Only LSS in a city of 345,000 closing down:(

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 10/25/2013 by CoastalScrapper in General Scrappin'
 

CoastalScrapper
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/25/2013 3:41:06 PM
I'm wondering what the popular opinion is out there about why so many LSS's are closing, in big centres and small. Are people buying less or has everyone moved to online? I've heard it said that women will always find a way to spend money on their hobby even if it means sacrificing elsewhere. The evidence wouldn't seem to suggest that but the again maybe it's just the online shopping. Don't know
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Miglets
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/25/2013 3:46:34 PM
I think it's a combo of everything you mentioned. Plus, the big box stores are selling more scrapping supplies now.

Whatever the reason, it's sad.

Less than 10 years ago, there were 3 LSS's near me. They all closed. A new one opened about a year ago, but I'm not sure how she's doing.




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Mallie
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:00:07 PM
We used to have three LSS within a 15 mile radius. Two of them closed 2 years ago and one of them closed 4 years ago.

#1 that closed 4 years ago was very small and there never seemed to be any new products. So there was little incentive to go there often.

#2 that closed 4 years ago was huge and had lots of products. However, it was not a friendly place at all and a newbie trying to get help was SOL. The owner ran the place like it was an addition to her home life and her little friends that only talked to each other and their little posse, plus her personal choice in music were offputting. It was a shame that poor business practices killed her shop, because the array of products was phenomenal.

#3 closed when the owner retired.

Right now, if you want to buy in person you have these options:
1. Michaels
2. Archivers
3. Hobby Lobby
4. JoAnn: has drastically reduced the size of their sb department in the last few months. Space was filled with jewelry supplies.
5. Walmart: has drastically reduced the size of their sb this week. About a year ago, they went from a full aisle of product to about a half aisle. Then about 6 months ago, they went back to a full aisle. I was in there on Tuesday and they were going down to a 1/4 of an aisle. The space is being filled with jewelry supplies.

jediannie
Worker Bee

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:22:44 PM
In my area, there are 3 LSS (SF Bay Area) 2 of the stores have been going for over 10 years and the other is at the 6-ish year mark. There used to be a lot more, but those that closed needed to close (either because the owner was a terrible businessperson and managed the store horribly, or because they weren't making the money they needed to survive and had to get a "real" job.)

Running a brick & mortar store is very expensive and hard to maintain in this day & age. You have to pay rent for the building, you have to pay insurance, lights, water, processing fees for taking credit cards, so on and so forth. It seems like those stores that thrive are the ones where it's not their main source of income. For example, 2 of the stores in my area are owned by people who's main income comes from the spouse's job and the scrapbook store is their secondary income, so even if the store is not making money one month, they can still pay their mortgage & other bills.

Patti3566
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:35:11 PM
I just drove over an hour today to go to the only lss worth my time and $. As someone already mentioned I am seeing more manufacturers in the box stores. I'm thinking that's the way they have to go to get their product to the people since so many lss's have been forced to close. It's sad because there's nothing more inspiring to me than an afternoon in a nice lss...lol!
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Graciesmom1219
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:39:54 PM
We have 2 LSS here in the Las Vegas area, one has nothing new and the owner is just not 'nice' she is condescending in the way she speaks to people and I know this should not be a judge of a shop, but she literally stinks--she has such horrible body odor you cannot stand to be in there. She does not shower even daily, she smells like stale yucky. Sooo, I don't go in there, LOL.

The other one is large, but just does not have new product and the people who work there are constantly trying to upsell things, if I want something else, I will get it. I just want to go into a scrapbooking store and have someone say hello, do you need help, etc and leave me alone. I don't like to go with friends to a LSS as I like to have time to look at things and have some peace and quiet. Oh, my other pet peeve about this store is, mothers bring in their children, EVERY time I have been in the store there are screaming kids acting crazy. I don't want to hear that when I am in the store, soooo, I don't go in there anymore either.

I am shopping exclusively online, kit club and Stampin' Up anymore. I know they will have what I want, don't have to drive 30 minutes plus to find out you closed your store early today, no new product, etc. I think also, not as many people are as die hard into scrapbooking anymore as it was years ago.

TracieClaiborne
Perfectionist Pea

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:40:44 PM
Well I live in Nashville and there used to be about 6 stores here and last week Archiver's closed so now I have not one place I can buy smaller lines in person. It's very sad.

I think people bought too much stuff during the boom of scrapping and now we just don't spend enough to support these places! I will have to drive a couple hours now to visit a LSS but I will!


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Characterfan
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/25/2013 4:52:39 PM
I also live in the bay area, but while there are 2 lss and a stamp store close by. I don't shop much at any of them. 1 isn't always up on the current trends and tends to be more themey because that's what their customers want. 1 always seems to be hit or miss on customer service and the stamp store doesn't seem to order from Hero Arts regularly. There's another store about an hour away that carries everything, but it's not convenient to get to for me.

