Jo-Ann Stores

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Jo-Ann Stores, LLC.
Founded1943 (79 years ago) (1943) in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
  • Hilda and Berthold Reich
  • Justin and Alma Zimmerman
  • Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach
HeadquartersHudson, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
855[1] (2021)
Key people
Wade Miquelon (CEO)
ProductsCrafts and fabrics
RevenueIncrease US$2.7 billion (2021)[2]
Increase US$154 million (2021)[3]
Increase US$212 million (2021)[4]
Total assetsIncrease US$155 million (2021)[5]
Total equityIncrease US$1.366 billion (2021)[6]
OwnerLeonard Green & Partners
Number of employees
23,000 (2021)

Jo-Ann Stores, LLC., more commonly known as Jo-Ann (stylized as JOANN), 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.


In 1943, German immigrants Hilda and Berthold Reich, Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach, and Justin and Alma Zimmerman opened the Fabric Shop in Cleveland, Ohio. After further expansion, in 1963, 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. [7]

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. 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.[7]

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.[8][7]

A typical Jo-Ann store, in Henderson, Nevada
Jo-Ann store on US 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts

In 1998, Fabri-Centers acquired House of Fabrics, which also previously operated as Fabricland, Fabric King, and So-Fro Fabrics.[9] In September 1998, the company changed its name to Jo-Ann Stores Inc.,[10] and all of its stores were renamed Jo-Ann Fabrics.

In March 2006, Darrell Webb became Chairman and CEO of Jo-Ann Fabrics.[7]

On March 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.[11][12] In March 2011, Darrell Webb resigned and Travis Smith was promoted to CEO after joining the company in March 2006.[13] In March 2014, Travis Smith announced his resignation and the company's CFO, Jim Kerr, agreed to become CEO until a replacement was found.[14]

In March 2015, the company named Jill Soltau as president, chief executive officer and a member of the company board of directors.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17][18][19] In March 2018, Jo-Ann Stores rebranded to "Joann" as a way to move beyond fabrics and encompass more craft.[20]

In March 2018, Soltau left Jo-Ann Stores and in March 2019, Wade Miquelon became President, CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors.[21]

In March 2019, Jo-Ann partnered with GoldieBlox for a monthly subscription box called the GoldieBlox Box to help children ages 8 and up to develop STEM skills.[22]

As of March 2020, Joann has 865 stores in 49 states.[23] The company is owned by Leonard Green & Partners[23] and was taken off the public stock exchange.[24]

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chain lost $546.6M in its 2019 fiscal year. However, by the end of the 2020 fiscal year, it made $210.9M to $212.9M and added 9 million new customers. The increase in sales is credited to mask mandates and an increased interest in do-it-yourself projects.[citation needed] In March 2021, The company made plans to create an e-commerce facility in West Jefferson, Ohio to better serve its online sales.[25]

On March 16, 2021, the company went public on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol “JOAN.”[26] Leonard Green & Partners owns a majority stake in the company allowing it to nominate up to five directors.[24]

COVID-19 lockdown controversy[edit]

A Jo-Ann Store in Fresno, California

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jo-Ann received public criticism for keeping many of their stores open amidst health concerns for elderly customers and refusing paid sick leave for employees affected by COVID-19.[27][28] Jo-Ann defended themselves in a statement by claiming that their free mask kits helped local hospitals, which allowed the stores to be considered "essential business,"[29] despite many hospitals rejecting homemade masks.[30] Michigan's governor, Gretchen Whitmer, forced stores to close down in the state after Jo-Ann sent a letter requesting to not be included in stay-at-home orders. Whitmer stressed that the same materials used to create masks are able to be sold online without in-person contact.[31] Most of the materials used in the free mask kits were later revealed to be remnants, which are often sold by Jo-Ann at a discount, leading some media outlets to disparage the program as "just scraps from the clearance bin".[32]


  1. ^ "Craft retailer emphasizing sharing, technology in new test store". 13 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  2. ^ "JOAN Financials". Nasdaq. January 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "JOAN Financials". Nasdaq. January 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "JOAN Financials". Nasdaq. January 30, 2021.
  5. ^ "JOAN Financials". Nasdaq. January 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "JOAN Financials". Nasdaq. January 30, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Cho, Janet H. (December 24, 2010). "Sixty-seven years of fabrics and crafts". Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "House of Fabrics to Be Sold to Rival Retailer for $100 Million". Los Angeles Times. 1998-02-02. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  10. ^ "Fabri-Centers changes name". 1 September 1998. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Seth, Shobhit. "10 Most Famous Public Companies That Went Private". Investopedia. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  13. ^ Cho, Janet H. (2014-08-13). "Jo-Ann Stores' President and CEO Travis Smith steps down". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  14. ^ "Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores says President and CEO Travis Smith has stepped down". Associated Press. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  15. ^ Dealer, Plain (2015-02-13). "Jill Soltau named new Jo-Ann stores president, CEO". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  16. ^ Insider, Kate Taylor, Business. "JCPenney stole the CEO of Joann Stores as she was in the midst of mounting a furious campaign against Trump's tariffs". INSIDER. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  17. ^ "Yarn and Fabric Stay on Trump's Tariff List Despite Crafters' Pleas". Bloomberg. 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  18. ^ Feloni, Richard. "Here are the 8 retail CEOs who met with Trump to discuss stopping the border tax". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  19. ^ "Exclusive: Retail CEOs to meet Trump in bid to kill U.S. border tax". Reuters. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  20. ^ "Following Its Rebrand, Joann Is No Longer Your Mom's Fabric Store". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  21. ^ Grzelewski, Jordyn; Dealer, The Plain (2019-02-05). "JoAnn Stores names new CEO". cleveland. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  22. ^ "Joann puts brainy spin on subscription model". Chain Store Age. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  23. ^ a b "Company Profile". Dun and Bradstreet. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  24. ^ a b Garcia, Tonya. "Joann is going public: 5 things to know about the arts-and-crafts retailer". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  25. ^ "Jo-Ann Stores to create 175 jobs at e-commerce facility in West Jefferson". Retrieved 2021-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ Chen, I.-Chun (2021-03-16). "Joann stock rises initially after company raises $131M in IPO". cleveland. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  27. ^ "These Retailers Refused To Close During The Pandemic, So An Illinois City Shut Them Down". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  28. ^ "JoAnn Fabrics Employees Are Furious They're Working in Crowded Stores After the Company Declared Itself 'Essential'". Vice. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  29. ^ "Essential? Retailers Like Guitar Center and Michaels Think They Are". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  30. ^ "'Thanks, but no thanks': Hospitals are turning away homemade face masks amid coronavirus". Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  31. ^ "JoAnn Fabrics craft stores not 'critical infrastructure,' must close Michigan locations, AG Dana Nessel says". Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  32. ^ "Staff Said The Free Mask Kits At Jo-Ann Fabrics Are Just Scraps From The Clearance Bin". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 2020-04-03.

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