Joann Fabrics And Crafts Files For Bankruptcy After 81 Years In Business


Joann Fabrics and Crafts has officially filed for bankruptcy. The company made the announcement on Monday and said that it could become privately owned as soon as April. Leading up to bankruptcy, Joann had been struggling with customers cutting back on nonessential spending.

Formally stylized as JOANN Fabrics and Crafts, Joann is a retail chain operated by Jo-Ann Stores, LLC, which also operates Jo-Ann Etc. It deals in textiles, supplies for sewing and knitting, and notions, comprised of smaller accessories used for making clothes. Jo-Ann Stores has been operating since 1943.


Joann Fabrics and Crafts files for bankruptcy

Joan Fabrics and Crafts filed for bankruptcy / Flickr

According to a press release, despite filing for bankruptcy, Joann will continue to operate its 850 stores like normal. “There is no other retailer with the same ability to serve sewists, quilters, crocheters, crafters and other creative enthusiasts as we have for the past 80 years,” said chief customer officer and co-lead of the interim office of the CEO Chris DiTullio, “and we take great pride in seeing the passion and engagement of our millions of customers and our Team Members.”


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Specifically, Joann filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and secured $132 million in new funding. This money will cut the company’s debt in half.

“This agreement is a significant step forward in addressing Joann’s capital structure needs,” assured chief financial officer Scott Sekella, “and it will provide us with the financial resources and flexibility necessary to continue to deliver best-in-class product assortments and enhance the customer experience wherever they are shopping with us.”

Unprecedented times through the craft supply giant into uncharted waters

Joann enjoyed an increase in business during the pandemic / Flickr

Like with many unexpected changes in fortune, some of Joann’s situation traces back to the COVID-19 pandemic. Except, for Joann, this was a brief respite; where restaurants, salons, and other similar in-person public services struggled, Joann’s flourished as people stuck at home sought to secure craft supplies and take up a new hobby. For some, it was a means of whittling away the hours in lockdown; for others, it became a meditative coping mechanism during that unprecedented time.

All 850 stores are expected to run as usual / Wikimedia Commons

With inflation taking hold, however, this trend has since reversed. Since then, Joann has been delisted from Nasdaq, which effectively means it is no longer trading on a major exchange.

“The bankruptcy of Joann has been looming for a long time and was always a matter of when, rather than if,” admitted Saunders, managing director and retail analyst for GlobalData. “The bankruptcy process will now allow the arts and crafts chain to receive an infusion of cash at the same time as streamlining its operations and reducing debt levels.”

Inflation and changes in consumer spending have caused Joann’s debt to increase beyond its means of contending / Wikimedia Commons

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