COMMENTARY: A SAD
ENDING FOR HSA
My sympathies to the current Home Sewing Assn. board and staff,
none of whom were involved in the alleged wrongful termination that
occurred 11 years ago – to say nothing of the vendors and
retailers who are left without a trade association.
This is yet another blow to the sewing category, following the
Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Hancock, the closing of Rag Shop,
and Wal-Mart easing out of fabric. It's ironic, given the
amount of positive national-media publicity about young people
taking up sewing.
There will be trade shows (see below), but you may see a decline
in the amount of publicity that sewing receives. To see a list of
the positive publicity HSA generated over the years, visit www.scrapbookretailermagazine.com
and click on Beth Maurer's blog entry, "Farewell Home Sewing
NEW COLUMNS THIS ISSUE
Collage. A mother explains why she scrapbooks. You will
never read a better explanation of the importance of scrapbooking.
Research. The section is updated to include ordering info
for Craftrends' 2007 Consumer Participation Survey and
Creating Keepsakes' new Scrapbooking in America study.
Did you miss the CLN newsbrief reporting on the shutting
down of the Home Sewing Association? Here it is.
Note: If a column appears to be an "old" column, click
on the "Refresh" or "Reload" button on your
TAKE THE CLN POLL: SO,
HOW WAS 2007?
A year ago the CLN poll asked readers to predict how their
businesses would fare in 2007. Now it's time to give '07 a report
card. We'll report the results in the next issue and compare the two
polls. To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or
CLN POLL: THE PRESIDENTIAL
Among Republicans in this unscientific poll, Rudy Giuliani surged
past Mike Huckabee with 25.7% of the votes; Huckabee was a close
second with 22.9%. Mitt Romney was third with 18.6%, followed by
John McCain with 14.3%. Ron Paul was next with 10.0%. Duncan Hunter
and Tom Tancredo did not receive any votes.
Barack Obama topped the Democrats with 37.8%, passing Hillary
Clinton who had 28.4%. John Edwards was third with 18.9%, followed
by Joe Biden (9.5%), Bill Richardson (4.1%), and Dennis Kucinich
(1.4%). Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel did not receive any votes.
HSA SHUTS DOWN
The board of directors of the Home Sewing Association voted
to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) due to the verdict
that went against HSA in a wrongful termination suit. (To read the
official statement, click on Newsbriefs in the left-hand column or
The 1996 lawsuit by an office receptionist involved her
termination while on unpaid medical leave for cancer treatment. The
court awarded her a judgment of $126,295.23, plus $75,000 in legal
expenses. That, plus HSA's legal expenses, were apparently what
broke the HSA bank. The lawsuit was filed in 1996 and the verdict
came a decade later, a sign of how slow the U.S. legal system can
Although HSA is closing its doors at the end of this year, there
will be trade shows. The sewing category's spring show, the International
Textiles Expo, which is operated independently by industry
veteran Pat Kobishyn, will be held Mar. 31-Apr. 2 at the Rio Hotel
in Las Vegas. Pat also hopes to continue a fall show. Info on the
spring show should be online this week at www.textileshows.com;
in the meantime, call 516-596-3937.
CRAFTRENDS REVEALS NEW
The December issue of Craftrends contains the new 2007
Consumer Participation Survey. Some highlights:
Major Categories: "Miscellaneous, Overall" was
the most popular area with 77% of respondents reporting they had
purchased a product in the past year. Papercrafts/Scrapbooking was
next with 73%, followed by Fabrics/Sewing/Quilting at 71%, General
Crafts at 68%, Books/Magazines at 65%, Art Supplies at 58%, and
Needlearts at 55%.
(Note: all of the subcategories listed below either
increased or decreased more than the study's margin of error, which
Papercraft/Scrapbooking: Sub-categories showing a decline
from the 2006 study were paper, stickers, adhesives, scissors,
albums, embellishments, and tools. No sub-category increased.
