Saturday, January 20, 2007

Walmart to Eliminate Fabric Department

I try to avoid Walmart for all the good reasons -- the way it treats its employees, the way it squeezes its suppliers, and the way it has changed the landscapes of our towns and villages and helped to create the suburban mall sprawl. It is also a very depressing place to shop -- aisles piled with cheap goods from China and customers who are living on the downside of the American dream.

But today I had to buy a lot of patterns, fabric and notions to costume a huge show. Do you have any idea how much patterns sell for these days? They are in the range of $15 - $20 per pattern. Walmart sells them for half price. They can be found for similar rates online, but then you add in shipping and handling and the cost goes back up.

For the sake of my low budget theatre productions, I have continued to enter Walmart to buy patterns and to look over their dollar a yard fabric table as well. Today I found long lines of shoppers in the fabric store snapping up fabric by the bolt -- everything was 25% off. The clerks told us that Walmart is going through a big change which includes eliminating the sewing department. Except for four stores, the closest of which will be in Canton -- ack! I don't want to drive to Canton for patterns and fabric, but if I go to JoAnne's I'll be stuck paying the high prices. So I invested in a lot of patterns today! Some will be used on this show and some in future shows, I'm sure.

By the way, you can get vintage patterns like the one pictured above online. A pattern originally sold for 35 cents is now going for $22. Check your attics -- vintage patterns are apparently as collectable and expensive as comic books!


microdot said...

And that's what happened to America.
4th Avenue and the streets that rena off of it between St. Marks Place and 14th Street in Manhattan used to be a goldmine of used book sellers. I had a friend who walked into one of the places one day and walked out with an inscribed copy of a book by Oscar Wilde to hsi boyfriend for 4 dollars in 1978. One by one, due to fent increases they disappeared, but the killing blow was Barnes and Nobles. For years there were 2 Barnes and Nobles on 5th Fifth Ave. The one at 18th Street sold textbooks and the one at 17th Street was a bookseller like the chain we know today, Except they had a used book business...suddenly, they expanded and in the basement, which ran half the legnth of the block, there were thousand upon thousands of used books. Most for a dollar. II have to admit, I got some pretty good deals there, but they put all the used booksellers out of business, then they discontinued it...I'll always miss Pageant Books on East 11th Street.

Village Green said...

As long as there are bibliophiles there will be used book stores. The sensuality of browsing books, picking them up, hefting and sniffing, turning the pages, checking out the gilt edges, the leather binding, the exquisite illustrations.

I buy a lot of used books online these days from dealers around the world. Some have shops, some deal only online. It is the small independent book stores that have been wiped out -- you can't compete in the new book business with the chains.

My favorite book store in NYC is Savoy Books. They have a theatre section that goes on for shelves and shelves -- truly a book paradise for me!

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, Barnes and Noble stores are alive
and thriving. There is one close to me at 6th Ave.
and 21st St. As to the other stores you mention,
I share your nostalgia. I used to work near
Pageant. The Strand is still alive and kicking. ***