Rt 64 (Main Street) right by the Napa auto Parts store.
I use to live on the corner of 3rd and Illinois North East corner. And I used to work at Napa.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:00 PM   #38  
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I owned a small retail RS shop in Silver Creek, Wa with my mom that we shut down after her passing. This was the reason our shop shut down. I sold the stock from the shop to use as seed money to start my own line of stamps, "High Hopes Rubber Stamps". I sold the contents of the shop on Ebay, and was really shocked and saddened to see how many other stamp shops were liquidating inventory on Ebay. Of course this concerned me, as I was planning on starting a new carreer in another area of stamping.... being a stamp manufacturer. Most of the people I asked about why they were shutting down said A) The costs to keep a shop were just overwhelming, or B) family illness... and then C) being undercut by local "stamp clubs" where ladies would get together to meet the minimums, and place wholesale orders with stamp companies, or they start a small home business where they do not have the overhead that the stamp shop has, and the home business's were on average charging 25-40% off the retail cost of the stamps. They are also selling straight from catalogues, and do not have to carry stock, as a store does.
I read several articles in Rubberstampmadness magazine that talked about the decline of stamp manufacturers, and shops, and one of the main reasons that they have gone under was theft. Im from Spokane, Wa. Originally, and there was a store in the old valley mall that closed from embezzlement... it was so sad that a trusted employee pocketed a lot of the money that would of gone back into stocking the store. So many of the little boutique shops are owned by people/families that cannot afford a loss of any sort, let alone a hit of several hundred dollars. That can be enough to put them under.
Rubberstampmadness also said that at one trade show a vendor had their cash drawer stolen, and that was enough to put them out of business. I believe that, as it costs a lot to develope an image from art to metal plate to pressing and having the image in the catalogue. They also said that a new trend in shoplifting was people peeling off the rubber die from the block of wood, putting the wood back down, and walking off with the rubber die.... I was shocked, as I cannot imagine a single one of my stamping friends doing that!! Its just unconscionable..... If you want to read one article, you can start here, about half way down:
http://www.joanwear.com/Whatever%20H...%20article.htm
I have been to three small shows so far, and can report that I did lose a couple of stamps to shoplifting, but never had any dies peeled from the blocks.
I also love to see whats in the large stores... we have a Hobby Lobby and Mary Maxim's just across the river in Port Huron, Michigan... and its nice to see all the papers and ribbons in large selections, but for me, I prefer to sell to, and buy from small privately owned shops. Its the "hometown" feel, and getting to know the owners, and learning new techniques. The bigger shops can maybe negotiate a lower price by guaranteeing a supplier that they will purchase X amt. of goods, and meet minimum purchasing requirements... but this is in my humble opinion of why so many shops are closing....
When stamping first came to my hometown of Mossyrock, Wa. it was a small industry. We were a small rural community of crafty people who were so excited to learn, and most of the suppliers to the industry were also small privately owned business's...so it was easy to deal with suppliers. Back then (the early 90's)... the big guys were Personal Stamp Exchange, Hero Arts, and Embossing Arts. Darcie's Country Folk was just up the road a couple of hours from us, and they started out with only 12 images! If you called to order, you could talk to Darcie Hunter (now Heater), and she was (is) just the sweetest woman! Now they have over 4,000 images! Same with Whipper Snapper, and Penny Black, Inky Antics, Alias Smith and Rowe....and so many of the other little companies. Back then in the late eighties and early nineties Stampin' Up, Dozens of Terrific Stamps, and Stamp a Dee Doo Dah were home parties plan companies that were small and just starting out. I believe that SU was two sisters who started the business in their walk in closet?? Its amazing the growth the industry has had, but I think that we have lost a lot of companies in the growing pains...either from A) not being able to keep competitive, or B) growing to fast and then having a financial/family tragedy that makes a company re-prioritize. DOTS is now I believe Clost To My Heart, and changed their name when they went more torwards the scrapbooking side of the industry....
One thing I do find encouraging is that I heard Martha Stewart is coming out with her own line of scrapbooking papers/items. I think that shows that the industry is still a viable one. I think that personally we need to remember to patronize our local small shops if we want to keep them in business!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:11 PM   #39  
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i live in central indiana and ours closed last year- shortly after i discovered it!

have only been stamping a couple years and i really liked to go for the all-day crops. i don't scrapbook, but it was an opportunity to meet new people and share our passions and if you needed something it was just a stroll away.

miss that place!
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #40  
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I was disappointed when our local scrapbook store closed. I am within 50 miles of Houston where there is several stores I can shop at (just takes a little more effort and time to get there).

I never did hear why my local store closed; I just figured you have to sell a WHOLE lot of .70 cents a sheet of paper to make any kind of profit.
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