Fabrics/Sewing/Quilting: Thread; home dec, quilting, and
garment fabrics; patterns; batting; and imprintable fabric sheets
increased. No sub-category declined.
General Crafts: Sub-categories on the rise were beads and
wire, although jewelrymaking was within the margin of error. Florals
showed a decline.
Books/Magazines: The overall category showed a strong
increase, thanks to, obviously, increases in books and magazines.
Needlearts: The category showed a nice increase, thanks to
increases in yarn, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and needlework.
Art Supplies: The category showed a small increase, as
brushes, paper/canvas, and fabric paint rose.
Miscellaneous: Seasonal products declined, but gift
bags/tags, supply organizers/totes, and organizers for home and home/furniture rose.
To see a more detailed summary of the study, visit www.craftrends.com
and click on Cover Story in the left-hand column. An expanded
version will be available in mid-January.
A.C. MOORE TO HELP MILITARY VETS, FAMILIES
A.C. Moore has partnered with Connect And Join, a military family
support and education organization, to launch in-store and online
initiatives that support members of the military and their families.
Plans include A) A discount program for military families.
B) Connect And Join publications and products will be featured
in the stores. C) A.C. Moore becomes the official retail
chain sponsor of the Quilts for Warriors program, designed to
create 10,000 quilts for "Warriors in Transition," wounded
soldiers recuperating in one of 32 installations in the U.S. and
abroad. (Visit www.quiltsforwarriors.com.)
D) The retailer is the national sponsor of Month of the
Military Child in April. Visit www.monthofthemilitarychild.com
The Quilts for Warriors program was launched last month at
The Quilt Merchant, an independent quilt shop in Winfield,
IL. Children worked on "Courage!" a quilt designed by shop
owner Docia Fuller.
A.C. Moore CEO Rick Lepley said, "We are delighted to have
this relationship with Connect And Join. Many of us are members of
military families, too. The son of our VP of Store Operations was
recently wounded by an IED in Baghdad and evacuated to Walter Reed.
One of our store managers has both a son and a daughter in the
Marine Corps. My own son is at Ft. Bragg, so being able to support
and interact with military families is important to us, and we are
personally interested in furthering the aims of organizations like
Connect And Join and events like Month of the Military Child."
2007: THE YEAR'S TOP NEWS;
PRODUCTS & STORES
Stores. There are fewer outlets selling our industry's
products compared to a year ago, particularly in fabric and
needlework, as Hancock closed numerous stores, Rag Shop shut
down, and Wal-Mart started reducing stores with fabric and
dropped needlework. More scrapbook stores closed than opened and Michaels
announced it was closing its Recollections stores. For the
most part Michaels, Jo-Ann's, and A.C. Moore concentrated
on improving margins by increased direct sourcing, pressuring
vendors, and investing in infrastructure.
Bankruptcy. Pacific Rim, a major supplier in the gifts and
decorative accessories, filed for Chapter 11. ... Hancock
filed for Chapter 11, with $242 million in assets and $161 million
in debts and announced it was closing another 104 stores. ... Paper
Zone filed for Chapter 11 and announced it would close its Memories
& More stores but would continue to operate its
10 stores. ... After forcing vendors to accept 25 cents on the
dollar or the company would declare bankruptcy in 2006, Rag Shop filed
for bankruptcy in 2007 with "... no funds available for
distribution to unsecured creditors."
Scrapbooking. The year was filled with controversy: A. Provo's
Minimum Advertising Policy, later scrapped, for its Cricut
machine. B. The SMART Group was sold to the Photo
Marketing Assn. and encouraged retailers and vendors to choose
the PMA show which was "co-locating" with MemoryTrends,
rather than the CHA winter show. Later a number of major
vendors placed ads saying they would be attending the CHA show. C.
Contrasting studies: A study by The SMART Group says
scrapbooking is waning; studies by CHA and Creating Keepsakes report
the category is still growing. D. A mixup in Creating
Keepsakes' Hall of Fame competition unleashed a torrent of
message-board and blog complaints from scrappers claiming the
industry was ignoring and/or disrespecting them.
