|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
|Industry||Crafts and Fabrics|
|Founded||Cleveland, Ohio (1943)|
|Headquarters||Hudson, Ohio, U.S.|
Number of locations
|James Kerr, Interim Chief Executive Officer|
|Owner||Leonard Green & Partners|
Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. is a specialty retailer of crafts and fabrics based in Hudson, Ohio. It operates the retail chains Jo-Ann Fabrics and Jo-Ann Etc. The headquarters of the company is located in the former General Motors Terex plant.
Beginnings and Northeast Ohio Roots
In 1943, German immigrants Hilda and Berthold Reich and their friends Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach opened an imported cheese store in Cleveland. Fabric was added, which sold so well that they decided to open a second store. With no money for additional inventory, they divided full bolts into two to supply both stores. Eventually, they discontinued cheese sales and began operating under the name Cleveland Fabric Shop. With 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 and is partially owned by the Rohrbachs' great-grandson, David Wittenberg. 
Fabri-Centers of America Inc.
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 malls and added crafts and floral. 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.
Jo-Ann Stores Inc.
In 1998, Fabri-Centers acquired House of Fabrics, which also operated as Fabricland, Fabric King, and So-Fro Fabrics. The company also changed its name to Jo-Ann Stores Inc., and all of its stores were renamed Jo-Ann Fabrics. Today, Jo-Ann Fabrics is a leading national specialty retailer of crafting, decorating, and sewing products.
In September 2012, Jo-Ann Stores introduced Project Runway season six contestant Christopher Straub as the spokesperson for National Sewing Month (September). This endorsement included a contest, series of videos, and in-store promotions.
Some Jo-Ann stores offer classes in many areas of crafting. These include knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, painting, jewelry-making, floral design, and foodcrafting.
Jo-Ann Stores are now located in 49 states. The only state without a Jo-Ann Store is Hawaii, although Jo-Ann Stores online will still ship there.
- Five New Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Celebrate Grand Openings
- 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.
- Jo-Ann Stores and Christopher Straub National Sewing Month
- "Store Events: Customer Service". Joann.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Jo-Ann Fabrics Stores Locator with map