Who was Joann, and where has she gone??

Pardon me while I blow off some steam.

This week, I decided it’s finally time to invest in a pair of applique scissors.  None of my local quilt shops had any in stock, so yesterday morning I went online to Joanns.com to see what they had.  Bingo!  A pair of Ginger scissors, and on sale, no less!


I gleefully sailed over to Joann’s, happy with the thought that it would soon be easier to trim behind my applique, and I could quit poking holes everywhere.  But when I got there, I saw no signs on the applique scissors.  Instead, they had the entire stock of Fiskars on sale.  And, of course, the only pair of applique scissors in the store were the Gingher ones.  Heart sinking, I asked an employee and was told I must have been looking at last week’s ad.  I told her no, I was looking online that very morning, so the prices were current.  She heard the word “online” and immediately told me it was an online only price.

Do you see the words “online only” anywhere in this ad?


Me either.

You DO see the words “online only” in the product next to the Gingers, but NOT on the Gingher.  Which means I SHOULD be able to get the sale price on the same item in the store.  Right?  And what’s with the price difference between the two pages?  One page says it’s $21.69, the other page says it’s $18.59.  Which is it???

I am so tired of Joann’s shenanigans with their coupons and bait-n-switch pricing.  You go in the store, 40% off coupon in hand, only to discover that what you were going to purchase is already on sale, except it’s only 10% or 20% off, and they won’t let you use the coupon, even if you ask them to charge you the regular, full price.  Every other retailer is happy to do this, no matter what industry they’re in.  I’m tired of trying to communicate with employees who hide behind “Sorry, it’s Corporate Policy, there’s nothing we can do”.  And I’m tired of the never-ending line at the registers – why do they only have one person working a cash register when there’s 10, 11, 12 people in line?  Yet another thing you won’t see another retailer doing!

Who was Joann, and where has she gone?  Was she a quilter?  A seamstress?  A designer?  I know I’m not alone in my frustration with this company.  Would she be horrified at how her name is spoken with disdain and disgust in many circles?  Would she be saddened by how many people say “I hate Joann’s and refuse to shop there”?  Or did she sell out to a big corporation?  Take the money and run?  Did she ever exist?

I was very tempted to print out both of these pages and go back to Joann’s, waving them indignantly at the employee who said I was wrong.  But what good would it do?  I was POSITIVE I’d only hear “Sorry, it’s Corporate Policy” or “There’s nothing I can do” yet again.

So I went to Hancock’s instead, where they were very happy to sell me a pair of applique scissors for $18.89, AND I didn’t have to stand in a freakin’ line to pay for them. Plus, while I was there, I purchased several yards of Kona cotton.

Take that, Joann.


Peggi, I feel your pain! I was standing in line earlier this month with 9 other people (and one cashier!)  and heard someone call JoAnn’s the “Walmart of fabric stores”, and not in a good way. The only good thing about JoAnn’s is that it reinforces the necessity of LQS’s and the need to frequent them to keep them alive!


13 thoughts on “Who was Joann, and where has she gone??

  1. I too have pretty much given up on JoAnn’s. There used to be another craft store, Franks, that did the very same thing. They would REGULARLY run 50% off coupons in the newspaper, but like you said, EVERYTHING was on sale for 10% or 20% off!! Years ago, before JoAnn’s and Cloth World merged, JoAnn’s WOULD take the coupon off of the regular priced item. But no more……….. Corporate policy!! And NOW JoAnn’s MAKES their employees cutting fabric hang a finger on the ONE YARD LINE, so you don’t get any bit more. I’ve been told that the managers watch from the video surveillance cameras. I mean after all, the employees might be thieves. Would YOU want to work under that kind of stress!!

    Oh by the way, Franks went out of business!

  2. And guess what, ordering online isn’t any better there. Last year, I ordered 11 skeins of yarn to knit a sweater. I received ONE…the other ten were out of stock and not even backordered. What???? And look at the price on a yard of their fabrics, same as what you’d pay for top names online, but the quality just isn’t there. I rarely use a coupon there anymore, it’s almost guaranteed that anything I’d want is on sale anyway. Nowadays, I only look for the prepackaged name brand stuff when it goes on sale 40 to 50% off…you know, packaged battings or the notions wall, that kind of thing.

