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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Stealing Bolts of Fabric ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Stealing Bolts of Fabric
Can you believe people do this?
Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/13/13 9:04 PM

I loved the Baby Silk fabric that Hancock's USED to sell. Even though it was 100% polyester, it was so silky soft and smooth against the skin. I believe they use this fabric a lot as linings for baby items. And I loved it for linings too. On Hancock's website it says it's discontinued. Last night I went to Hancock's and asked why they stopped selling it. The lady said because it's stolen too often! I was shocked! I said, "People actually grab a bolt and then bolt out the door with it?" She said yes and that's why they discontinued it. She also said they will probably bring it back in a few months because it was so popular.


-- Edited on 8/13/13 9:06 PM --

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Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

ccris
ccris
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In reply to Pj3g <<
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Date: 8/13/13 10:04 PM

Unbelievable. They'll need to keep the fabric in a back room with only samples in the front, so customers can feel it. Then, if someone wants to purchase X number of yards, the clerk can get a bolt from the back, cut it, and return it to the back room. I've never seen this fabric you speak of, but it does sound lovely. It's a little strange, though, that the website discontinued it. No one can walk out of a website with a bolt. lol

I don't have a Hancocks, but have ordered from them online. Their customer service (at least for online orders) has always been wonderful. I think I've spoken with the same lady in Mississipi (I think it's Miss.) several times. What a sweetheart she is.

BrendaR
BrendaR
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Date: 8/13/13 10:31 PM

I don't know about now, but tailoring was one skill taught in many prisons. Last summer I read a fabulous biography of Rose Bente Lee, the woman who started what became House of Fine Fabrics in DC (later acquired by the company that is now JoAnn Stores). She describes a lot of stealing that took place in her shops, and that was back in the 1960's and 70's. We fabric lovers think of fabric and sewing as innocent pursuits, but like in everything else, thieves are not rocket scientists, they are opportunists. I agree with having samples for people to look at and keeping the bolts in the back. I was just in a store that does that yesterday, in Charlottesville, VA. It was a home dec store. No bolts at all that are in the display area, just lengths of fabrics draped over bars. (They are able to display 10 or so fabrics in the space of one bolt!) Anything the store owners have to do to keep control of their stock (so that us PAYING customers can buy some!) is fine with me.

SandiMacD
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Date: 8/14/13 5:06 AM

Its the logistics that stump me. Stories can change or grow in translations. Perhaps it is employee theft? I'm another one who can't see how any customer could steal a bolt online.
Or perhaps it happened in some huge, crowded multi door mega center?
It would be quite difficult to leave our local Hancock's with a bolt in your hand and not be noticed. Plus all the video camera surveillance in stores and parking lots now a days.

I am thinking there is a bit more to the story here. Probably on the supplier-profit side of things.

I really hope I wont have to shop from swatch samples in physical stores. Waiting on clerks to see if there is a bolt in the back or if there is enough on it for my project.

There is something inspiring about picking up and unwinding fabric from bolts. I want to gauge the feel, pattern size, color shadings and drape. Sorry, but I'm not quite ready to shop from store front bolt samples.
-- Edited on 8/14/13 7:12 AM --

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Addierecoy
Addierecoy  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/14/13 7:22 AM

I have worked in retail, and I do believe people can steal anything. Maybe they get back in an aisle and cut some fabric off and stuff it in their purse or something?

But yeah, I'd hate to try to buy fabric with nothing but a small sample all the time. I do it, but only from merchants I know and trust, and when I need something very specific. When I go to the big box fabric stores, I'm looking for something inexpensive I can buy yards and yards of, and use over and over, for my business. I really need to take my time, pull out the bolt, fluff it, feel it, hold a length in my hand for a while etc. I fear I'd hold up the line way too much and have everybody, including the clerk hating on me.

MrsCharisma
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Date: 8/14/13 8:10 AM

I was IN my local Hancock when they busted a woman stealing - yes whole 44-45" bolts. They called the police and when she left out the store, they nabbed her.

People can and will steal ANYTHING.

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Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

Kayabunga
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Date: 8/14/13 8:29 AM

Sad but true. I have several friends who own quilt shops and they have whole bolts stolen with some regularity. Generally the Perp slides the cardboard out and folds the fabric in half (dumps the cardboard behind something for the shop to find later) and slips it under a coat or in a tote. Baby buggies are also used fairly often. One shop I know has gotten to the point that she doesn't allow baby buggies in. But fabric is only part of the problem, there have been many quilted project samples that get stolen (this is why most are almost "nailed" to the display) and scissors seem to be a big target as well.

bluefly
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Date: 8/14/13 8:30 AM

I like the idea of stores showing generous samples of the fabric. You can still feel it, see how it drapes. I think I could look at more fabrics this way. The store could employ runners to bring and return the fabric while the clerk cuts the previous customer. I like this idea and would definitely shop at such a store.

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"Let's make the most of this day"
bluefly

quiltingwolf
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Date: 8/14/13 9:15 AM

When I worked at Joanns from 1994-1995 we had people come in and grab bolts that were sitting up front. The store was so under staffed that they could do it and get away before we even noticed them. These chain stores think the are saving money by the system equaling employees to sales but it hurts them in the long run for all the theft write offs. My daughter works at a local Dollar tree. They have no scanning system and the only cameras are those that watch employees not the store customers. And the thinking among the employees and I agree with, for $7.00 an hour it's not worth confronting shoplifters or chasing them. These stores complain about theft, have more workers in the store and let the CEO's take home a tad less money. At night it's a matter of safety for the workers.
-- Edited on 8/14/13 9:17 AM --

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JTink
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Date: 8/14/13 9:34 AM

I agree, people will steal anything. When I was merchandising for a large cookie company, I was in the stores all the time. One of the cashiers told me, they found someone going through the check out line with meat inside a box of saltines. They had emptied out the crackers and slipped the tray of meat inside. Luckily, the cashier noted the weight of the box, as she moved it with her hand. One of the meat managers told me they couldn't put the small containers of crab meat in the display cases anymore, because they were too easy to steal.

Several years back, someone had bashed in the large glass front to our Hancocks. When I went to shop early that next morning, the Assistant Manager and I were discussing the break in. She said the only thing they could find missing was some fleece. We both busted out laughing. It was obvious this person didn't know their material...They left with cheap fleece instead of the higher priced woolens and silks.

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