Wal-Mart. Dropped fabric in its new and remodeled stores
and is merging crafts and party goods into a
"Celebrations" department, much to the consternation of
numerous sewing enthusiasts. Later the company informed its vendors
– on short notice – that it was dropping needlework (but not
yarn). The company, whose stock has basically stagnated since mid
1999, continues to scramble to satisfy its critics and Wall Street.
2007: THE YEAR'S TOP NEWS:
ACQUISITION & PUBLICITY
Publicity. The industry generated huge amounts of coverage
in national and local newspapers, magazines, and television, but not
all of it was positive. The Wall Street Journal called the
industry "dowdy" and Newsweek painted an
unflattering picture of scrapbookers involved in the Creative
Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest.
Acquisitions, I. Time Warner sold Leisure Arts,
valued at $22 million, to Liberty Media Corp. ... Pepperell
Braiding acquired Holgate Toy, manufacturer of pre-school wooden
toys ... Interweave Press acquired the PBS series Needle
Arts Studio from Shay Pendray, and Quilting Arts and Cloth
Paper Scissors magazines from Quilting Arts. ... Aldik's
senior management and Encore Consumer Capital purchased Aldik from
Acquisitions, II. GTCR Golder Rauner, which had previously
acquired EK Success, acquired Wilton Industries and Dimensions.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia invested $10 million in return for
an 11% stake in the company. Dimensions includes Perler
brand, Inkadinkado, and K & Co. ... Jo-Ann's
purchased the remaining 62% interest of IdeaForest.com, the parent
company of Joann.com, giving the retailer full ownership of the
company. ... The NY investment firm Pilot Group purchased the North
American Membership Group publisher of HomeArts, the
official publication of the Creative Home Arts Club and the
largest-circulation general craft magazine. ... Chartpak
purchased the MACO® Label and Tag business unit of ACCO Brands.
Acquisitions, III. Advantus has acquired the product lines
of AMM ... Yarn manufacturer Spinrite was acquired by
Spinrite Acquisition Corp., a company indirectly controlled by
Sentinel Capital Partners, a NY private equity firm. ... R.R.
Donnelley & Sons acquired Cardinal Brands, a manufacturer
of the Generations™ line of scrapbook products. ... Teters
Floral Products was acquired from Decorative Concepts by a group
of senior managers and an investment group. ... Amos Publications
acquired Rubber Stamper Magazine from Hobby Publications
and will merge it with Crafts 'n Things. ... American
Traditional Designs is now a division of Momemta, a consumer
products company. ... Li’l Davis Designs joined Fiskars.
Colorbok completed the acquisition of Creative Crafts,
also known as California Creations.
2007: THE YEAR'S TOP NEWS:
People. Industry veterans moved – Ken Phillips to Midwest
Products as Dir. of Sales ... Jim Tierney, to Activa as
National Sales Manager ... Tom Wierzbicki to Martingale as
President/CEO ... Michele DeFay to Wrights as VP of Marketing
... Miriam Davis to Wrights as Dir. of Product
Development/National Accounts ... Denice Steinmann to Polyform
as President ... Bob Kaslik to Interweave Press as VP of
Consumer Marketing ... Independent retailer Lisa Kanak to Crafter's
Home as Dir. of Marketing and Member Relations ... Jerry Payton
to Widget Products as President ... Stephen Koenig to Interweave
as Book Publisher/VP of Marketing and Sales ... Rick Crofton to Uchida
of America as Midwest Regional Manager ... T.J. Harty to Interweave
as VP of Technology ... Todd Spang to Colorbok as VP of Sales
... Beth Mauro as Executive Editor of Scrapbook Retailer ...
Jerry Cohn to President/CEO of Simplicity Pattern while
retaining his position as President/CEO of Wrights. ...
Ronald Cooper, formerly of The Boston Consulting Group, became
President/CEO of Creativity.
