Breaking News: Amazon Buys Fabric.com

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I just received this newsletter from Fabric.com‘s owner Stephen Friedman:

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday. I hope this note finds you well.

Every family experiences milestones. They include the birth of a child, a college graduation, a job promotion, and a host of other important events.

We have always thought of our customers as members of the Fabric.com family and so it is appropriate that we share with you a major milestone in our company’s history. We are pleased to announce that Fabric.com has been purchased by Amazon.com, a global online retailer. We believe this milestone reflects our history of success in serving you, our customers, and that makes us very proud.

Allow me to share with you what the acquisition by Amazon means and, equally important, what it does not mean. What it does mean is that we will now have the resources to expand our inventory, and to more completely meet your needs. Over the next 12 months, we expect to increase the number of products we carry, and we will look to you for your thoughts on what that expanded inventory selection should include. It also means that we will have access to the best in customer service and order fulfillment technology, all to better serve you.

What the acquisition does NOT mean is a change in the people, the philosophy, or the business practices at Fabric.com. Your favorite products will still be available at www.fabric.com and our team and I will be here to serve you. Our overriding commitment to customer service will not change and the warm and friendly, family-oriented environment that we have created together, will not change.

I personally want to thank you for all of the friendship and support you have shown us over the years. All of us at Fabric.com look forward to serving you and the entire sewing community for many years to come.

Warmest personal regards, Stephen

What do you think this means? Will we be able to buy fabric through Amazon along with other goods? With super-saver shipping? Is this a good thing? (Certainly not for the little guy.)

8 Comments

  1. Huh. I never bought from Fabric.com, so I’m not sure how this will affect the consumer. But I do find it fascinating that “fabric and such” is such a hot commodity that the mega-large Amazon.com would want a piece of this obviously successful business.

  2. Michele C says:

    Wow. That’s sort of exciting. I buy from Amazon all the time for books. It might be dangerous to have fabrics so handy, but with the price of gas and travelling, it might be good. On the other hand, hard on the small internet vendor, I’m sure.

  3. Diane says:

    I am happy for them, and happy to see that Fabric is going mainstream – the more people who sew, the better in my opinion.

    I have bought from Fabric.com myself before I started selling fabric and the transactions always went smoothly. However I never liked their “compare at” feature because the numbers were always a bit exaggerated.

    I’m not sure if this is good or bad for us independent quilt shop retailers. I see Fabric.com competing more with Joann’s, Hobby Lobby and Walmart, and less with the small mom & pop quilting shops. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Either way, thank you for the news! You are so on top of things!

  4. kathy says:

    You’re on it Kim, thanks for the speedy news. It immediately reminded me of how small mom and pop stores must feel when Walmart moves to town.

    Small can compete with big by being nimble and creative. I honestly believe it makes the overall offerings in the market stronger, ultimately benefiting the end consumer.

    Yes, a challenge, that’s how I’m going to view this!

  5. Donna says:

    I don’t really see this as good news or bad news. Probably the best thing is customer’s can make a payment through Amazon’s secure server–although I’ve bought from Fabric.com and never had any problem with payments. I’m not sure how the Super Saver shipping works with other shops on Amazon–in my experience it wasn’t available. And as someone noted, I’ve never felt Fabric.com competed with smaller stores anyway. So–interesting, but doesn’t mean that much to me.

  6. Amy says:

    I think it is great! I have bought from other small companies via Amazon and the super-saver is not available, so they will not loose in that area. Being able to expand their merch will be good too. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jacqui says:

    I will be watching their overseas shipping with interest – previously their insanely high prices have prevented me from buying from them unless I have the fabric sent to a US friend who then sends it on for half the price they wanted to charge. Amazon isn’t all that crash hot in that dept. either, but at least they are vaguely reasonable. I do wonder though, whether the choices will become somewhat more homogenised than before – but perhaps that’s where the little guys can make their mark. I do agree with the people above that it’s amazing fabric has become so big now that companies like Amazon want a piece of it! That has to be good for everyone.

  8. Robyn says:

    I imagine part of the appeal of being purchased by Amazon is being able to share their operational efficiency (warehouses, packing & shipping systems, distribution network, advertising).

    I’m not entirely sure how Amazon can buy a company, still provide the same service and expectations you come to expect from Amazon, and *not* change the people who work there like this note suggests, though.

    Or does being an Amazon company let you somehow do everything by yourself (cut, store, ship fabric) but with some shipping deal, the benefit of marketing/advertising, and distribution channels? Not sure…