So I do most of my shopping online since my favorite Bay Area store closed almost a year ago.

When I lived in Georgia as soon as Archiver's moved in all the little stores started closing down.



LolaLayout
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:01:20 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that.

There is no LSS near me, either. It's an 90 mile drive one way to the nearest Michael's and Joann's. I am pretty much left with only online options.

I think the availability of everything online at your fingertips definitely plays a role in the LSSes closing.



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picasso63
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:16:43 PM
No scrapbook stores in Sacramento. None in Denver either, although there are 2 Archiver's (one shut down last year). So in a city of 345,000 - not surprising, when many million plus cities don't have any. I don't mind ordering online, but it is annoying when in the middle of a project and suddenly you realize you need one more sheet of OA!

The base price of a retail rental is just crazy! My husband keeps trying to talk me into opening a LSS, but that is just an insane idea. The only reason I could see doing it is 1) tax write-off or 2)hobby with no expectation of profit.

I really miss the crops. Scrapbooking has become so isolating. That is the total opposite of the reason I did it to begin with. No more CKUs, no Friday night crops with the girls .... sad.


ElsaBelle
California Dreaming

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:17:44 PM
jediannie and Characterfan, I used to live in the Bay Area and may be moving back there next year. One of the things I was looking forward to is shopping in a LSS again. Can you tell me which ones are still open? I used to shop at It's Scrapbook Time in Antioch, Stampers' Warehouse in Danville, Scrappin' With Mommy & Me in Pinole, My Daughter's Wish in Walnut Creek,and Remember When in Pleasant Hill.

I miss those places. There are no LSS in my area.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:25:45 PM
We haven't had a LSS for years. I've been scrapping since 2008 and soon after I started all the stores closed...

We do have Craft Warehouse which is a localish chain that does have some stuff (My Mind's Eye, Echo Park). Otherwise we have J's and M's. The nearest Hobby Lobby is 3 hours away.

jediannie
Worker Bee

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:28:14 PM
ElsaBelle - none of those are open anymore. The only ones left are:

Scrapbook Territory - Berkeley
Scrapbook Island - San Jose
Memories Live On - Cupertino
Cranberry Hill - Sunnyvale (they are mostly stamps, but they do have cardstock & other scrappy staples)

ElsaBelle
California Dreaming

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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:31:24 PM

ElsaBelle - none of those are open anymore. The only ones left are:

Scrapbook Territory - Berkeley
Scrapbook Island - San Jose
Memories Live On - Cupertino
Cranberry Hill - Sunnyvale (they are mostly stamps, but they do have cardstock & other scrappy staples)


I expected some to have closed but that's so much worse than I thought. Thanks for the info. I'm so bummed. I never had very good experiences at Scrapbook Territory and the others would be pretty far.


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marycain
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Posted: 10/25/2013 5:57:04 PM
I think it would be very hard for a local store to carry enough product to compete with the online retailers and big box stores.

I miss being able to see and touch products in person. I do most of my shopping online, and several times I've ordered items where the colors/textures in person aren't even close to what they look like online.

*Delphinium Twinkle*
I'm just a pea:)

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Posted: 10/25/2013 6:59:15 PM
That stinks.
I can't imagine not being able to walk in to an LSS and shop whenever I want.
I prefer in person shopping on a B&M store over online.



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CarolT
Slow Poke Pea

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Posted: 10/25/2013 8:05:40 PM
All of our stores have closed over the past few years. At one time, we had at least 6 dedicated LSS, just in our town. All we have left now are the big box chain stores.



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StaZyG
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Posted: 10/25/2013 8:18:25 PM
That's sad. We still have 7 in our city of the locally owned stores and several big box stores. A couple others have closed in the last while but I am hoping the others will stick around

artistic scrapper
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/25/2013 8:21:56 PM
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that crafts tend to run in cycles. They get really popular, then kind of dwindle when the next big thing comes along. I started stamping in the late 90's when it was at it's peak. There were 3 stamp stores within 30 minutes of my house. There was also a huge convention 3 times a year. As stamping got less popular all those stores closed and the convention is now about 1/4 of the size it used to be.

Same with scrapping. Ten years ago there were 7 stores in my area. Now there are 2. One has mostly older items and less popular lines (K&Co for example). The other is a bit farther and has newer stuff so I'm actually pretty lucky there. I've always been a hybrid scrapping shopper though--some LSS and some online.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/25/2013 8:45:50 PM
Tracie, I think you have a very good point. I know there were a few crafty hobbies that I tried (remember Friendly Plastic?) that eventually ran their course and supplies became hard to find (OK, I lost interest before that, but still . . .)

When I started scrapbooking, I was afraid the same thing would happen and there I would be, 5 years in w/some of my photos scrapped and not enough supplies to finish the rest. So what did I do? Stocked up like crazy. Now I have tons of supplies and I'm realizing that even though there's some great stuff coming out, I need to use what I already own.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has cut way back on her scrappy shopping over the past few years.