Martha. Martha Stewart told the largest crowd to attend a
CHA show keynote speech that she doesn't follow trends, she
"makes them." In late spring she unveiled her 650-sku
line of Martha Stewart Crafts in Michaels, which
generated an enormous amount of publicity for the industry. Later
her company announced a long-term endorsement deal with SVP
Worldwide, the manufacturer of Singer, Husqvarna Viking,
and Pfaff sewing machines. CEO Susan Lyne, CEO of Martha
Stewart Omnimedia, hinted to stock market analysts that the company would
expand beyond its initial craft offerings to include jewelrymaking,
wearables, and yarn.
Chain People. A.C. Moore named industry veteran Craig
Davis Sr. (from Cracker Barrel, Jo-Ann's) as VP of Merchandising and
Marketing. ... Michaels named Brian Cornell (from Safeway) as CEO.
... Wal-Mart named John Fleming (from Target) Chief
Merchandising Officer. A.C. Moore hired Daniel Maguire (from
DOTS and Jo-Ann's) as VP of Store Planning and Visual Presentation
and Michael Zawoysky (from Foot Locker) as VP of Financial Planning
and Analysis. ... Hancock named Joseph Borbely (from Applied
Cash Advance) as Sr. VP of Store Operations. ... A.C. Moore named
Joseph Jeffries (from Office Depot) Exec VP of Operations. ... John
Menzer, former CEO of the old Ben Franklin and now a top exec at
Wal-Mart, has been moved to Chief Administrative Officer and no
longer oversees U.S. stores. Now the U.S. stores chief, Eduardo
Castro-Wright, will report directly to CEO Lee Scott, rather than to
Condolences. Once again the industry lost some fine
people: Tom Johnson, formerly of Mangelsen's, Leewards, and
Jo-Ann's. ... Jason Ruebens, founder of Pioneer Photo Albums.
... retired veteran Ben Franklin execs Darwin Lytl and Bob
Paetow. ... Helen Walton, the wife of Wal-Mart founder
Sam Walton ... James Paul Dupey, the father of Mike Dupey who
founded Michaels ... Tom Dubay, formerly of Sulyn Industries
and Fibre-Craft. ... Designer/painter and C&T Publishing author Laurel
Burch. ... Sylvia (Syl) Pearson of Clover Needlecraft.
They will all be missed.
NOVEMBER SALES REPORT: MIXED
The sales data is particularly confusing this month because the
November reporting period included nine post-Thanksgiving shopping
days versus two days last year. For example, Target's sales grew
10.8% because of the calendar shift, but would have increased only
1.1% on a calendar-adjusted basis, and the company warned it might
miss its fourth-quarter goals if sales did not "meaningfully
improve" in December.
Wal-Mart's U.S. same-store sales rose 1%, missing estimates of a
1.2% gain, while Sam's Club sales climbed 4.3%, exceeding forecasts.
Even with the additional post-Thanksgiving selling days, Thomson
Financial reported that 44% of 43 retailers beat analysts' November
sales, while 51% of them missed, MarketWatch reported.
Not all sales are in stores. On the Dec. 1-2 weekend, QVC
received orders worth $105+ million, plus another $25 million on
QVC.com, the highest in the company's 21-year history.
Internet sales continued to grow, as did sales of gift cards,
whose revenue is not "counted" until the cards are
CALL FOR TRADE SHOW PRODUCT
Attention exhibitors at the upcoming TNNA and CHA
shows: When the new products you will unveil at a show are on your
website, send CLN a brief description, show booth number, and
URL. We'll list the info and link to your site in upcoming, pre-show
issues. Email CLN at email@example.com.
NEWS FROM THE SOCIETY OF
1. Advance registration for the 2008 convention/show in
Tampa May 26-31 is now available. Visit www.decorativepainters.org.
