A MAJOR arts and crafts retailer has made a business decision to save money and is laying off its employees.
Jo-Ann, which operates more than 800 stores nationwide, is restructuring its operations.
This includes laying off an unspecified number of its employees.
“While all decisions involving team members are extremely difficult and sensitive, we must do what is best for the company,” Jo-Ann said in a statement to Retail Dive.
“We sincerely thank all affected team members for their work and these changes complete our structural plans.”
No further details were disclosed, including any severance packages or which departments would be affected.
However, the move comes after Jo-Ann’s poor financial performance in the second quarter.
Net sales fell 2.1 percent to $453.8 million in the 13 weeks ended July 29 compared to the same period last year.
And net loss widened to $73.3 million from $56.9 million.
The company said it has “explored every opportunity to improve profitability, drive revenue growth and operate the business more efficiently.”
The move comes after Jo-Ann announced plans in August to hire more than 5,000 team members between September 1 and Saturday, September 2.
However, this announcement was made just days before the craft retailer’s report, so it is unclear whether it was actually implemented.
Currently, Jo-Ann does not have a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Both Chris DiTullio and Scott Sekella are serving as interim co-leads for the CEO’s office.
The company’s board has been searching for a replacement after former CEO Wade Miquelon retired.
As of January 2022, Jo-Ann employed 22,000 full-time and part-time employees.
JO-ANN STORE CLOSURES
While recent news may be unrelated, Jo-Ann closed several stores earlier this year.
These include locations in Batavia, New York; Marion, Ohio; Huntington Beach, California; and Cockeysville, Maryland, all of which closed Sunday, January 15th.
Then, a week later, the company closed the following stores in those areas:
Jo-Ann provided the following statement to The US Sun about what went into the decision to close.
“In line with normal brick-and-mortar business processes, JOANN occasionally closes stores while simultaneously investing in and opening brand new stores to best meet the needs of our customers,” it said.
At that time, the company said it was not planning any mass store closures.
Additionally, Jo-Ann closed a store in Grand Island, Nebraska after an ownership dispute.
It’s unclear whether more closures are imminent as the company explores options to cut costs.
The US Sun has reached out to Jo-Ann for comment.
OTHER RETAILERS CLOSING
Meanwhile, Jo-Ann isn’t the only retailer with physical stores struggling.
That includes Macy’s, which announced plans to close 125 stores at the start of the pandemic.
Since then, a total of 80 branches have closed – another five are expected to be added by the end of the year.
One of them closed in Los Angeles, California at the Eagle Rock Plaza.
The closure was originally scheduled for the end of September, but was closed earlier for safety reasons.
Gap North America plans to open hundreds of stores.
In August, the Washington state clothing retailer closed its Tacoma Mall location on Thursday.
Rite Aid, which closed several stores on the East Coast last week alone, may be the biggest example right now.
That’s because the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy “in the coming weeks,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The company has accumulated $3.3 billion in unpaid debt and is expected to lose $700 million this year.
To make matters worse, the pharmacy chain will be closing another location in Buffalo, New York on Thursday, September 21st.
More related stories: Christmas Tree Shops has closed the rest of its stores.
And Dollar General will launch promotional discounts.