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Joann's stores and Viking - new partnership?
LouisaP
LouisaP
Intermediate
Minnesota USA
Member since 2/27/07
Posts: 415
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Date: 3/31/08 11:53 AM

I stopped by my local Super Joann's store yesterday afternoon, and was surprised to see that the local Viking dealer, who had always had his business in the corner of the store, was dismantling everything and moving out.

Turns out that Joann's is kicking out the local small dealers who have been subleasing space within their stores, and partnering directly with the Viking corporate folks. Viking will be setting up their own stores within the Joann's stores, no more small local dealers. Guess it's a case of cutting out the middleman to put more $$$ in the corporate pockets.

The old Viking dealer is now going to be a Bernina dealer, and set up shop in the two new Hancock's stores opening nearby.

It seems like everyone in Minnesota is sewing again, to be supporting all of these huge new fabric/craft stores, but I'm sad to see my old dealer disappear. Anyone else seeing this in their stores?

JillyBean333
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JillyBean333
Intermediate
Minnesota USA
Member since 10/20/07
Posts: 943
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In reply to LouisaP


Date: 3/31/08 1:33 PM

Okie well that's just sad!!! I've never been super-pleased with the dealer that's inside the Jo-Ann store...but I certainly prefer to support the little guys. I haven't been inside our Jo-Ann in a couple weeks, but it always seemed like the dealer space was getting smaller and smaller. They were still there though a couple weeks ago.

People here in MN do seem to be sewing more. I don't know if the days of having *real* sewing machine dealers are kind of going by the wayside or what. I always sort of think of Viking as the Apple of the sewing industry (only the Viking quality is lots better than the Apple hardware). And up until this weekend I owned a Viking Machine and I still have my Apple laptop. I have to think the economy must REALLY be hurting the sewing machine dealers.

------
JillyBean
http://craftysupreme.etsy.com

SewRaeMe

SewRaeMe
Advanced Beginner
Member since 3/20/08
Posts: 289
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Subject: Joanns stores and Viking - new partnership? Date: 3/31/08 1:51 PM

That is sad to see, I live in a city of a million people and we only have one fabric chain store left. At one time some dealers had their shops within the fabric store but no longer. The dealers however, sell about 4 or 5 different brands so easier to compare.

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Formerly The Canadian

Jami1960

Jami1960
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 10/23/07
Posts: 91
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Date: 3/31/08 1:56 PM

I'll be interested to see how this goes nationwide as our Joann's had a Viking dealer inside that moved to their own building about 2 years ago. Now Joann's carries lower priced Singer and Janome "shelf machines". I am not a huge Joann's fan as they vary in customer service tremendously...have my favorites and others I won't step back into ever. I like a dealer in their own building where I can get the personal service I pay for. They take the time needed to keep me a happy customer. Joann's is all hustle and bustle. From a business standpoint, it might be a smart move for Joann's and Viking but it sure doesn't appeal to me.

------
Jami

clt3
clt3
Intermediate
Member since 2/6/06
Posts: 1051
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Subject: Joanns stores and Viking - new partnership? Date: 3/31/08 2:14 PM

Well, they've been like that here for a long time. I've always felt it's because they're both headquartered here in Cleveland.

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Singer 66-16. Singer 600e, Kenmore 158.1913 , Viking 1100, Brother 4000D, Brother Quattro traded for Brother PR1000!, Bernina 930, Bernina 1130, White 634DE gave away to a friend,
Babylock Evolve, 2 Featherweights ,Pfaff Creative Performance,Janome Coverpro 1000CPX








Member since 12/31/69
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In reply to Jami1960


Date: 3/31/08 2:16 PM

I've never seen a Janome SM in our local Joann's. They've been carrying Singers and Whites around here. There's not any Janomes on the Joann's website either. There I saw Juki, Brother, Singer & White.

gracekelli
gracekelli
Beginner
Minnesota USA
Member since 11/29/07
Posts: 32
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In reply to LouisaP


Date: 3/31/08 2:24 PM

I e-mailed Viking customer support and they alluded to this in their response to me, they called the store "Viking something or other (maybe Optima?) Sewing Center"(in otherwords, not the dealer, Lu's Sew Creative, I have now). I know that off the record my current Viking dealer in Joann's told me NOT to drop off my machine for repairs because some big changes were coming. She wasn't very happy, so I doubt it was good news. She also gave me her card with her cell # and home # on it in case I wanted to reach her.

I'm not a huge fan of Joann and I think my dealership management is HORRIBLE but I really liked the ladies that worked there and I'll move to wherever they go. I've had a terrible time dealing with Viking corporate and I'm sure I won't like dealing with them in a store setting.

A new Hancocks opened near me recently and they have a Bernina dealership inside too.

Kanjelab
Kanjelab
Intermediate
Member since 4/20/06
Posts: 146
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Date: 3/31/08 2:25 PM

Hey Louisa P, the same thing happened with the small Viking dealership in my neck of the woods (PA). All of the Gloria Horn Stores in my area moved from the JoAnn stores near me, and are now in other locations, selling Berninas and I think, Brothers. Figures, one of the locations is closer to me now that they've moved, but are no longer selling Vikings. Now, like in your town, our JoAnn Fabrics have New Viking Stores. I'll be curious to see how they are to deal with. Gloria Horn always sent out little flyers with lots of sales on accessories and stuff, so far all I get from this new Viking store are e-mails with sales on machines (which I can't afford even on sale).

Pyrose
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Pyrose  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Maryland USA
Member since 2/12/06
Posts: 2120
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In reply to Kanjelab


Date: 3/31/08 2:47 PM

Quote: Jenml
so far all I get from this new Viking store are e-mails with sales on machines (which I can't afford even on sale).

That's pretty much the coupons I always get from my Viking dealer. It's the only complaint I have really. The coupons are always the same and I'm so tired of seeing coupons for the Designer SE all the time. It's not often I get coupons that I actually can use.

With that said, I do love my dealer. They are corporate but their service is wonderful and I keep returning because of it. Unfortunately, I've never experienced good service from any local dealers. When given a choice, I'll choose corporate every time. The local guys just want to sell me something quickly, then try to weasel out of warranties and repairs.

I'm rather envious of those of you who do have good local dealers around. For those of you with good local Viking dealers being driven out, I'm sorry that's the case.

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Jennifer
pyroses.blogspot.com

ThinkGeek: "E-mail has been around since before computers. At first, e-mails were written on rocks and thrown at neighbors. CC-ing a rock e-mail could be dangerous for an entire village. Then, e-mails were written on paper and put in weird paper things called envelopes and the postal system delivered them. This was slow. Finally, e-mail as we know it came around."

Big Dog

Big Dog
Intermediate
Michigan USA
Member since 1/22/06
Posts: 1183
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Date: 3/31/08 5:23 PM

Hmm, that funny feeling I had last time I was in Joanne must have had something to do with the changes. The stock was way down and it looked like the employees weren't too happy.
Now I understand why.
It's a shame I hope the girls are able to keep their jobs once the move is complete, too bad I can't compliment the personnel at Joanne like I can the girls from the Viking dealer.
My local Joanne has nothing I could call customer service.
Not much in the way of fashion fabric either. What a shame

------
Formerly sew*itch

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