2. SDP members are painting cards of thanks and support
for U.S. service personnel who are stationed in or have returned
from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wooden cards are painted with
beautiful designs and a heartfelt message, then hand-delivered to
veterans’ hospitals, National Guard armories, and other
facilities. For more info about Paint for Freedom, including
free downloadable patterns, visit www.decorativepainters.org.
3. A painting exhibit of works by 80+ SDP members will
tour six to eight locations in Japan in January and February,
sponsored by Mitsukoshi department store and Sankei Newspaper Co.
Japanese companies Craft & Paint Age and Aipurawan are hosting
4. A new program has been launched to increase SDP's
membership. Current SDP members can earn all or part of their membership by recruiting new members. Business and international
members can participate, too.
EMAIL: THE DEATH OF HSA
We all knew there were frustrations among members within the Home
Sewing Association, but closing down the association is very
distressful. Clover Needlecraft has been a member of the Home
Sewing Association for more than 25 years. I personally have enjoyed
being a part of
the association for over 35 years. The home sewing industry as we
all know has suffered for many years with little direction and
growth, but losing our association is not good.
However, in the past year and looking forward we see some new
light in the home sewing industry as it is showing renewed interest
from young and old. Losing the association surely will not be good
for the renewed interest in sewing. I have to believe the Quilt
Market and the International Textile shows will surely
continue the interest in the sewing industry in general.
I would hope CHA would consider focusing more on the
sewing industry and possibly pull together an arm of the CHA association just for the sewing
retailers who could join and attend the two CHA shows. Most of the
vendors already attend the CHA show and it would be a natural for
the sewing retailers. They would also gain a broader knowledge of
the total creative arts industries and possibly help these retailers
add more dimension for their shops. – Jan Carr, Clover
EMAIL: THE LAWYERS WIN
As a former labor and employment law litigator, I was
disheartened to learn of the Home Sewing Association's
demise, in part because of litigation liability. It has been my
experience that in most cases the only winners when an employment
discrimination case goes to trial are the lawyers. – Wayne
Schwartzman, McGill Inc.
EMAIL: IS THE INTERNET THE
One of the biggest problems with young manufacturers (myself
included) is that many of us are products of the Internet
scrapbooking/stamping world. We started as hobbyists who frequented
message boards and found our way into the manufacturers' and
retailers' worlds – while still taking cues from the Internet
We read the strong voices coming from the message boards and
Internet groups and we feel they are speaking for everyone, when, in
fact, they are not! But when the owner of a company was one of those
strong voices and had been part of an online community for so long,
they feel those voices are the industry. They forget about
the buyers who have never ventured into the Internet world of their
hobby. – Name Withheld (Manufacturer)
RANDOM NOTES, RANDOM THOUGHTS
1. CLN's industry poll on the political campaigns
really seems to mirror reality. Normally I can check the results a
few days after a poll question has been online and write the story,
just updating the final statistics at the last minute. This time I
had to completely re-write the report three times because the
leaders kept changing as more readers voted.
2. Watch for a great new member benefit for CHA member
retailers. Details in the next issue, but it alone will be worth the
3. Without question, the disturbing part of CK's 2007 Scrapbooking
in America survey is the decline in the percentage of
respondents who classified themselves as novices. It was 34% in the
first study conducted in 2001, and now it's down to 9%. Every hot
trend in the industry eventually faded when it stopped attracting
newcomers. For highlights from the study, see Craftrends'
December issue; for info on ordering the study, click on Industry
Research in the left-hand column or click HERE.
ACQUISITION. Chatterbox has been purchased by Ultra-Pro,
the corporate parent of 7 Gypsies. Melody Ross remains as
head of design. Warehouse and shipping operations move to City of
Commerce, CA, Ultra-Pro's headquarters.
SHOWS, I. The deadline for online and pre-registering for
the TNNA Long Beach show is this Wednesday, Dec. 19. Visit www.tnna.org.
