Jo-Ann Stores

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Jo-Ann Stores Inc.
IndustryCrafts and Fabrics
FoundedCleveland, Ohio (1943)
HeadquartersHudson, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Wade Miquelon (CEO)
OwnerLeonard Green & Partners
Number of employees
A typical Jo-Ann store, in Henderson, Nevada
Jo-Ann store on US 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts

Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. is an American specialty retailer of crafts and fabrics based in Hudson, Ohio. It operates the retail chains JOANN Fabrics and Crafts and Jo-Ann Etc. The headquarters of the company is located in the former General Motors Terex plant.


Beginnings and Northeast Ohio roots[edit]

In 1943, German immigrants Hilda and Berthold Reich and their friends Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach opened a store selling imported cheese in Cleveland, Ohio. The store slowly grew, though it became clear that increased growth would require a greater diversity of items. Subsequently, by 1960, fabric was added to its lineup of items, which sold so well that a second store was opened, which exclusively sold clothing. With no money for additional inventory, the two families divided their capital into two chains to supply both stores. Eventually, they discontinued cheese sales altogether in 1967 and began operating under the name Cleveland Fabric Shop. After further expansion, in 1969, the name was changed to Jo-Ann Fabrics. The store's name was created by combining the names of the daughters from both families: Joan and Jacqueline Ann. The Rohrbach family also founded two other Cleveland-based businesses—Decorative Hardware Supply, Inc. and Factory Windows Direct, LLC, which still operates in Cleveland.[2][3]

Fabri-Centers of America Inc.[edit]

In 1969, Jo-Ann Fabrics became a publicly held corporation traded on the American Stock Exchange under the name of Fabri-Centers of America, Inc. During the 1970s, Jo-Ann Fabrics opened stores in shopping malls. By the 1980s, they had left most mall strips and added a diversity of items, from crafts to floral types. In 1994, the company made its first acquisition with the purchase of Cloth World, a 342-store southern company. At the time of the acquisition, Fabri-Centers operated 655 stores.[3]

In 1997, Fabri-Centers settled for $3.3 million on Federal charges that it had misled investors in 1992 by overstating its earnings before it sold securities. CEO Alan D. Rosskamm, grandson of Hilda and Berthold Reich, settled a related administrative complaint as well.[4][3]

Jo-Ann Stores Inc.[edit]

In 1998, Fabri-Centers acquired House of Fabrics, which also had operated as Fabricland, Fabric King, and So-Fro Fabrics. The company then changed its name to Jo-Ann Stores Inc., and all of its stores were renamed Jo-Ann Fabrics. Today, Jo-Ann Fabrics is a national retailer of fabrics, crafting, decorating, and sewing products.

In 2006, Darrell Webb became Chairman and CEO.[3]

On December 23, 2010, Jo-Ann Stores announced plans to sell out to private equity firm Leonard Green for $1.6 billion and was delisted from the stock exchange in March 2011.[5][6] In 2011, Travis Smith became CEO after joining the company in 2006.[7] In 2015, the company named Jill Soltau as president, chief executive officer and a member of the company board of directors.[8] Under Soltau's leadership, the retailer opposed President Trump's tariffs citing American manufacturers not being able to meet Jo-Ann's quality or volume needs. She joined seven other retail CEOs at a meeting with the administration where they discussed how the tariff would raise consumer prices and hurt businesses.[9][10][11] In 2018, Jo-Ann Stores rebranded to "Joann" as a way to move beyond fabrics and encompass more craft.[12]

In 2018, Soltau left Jo-Ann Stores and in 2019 Wade Miquelon became President, CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors.[13]


In September 2012, Jo-Ann Stores introduced Project Runway season six contestant Christopher Straub as the spokesperson for National Sewing Month[14] (September). This endorsement included a contest, series of videos, and in-store promotions.


Store classes[edit]

Some Jo-Ann stores offer classes for customers. Subjects taught include knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, painting, jewelry-making, floral design, and food-crafting.[15]

Store locations[edit]

Jo-Ann Stores are located in 49 states.[16] The only state without a Jo-Ann Store is Hawaii, although Jo-Ann Stores will ship to the location via its online store.


  1. ^ "Corporate Information". Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Retrieved 2016-03-12. As of December 10, 2014, we operate approximately 850 stores in 49 states.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2018-09-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Cho, Janet H. "Sixty-seven years of fabrics and crafts". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  4. ^ Eaton, Leslie (1997-02-19). "Fabri-Centers Agrees to Pay $3 Million to Settle Charges". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  5. ^ Carter, Adrienne; Cane, Jeffrey (23 December 2011). "Leonard Green Offers $1.6 Billion for Jo-Ann Stores". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  6. ^ Seth, Shobhit. "10 Most Famous Public Companies That Went Private". Investopedia. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  7. ^ Cho, Janet H. (2014-08-13). "Jo-Ann Stores' President and CEO Travis Smith steps down". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  8. ^ Dealer, Plain (2015-02-13). "Jill Soltau named new Jo-Ann stores president, CEO". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. ^ "Yarn and Fabric Stay on Trump's Tariff List Despite Crafters' Pleas". 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  10. ^ Feloni, Richard. "Here are the 8 retail CEOs who met with Trump to discuss stopping the border tax". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. ^ "Exclusive: Retail CEOs to meet Trump in bid to kill U.S. border tax". Reuters. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  12. ^ "Following Its Rebrand, Joann Is No Longer Your Mom's Fabric Store". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  13. ^ "JOANN Stores Names Wade Miquelon President & CEO | JOANN Online Newsroom". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  14. ^ Jo-Ann Stores and Christopher Straub National Sewing Month[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Store Events: Customer Service". Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Jo-Ann Stores on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-18.

External links[edit]