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Goodbye, Hancock, we will miss you

April 2, 2016
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Those of you outside the U.S. probably don’t know what Hancock Fabric is but it has gone bankrupt for a second time in a decade and this time it’s closing down for good. This will leave so many more small communities with no fabric store at all. Sewing might be having a resurgence in your neck of the woods, but in the central U.S. it’s looking a little sad right now.

Not a very good picture, but I snapped it while walking up to one of the first stores to close this year

Not a very good picture, but I snapped it while walking up to one of the first stores to close this year

Hancock is a fabric and craft chain that originated in 1957 in Tulepo, Mississippi. I think they might have only existed in the midwest and central U.S., but I’m not sure. In many cases, these closings cut access to fabric (in person) by at least half because Joann and Hobby Lobby will be the only chain stores left (and I don’t like either of them for various reasons).

The people who worked at Hancock actually new how to sew and they could give advice on nearly anything. Unfortunately their fabric selection has been hit or miss the last 10 years, only very recently did it seem to get better. And they probably had too many sales, so it was almost silly to go if you didn’t have the current coupon (because there always was one).

Having lived in smaller towns before, I just know how hard this is going to make it to buy patterns and apparel fabric. Even quilting stores can be far and few between. I live in a large city now, but I can count the number of fabric stores on my fingers. I’m going to do my best from now on to support those smaller, independent stores – in person and online – even if it means I have to drive 30 minutes up to St. Paul or pay shipping costs. Here’s a list of the local MN stores that I am aware of, if anyone knows more (quilting stores included) please add them in the comments:

  • SR Harris, warehouse store at 8865 Zealand Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
    • This is very short notice but the MinneSEWta group is going there today – here’s the link to the event details
  • SR Harris, smaller non-warehouse store at 3715 MN-13, Burnsville, MN 55337
    • Both SRH locations are definitely the place to go for great priced but good quality fabric
  • Treadle Yard Goods at 1338 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
    • Super knowledgeable, but they changed ownership recently so I hope everything’s going OK
  • Crafty Planet at 2833 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
    • Very fun, mostly quilting/crafting/kid clothes oriented fabric
  • Always Mod at 905 Decatur Ave N, Golden Valley, MN 55427
    • More of a modern/Scandinavian interior decor store, but I’m pretty sure they still sell Marimekko fabric
  • Ginny’s Fine Fabrics & Support Group at 211 S Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904
    • I’ve never been here but I hear good things

I know there must be more quilt stores at least, but I don’t know them (I’m kindof surprised there aren’t more quilt stores in the Twin Cities metro area). Maybe our next sewing meet up should be at a local store.

I’ll miss having Hancock around, it was kindof a safety net in a way. I’ll miss the pattern sales the most though, that will be the only thing I’ll go to Joann for probably.

Do you have a favorite local store? Will the closing of Hancock affect you?

~Molly

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Bia permalink
    April 2, 2016 9:41 am

    So true, all of it. Here in Lincoln NE there’s JoAnns now (Hancocks started closing several weeks ago), and then the Hobby Lobby + Walmart category. The fabric is NOT as GOOD in those stores. sigh.

  2. Emily C permalink
    April 2, 2016 9:56 am

    Walmart fabric is good for practice runs, when you want to make sure the pattern is right before you use the good fabric. They often have fabric for $1-3/yard.
    (back on topic) very sad, but indicative of the times. sewing has become a hobby, instead of a required skill.

  3. April 2, 2016 4:18 pm

    When hancocks closes it’s doors the closest fabric store to me will now be a 3 hour round trip. 😦 It is terribly sad for smaller, more rural areas that depended on Hancocks.

  4. April 2, 2016 10:13 pm

    I am so sad about this! I live in upstate SC. We just got a joanns last year but Hancock was really my go to store. They have better pattern sales, for sure. And I agree that the fabric selection got so much better recently. We have a Hobby Lobby and Walmart, of course, but I refuse to shop at either of those. I will miss it!!

  5. April 3, 2016 1:48 pm

    wow! I did not know about this! Hancock is my prefered local fabric store (better than joanns in apparel selection) and I spend quite a lot of time there before children. I am sad that they will close…

    the vulture side of me is telling me I should go there and grab any remaining fabric!!!

  6. April 3, 2016 5:58 pm

    When H. is gone, there will be –
    1 local independent fabric store, but their garment fabrics are fancier than I need. They do have a decent quilting fabric selection, although it’s smaller that it used to be.
    4 independent quilting stores (there are more around, but not on my usually travel routes)
    1 independent needlework/yarn shop
    1 independent yarn/wool shop
    Joann, which is ok for books and patterns, dicey on fabrics, but the store does have good employees.
    1 Walmart on the side of town I rarely go to that never lost it’s fabric section during the fiasco of removing it from most stores. I haven’t be there in months, so I can’t comment on their selection lately. The stores that have restored the fabric section – all I can say is “meh”.
    Hobby Lobby, which I will not go to.

    Hancock was my preferred store for garment fabrics, and patterns. As long as the independents hang on, I’ll be OK, except for garment fabrics. I guess once my stash is reduced, it will be on-line shopping for me.

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