CJ over at Created By CJ had an interesting post about the costs of fabric and where the industry is headed and the responses posted had me thinking. Check out her blog.
I don't think quilters will ever stop quilting or stop paying for good quality fabric. We are addicts and nothing will change that. We may slow down but we can't stop. It's not in our nature. Fabric/notions call to us. Most of us can find a quilt store in any town just by scent.
I do think LQS will have change how they do business. They have to compete with the internet and with the decrease in some spending. You now have to "sell" your fabric and notions you buy instead of letting sit on the shelf for years. One of LQS has fabric that I bought 8 years ago and still hasn't moved off of the shelf.
Here's what I would like to see in LQS:
1. The ability for you to order supplies for me if you can't carry them and not wait 3 weeks for when you put your large order in. As much I want to support your store, I need that item in a couple of days. I'll pay for my shipping/handling and guard your store until it gets here.
2. I know it takes time to cut up kits, but they are a lifesaver to people. If I can grab it and go, even better for some projects. It's a great way to sell books, speciality notions and your fabric. I don't have a problem buying the book/specific notion if you have a kit to go with it. Having a set of rulers that I have no clue how to use hanging up will just sit there forever unless you have a project ready to go with them.
3. Please have lots of notions and not just the fad ones. I don't care about an XYZ celebrity notion. I also don't want cheap pins/scissors/needles that don't work. I'll pay for quality. If I want cheap, I'll go to a Hobby Lobby type place. So many stores don't have a variety of thread, needles, scissors, and other notions that are necessary. I hate having to order something simple like needles via the internet because a local store doesn't carry it.
4. Show how something works. If you have a fad notion that is actually worth it, show me how it works. Have one on hand for demo purposes. If I know you are willing to teach me, that beats an internet deal anytime.
5. Classes for more experienced quilters. I haven't taken a class in eons because I can do most of the simple things. I see more classes for experienced via all of your blogs then I've ever seen in a store. I recognize space is a premium, but if we can do mystery quilts and other sew-ins via the net, surely a store could do something similar.
6. I despise BOM quilts. If you can sell me the entire pattern, I'll buy all my fabric right then and there. I'm not about to pay 20 bucks a month for 12 mos. The only BOM I'm looking forward too is "Fiesta" by Fat Cat Patterns. I'd still rather buy the pattern up front despite it being free every month. I'm going to go bonkers waiting each month.
7. Order Matchbox car plastic cases. You won't be able to keep them in stock if you can do it under 10 bucks.
There are other things, but those are basics.
I am a quilt addict. There is no hope for me and I know it. I may slow down my spending, but I can't resist the perfect kit and the bread/butter notions I need. I don't want any LQS to go out of business, but if everything I need is online via another quilt store/warehouse, that's where I go.