Exclusive News! JOANN FABRIC AND CRAFT STORES Launches a new blog

You can expect amazing DIY adventures on Jo-Ann’s new blog. You can expect posts ranging from sewing to crafting, kid-friendly to table-saw-required, last-minute to week-long, and everything in between. And I couldn’t be more proud to be part of it.

Hop over there right now to read The Creative Spark welcome post and to bookmark it so you don’t miss a thing!

JOANN FABRIC AND CRAFT STORES

We all go there. It’s usually convenient; sometimes it’s the only place nearby to get that certain thing we need to finish (or start) a project. Sometimes the coupon does make the price pretty attractive. So, we go. And then we bitch about it after. Naturally, I’m talking about Jo-Ann Fabrics, the retail chain we all love to hate. There is one just minutes from my house—I could walk there on a nice day—and I have purchased tons of thread and batting and pillow forms and elastic and other things I really wanted to buy without ordering online or traveling many extra miles to my LQS to purchase. And on occasion, when I have made these trips, I have walked in, found what I needed, paid for it and walked out. Other times? Not so much.

 When people discuss Jo-Ann Fabrics, they tend to have two main complaints: you can’t find anyone to help you, and, if you do, they are cranky. Recently, I posted this photo on Instagram with the caption: “Hello? Helloooo! I just wanna buy one thing. It’ll only take a minute, I swear! Hello?”

 It is very easy to assume that the way most businesses hope to attract and retain customers is through a policy of superior customer service (combined with competitive prices and selection), and that when the service we think we are owed is not forthcoming it must somehow be the result of employees just not caring enough to do their jobs properly. But that is not always the case, and especially when we are talking about very large, national chain stores. The daily and weekly tasks and goals that each store must meet preclude the employees spending a great deal of time with customers. When employees are skipping meals in order to complete their daily tasks, they simply aren’t allowed the luxury of taking time with customers. It’s not necessarily an issue of someone with a bad attitude who doesn’t “get” customer service. It is an issue of how large retail chains keep costs down in order to also keep prices low, while still maintaining expected profit levels.

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