Since last fall, various blogs have posted that Wal-Mart was removing fabric bolts from its stores. Then rumors circulated soon afterwards that WalMart was bringing back the fabric. Yet my family living in the rural Midwest was still complaining about the lack of fabric. Alas, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman was quoted in the most recent American Sewing Guild member newsletter, indicating that fabric would return “in some markets.” While not very informative, it does indicate an official response, whereas the blogs and Web sites are filled with eye-witness customer accounts of fabric/no fabric.
I want to disclose that I am no fan of Wal-Mart, and happily I never have to shop there for fabric or anything else. There are no Wal-Mart stores close by, and I would pass up dozens of other better stores on the way. However, I see myself as an advocate for sewers/sewists, and for sewing choices. I’m aware that some customers have no other choice for starting or continuing quilting and sewing projects. For that reason, I hope that Wal-Mart restocks — and expands — its fabric and sewing notions department. I’m glad to hear that the company recognizes a market to serve, and hope they have listened to their customers.
Do you shop for fabric at Wal-Mart? Has the selection expanded or shrunk over the last few years? If fabric has disappeared at your local Wal-Mart, have you asked about any plans to reestablish the department? What do you think about Wal-Mart fabric quality? If you’ve got answers or experience to share, others would love to hear them. (I continue to get so many comments on my Sewing News: Jo-Ann Fabrics Sold story, so you can be sure that others are listening!)