  3. I am so with you on Jo Ann. Actually Jo and Ann were two women. I too have grown weary of their poor customer service and coupons with too much fine print.

  4. Hi Katie,
    Thanks for the link, however I don’t think those will work for me. I already have a similar pair of Kai scissors that I love, which is great for getting into small places. The problem is I keep catching that sharp tip on the fabric and poking holes! I did get the applique scissors, but they’re awkward to use. What I need is something with a rounded tip, so I’m going to go back to Hancock’s and see what they have.

  5. They have some things I like, and their fabric is MUCH better quality than it was 12 years ago, but their customer service is slow and sucky. It’s like Wal-Mart – sometimes they’re the only place I can find a particular thing, or “find it quickly,” but I otherwise avoid the places whenever possible!!! I’d never work there again, that’s for sure!

  6. Yes, yes. I know what you mean. Thought it was just my own impatience behind six other customers and 4 empty cash registers. Especially annoying to look around and see other employees just chatting with each other.

    Hope you find the scissors you need. 🙂

  7. Since I was witness to your JoAnn’s experience, I know your pain and I am in total agreement with you. I would much rather go to a high-priced boutique fabric shop than to shop at JoAnn’s (and you know what a miser I am!)

  8. I hear you with Joann’s! I hate how they have removed brand name items and substituted their own Joann brand, but kept the package SO similar, you don’t know until you get home and it is such an inferior product. I’m talking specifically about stuffing, quilt batting, and I can’t think what else. Try Hobby Lobby. I also hate how they have run the other fabric stores out of business in my area.

    • Hi Maddie! The bad news is, I have no Hobby Lobbies in my area. The good news is, I do have plenty of good local quilt shops, an awesome regional chain called Craft Warehouse, and Fabric Depot, the Mother Lode of fabric stores. I feel pretty lucky, compared to some people I’ve talked to!

  9. Every time I go in Joann’s I vow never to go in again. I always come out madder than a wet hen for all the same reasons you stated. One time I asked a lady at the fabric counter if they had variegated embroidery floss and she had no idea what it was!!!!

  10. Joann’s was named after the daughters (Jo and Ann) of the 2 founders.
    As for lines, I know what you mean, but I try to shop early morning, since I don’t work, and then I’m not clogging up the line when others need to be there later in the day.
    As to store versus online pricing, I finally talked to my local store manager, who is very nice. He told me that “Joann.com” can be considered to be a competitor, so therefore if I bring in my printed out Joann online order…(and he has it in stock) he will match that price!!!! And don’t think I haven’t been doing just that for the past 18 months. Works for me. I would think once you talk to your store manager, perhaps they will give the workers permission to do the same.
    As for coupons, the secret there is to stock up on the 50% off sale items that I plan to use in the next few months, and if I really want some pricier Legacy Studio/ designer fabric, I will use a 40/50% off coupon, as they aren’t on sale often at all.
    I am not making clothing or quilts to last a hundred years (yet), but appreciate all the lower prices I can pay for fabric for my scout troop, charity blankets, and lots of baby/toddler blankets all that I sew for.
    I do drool over the fabric when I visit LQS’s, but I just can’t afford that for what I do now.

  11. I wasted almost an hour at the JoAnns in Boise yesterday morning trying to find something to use my 60 percent off coupon for. Everything was already on sale as you mentioned. When I finally found something for 89.99 (a Xyron creative station I always thought would be nice to have) I proceeded to the register line with it and the five or six other items I picked up that were on sale (a drapery rod, three long sleeved t-shirts, some food coloring and a paper mache letter “S”). None of these items were things I needed really but since I was already in the store (with my patient husband waiting in the car for me), I was going to get them. I had to wait about ten minutes while the ONE clerk slowly took care of a disorganized customer ahead of me. When it was finally my turn, the clerk warned me that the Xyron product may be eligible for use of the discount coupon. I had a back up item in mind (a Sharpie pen behind the registers that appeared to be a color I could use….sort of a shell pink you could use for skin tones). To make a long story short, I ended up just leaving the store without completing the purchase, vowing to stop trying to use JoAnn stores anymore. I will use their coupons to buy things I need at Michael’s instead.

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