... TNNA is changing its 2008 Fall Needlecraft Market. It will be
Sept. 14-15 at the new Embassy Suites Hotel/Spa in St. Charles, MO,
just outside of St. Louis. Rather than primarily cash-n-carry, this
market will be for vendors who want order-only, order and
cash-n-carry, or cash-n-carry. Details will be available at the
January Long Beach show. ... The 2008 Toy Fair 2008 is Feb.
17-20. Visit www.toyassociation.org.
SHOWS, II. The major social event of the CHA Winter
Show will be an evening of dining, dancing and star-gazing at the
Hollywood Pictures backlot in Disney’s California Adventure® .
It's Tues., Feb. 12, 6-10 p.m. The pre-show fee is $50 for CHA
members, $100 for non-members. Onsite (subject to availability) it's
$75 for members, $125 for non-members. Transportation will be
provided from CHA hotels. Visit www.chashow.org
for a schedule of programs and events, exhibitor listings, travel
discounts, etc. ... Dec. 17 is the last date for CHA Winter
Show exhibitors to order show attendee/buyer member mailing labels.
click on Exhibitor Information, then Power Marketing Program.
COMPANY FOR SALE. Color Your Own T-Shirts and Posters has
many original designs including science, nature, fun, fine art, etc.
Very educational with solid potential to be carried in museum, toy,
specialty, and chain stores. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed info.
SCRAPBOOKS. Inspired by recent controversies, the Salt
Lake Tribune asked scrapbookers to submit a one- or two-page
layout poking fun at the industry or themselves for the "It's
Just Scrapbooking. Get Over It" contest. To see the winners,
... The Nov. 8 entry in Kim Guymon's ScrapBiz blog, www.kimguymon.com,
explains in detail why it's so critical to attract new consumers to
scrapbooking. The ScrapBiz site is www.scrapbiz.com.
... The negative publicity continues regarding some scrapbookers'
reactions to the Hall of Fame imbroglio. Now a radio station, KSL in
Salt Lake, is reporting on it. Visit www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=2288019.
(And read the comments.)
PEOPLE. Victor Domine was named Public Relations Manager
for CHA ... Bill Reed, formerly of Meredith and F+W
Publications and had served as Chair of the HIA board of
directors, is the COO of CFM Religion Publishing, a private
equity-backed educational Christian book publisher in Cincinnati.
... Mrs. Grossman's named John Luff as COO and Lara Starr as
Marketing Director. Luff is from Applied Materials, Arthur Anderson,
and Apple Computers. Starr has worked for Riverdeep, The Learning
WILTON CRAFTS. Promoted Terri Clair to Sr. VP of Sales for
E.K. Success, K & Co., and Dimensions.
Colin Duncan, VP of Sales & Marketing for Dimensions,
will be responsible for new business opportunities and international
sales ventures for Crafts, and marketing coordination for the Dimensions
brands. Rich Ezra, VP of Creative Services, will be responsible for
overseeing all marketing activities for the Crafts divisions. The
Crafts independent accounts team will be led by National Sales
Manager Cindy Andrade.
HANCOCK. Filed a motion with the bankruptcy court
requesting it to extend until Apr. 30 the period during which the
company has the exclusive right to file a reorganization plan ...
The company seems to be making progress. For the month ending Nov. 3
Hancock reported earnings of $2,000 on sales of $25.1 million. The
previous month's sales were $26 million, but there was a loss of
QUOTATION. "I actually chased an SUV [driven by an
escaping shoplifter] through the parking lot, my cell phone in one
hand, my radio in the other, talking to 911. It gets your adrenaline
going." – Brian Harris, Manager of the Hobby Lobby store
in Rock Hill, SC
ROLODEX. Lucidiom's new mailing address: 21730 Red Rum
Dr., Ste. 182, Ashburn, VA 20147.
JOB OPENING. Interweave Press is looking for an Ad Media
Sales Director for its Fiber Division. Media sales experience across
multiple advertising categories a plus; high Internet literacy;
expert at using research and creative to develop and present
compelling proposals to prospective clients. Send a cover letter,
resume, and salary requirements to the Staffing Specialist at jobs@Interweave.com,
fax 970-613-4624, or mail to 201 E. 4th St., Loveland, CO 80537.