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kelsterjean
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Posted: 10/25/2013 9:12:44 PM
My LSS is still doing okay. They just moved to a town a little closer so hopefully that helps. The store doesn't have much new product so I think that plays into it a bit, and she focuses alot on stamping and I'm not a huge stamper. I try to buy one or two things to help out the store, but it is very sad. The big box stores are taking alot of the business but even they aren't doing all that well. Three Archivers closed in Illinois recently.


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scrapper100
Budletsmom

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Posted: 10/26/2013 10:41:16 PM
We have lost most of ours as well. We still have a few but honestly I don't know how they survive most don't carry anything I want so I have to buy on-line. I wish I could find what I wanted at a LSS but honestly it has been a long time meaning many years since I could go to a LSS and find something I wanted. Most of the stores around here carry very themed supplies and most of the supplies are more than five years old and I didn't like them then and I don't like them any better today. Oh and the prices are insane - meaning that I could get most things cheaper on-line even with shipping prices.

I don't really buy scrapping supplies at Ms or Js - I did pick up a PL mini kit while out of town at HL because we don't have one here. I am not a fan of the big box stores though. I also don't spend nearly as much money today as I did say 5+ years ago I just don't feel the need to own everything anymore. I am much pickier.

eta: I have to say I still like the stuff I bought 5 or more years ago so it is just that I don't like the stuff in my local stores. Just too cutsy or too vintage or too something all the time. I also don't think that the stuff in the big stuff compares to the stuff at LSS as I don't usually like the stuff at the box stores. I am also lucky that I am a CTMH consultant so I usually buy from myself and can go to a monthly crop.


Patti

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Posted: 10/26/2013 11:59:30 PM

I live in Fort Worth and we have a new one that's only about 20 minutes from me that opened this spring. She has a nice selection, but the store is small. My favorite store is an hour away. Other than that, it's big box stores.


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aliwinn
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Posted: 10/27/2013 12:10:54 AM
Well, I'm in Canada and one of the LSS in my city closed a couple years ago, the one in a nearby city closed last year, the other one in my city (pop. over 700,000.) closed last December.....the one that I used to go to that was an hour and half drive away, closed this summer

I like going into the store and being able to see everything in person....I'm going to miss that! I have a Michael's near me and another art store but neither one carries the current lines like on this site.


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blueeyez
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Posted: 10/27/2013 8:15:39 AM
It's very sad.. Luckily we still have one where I live. I try to support it as much as I can. I am not a fan of the box stores that carry these products. they are usually the bigger lines that they can get a deal on. You don't find the great unique products that you do in a LSS.

scrappycass
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Posted: 10/27/2013 8:18:39 AM
We use to have 4 LSS in the area here. NOW we have 1. There's a good one 90 minutes away, but I only go there once or twice a year.




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pelirroja
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/27/2013 8:46:41 AM
I think a lot of scrappers overbought so much a few years back that there isn't really a need to buy more, just a want. And when the economy is down, wants fall by the wayside. Trends and fads come and go: it's the age-old art vs. hobby question in scrapping, I think. The die-hard scrappers are already fully supplied and new scrappers aren't being introduced to it.

Love them or hate them, Creative Memories brought A LOT of new scrappers into the hobby: nearly every scrapper I know had been introduced by a CM party. I haven't heard of any CM parties in the past four years.

As for me, I'm using what I have in my stash and still loving my stuff just as much as when I first purchased it. Scrapbooking is one of the few hobbies where scrappers behave as if supplies have an expiry date and consider anything older than six months to be "old".


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Bcopple18
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/27/2013 9:20:21 AM
I think part of the “Death of the LSS” is due to the underlying reasons of why they were opened in the first place. Many are opened as an extension of the hobby instead of as a business. People have the best of intentions and wish to share their creativity with others, but this can conflict with running a business, especially when competing with online retailers and big box stores. It is difficult to keep the creativity flowing when faced with rent, order minimums, inventory carrying costs, etc. Add in the relatively low price point for most supplies and you are left with a daunting task.

There are several key aspects to having a successful LSS in my opinion:
1) Offer something different, and this is easier said than done. Stay clear of what is offered at the big box retailers. You can’t compete there so stay out of that space.
2) You also have to appeal to scrappers that are different than you. Personally, I am not a Project Lifer, but others are and a LSS have to offer that option in some way.
3) And finally, you have to make sure your store doesn’t stagnate, which as I read the other posts seems to be a common affliction in LSS. You have to stay fresh, move that theme stuff around, and showcase the new trends.

I think there are other factors that contribute to success or failure but these seem to be the larger issues. Crafting seems to be coming back in vogue as a whole thanks to pintrest and others, so there should be a place for LSS. (I see knitting stores everywhere!) Its not an easy success, especially compared to the scrapbooking hay-day ten years ago, and it s compounded by the online competitors (just look to Best Buy for a retailer that struggles with this), but I think it can be done. Can you tell that I play with the idea of opening a store? Someday…….
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