BOOKS. Digital & Hybrid Scrapbooking and
Card-Making with Photoshop Elements by Patty Debowski is a
384-page how-to manual, in plain English, for scrapbookers who want
to learn digital techniques with step-by-step instructions. For info
and wholesale orders, visit www.thedigitalscrapbookteacher.com.
DESIGNERS. The Assn. of Knitwear Designers held a
special election required under the recent restructuring and
incorporation of the organization. Elected are Jill Wolcott,
President; Angelika Burles, VP; Theresa Belville, Secretary; Carole
Kuhn, Treasurer; and Joanne Seiff, Chrissy Gardiner, and Jennifer
Hagan, Directors at Large. Membership in TNNA, educational
opportunities, and standards of practice are some issues AKD will be
addressing. For more info, visit www.knitwear-designers.org.
QUOTATIONS. From a recent article in the Arkansas
Democrat Gazette and the Denver Post: "The Internet
has been one of the forces behind the craft renaissance." – Carla
Sinclair, Editor of Craft magazine ... "Flipping
through a stack of pictures is not the thing now. People want their
scrapbooks to be an expression of who they are." – Jennifer
Perkins, co-host of Craft Lab on the DIY Network.
INSURANCE. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed
and sent to the floor a bill requiring employers to provide the same
insurance coverage for mental illness as they do for other medical
services. A competing bill was approved last month by the Senate,
which the health insurance lobby and the Bush administration
strongly support, the Washington Times reported. Both
versions would result in slightly higher premiums for
employer-sponsored health care, according to Congressional Budget
Office estimates, the Times reported.
CONDOLENCES. To the family of Mrs. Sylvia (Syl) Pearson
who died of cancer at age 58. Syl was Education Director and show
demonstrator for Clover Needlecraft and worked in the
industry for 35+ years as a fabric and notions buyer for various
retailers and distributors. Clover will honor Syl with a memorial at
the TNNA, CHA, and Quilt Market shows this year.
CLN STOCK INDEX: A.C. Moore: $12.60, down $3.27 ...
Jo-Ann's: $13.36, down $3.10 ... Wal-Mart: $47.63, down $0.27 ... CLN
Index: down 8.2% ... Dow Jones: 13,339.85, down 0.2%. (Note: All
changes in price are since 11/30 and are exclusive of dividends.)
THE CREATIVE NETWORK: JOB
To see the latest listings from the only personnel recruitment
firm specializing in our industry, click on Jobs in the left-hand
column or click HERE.
MEMO FROM SANTA
(Note: Reprinted by popular demand.)
The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have taken the
early retirement package has triggered concern about other
restructuring decisions at the North Pole.
Streamlining was appropriate considering the North Pole no longer
dominates the season's gift distribution business. Wal-Mart and home
shopping channels have diminished Santa's market share, and he could
not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.
The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of
an imported sled for the CEO's annual trip, and the reduction in
reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which
the North Pole has received unfavorable press.
Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for
something at the North Pole. Management denies, in the strongest
possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose became that
way not from the cold but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph
"a lush" was an unfortunate comment made by one of Santa's
helpers and taken out of context at a time of year when he is known
to be under executive stress.
Today's global challenges require the North Pole to continue to
be more competitive. Effective immediately, the following economy
measures will be implemented in the Twelve Days of Christmas
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned
out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic
hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance. The
two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple
case of the band getting too large. Replacing them with an
outsourced string quartet will produce savings which will drop to
the bottom line.
Furthermore, retailers are insisting we drop-ship; after all,
stretching deliveries over twelve days was inefficient.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking
expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers
a-suing"), action is pending.
Finally, deeper cuts may be necessary to stay competitive. Should
that happen, management will scrutinize the Snow White division to
see if seven dwarfs is the right number.
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January January 7. Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday
season and a prosperous New Year.