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Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
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Date: August 7, 2000
Vol. IV, No. 15

Printer Version

TABLE OF CONTENTS

bulletCommentary
bulletACCI News & Notes
bulletINRG Report: Smaller But Better
bulletCopyright Problems Plagues Industry
bulletACCI From A Buyer's View
bulletArtis' Future In Question
bulletAn Icon Passes, Pt. I
bulletAn Icon Passes, Pt. II
bulletDMC, CDA Announce Award Winners
bulletA.C. Moore: Quarterly Earnings In The Black
bulletLearn To Paint Update
bulletThe Zany-Noodle Deal Is Complete!
bulletFirst Hall Of Fame Class Named
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletE-Commerce Update
bulletRandom Thoughts, Random Quotes
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletCreative Network: Job Of The Month
bulletThe CLN Stock Retail Index

COMMENTARY

This issue is a wonderful example of the importance of all of us working together. Whether it's Learn To Paint, the Family Craft In, Creating for Life, the Knit-In, or fighting the Internet copyright crisis, we prosper and grow if we stand together. Our whole is much, much more than the sum of our parts.

Wally Raley and Cliff Zimmerman knew that. Let's follow their wonderful example.
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ACCI NEWS & NOTES

Much of the industry attended ACCI with low expectations and were very pleasantly surprised. The show had 150+ new exhibitors but was smaller, due to vendors taking smaller booths. The new exhibitors were generally delighted ... Quite a bit of order writing ... Tougher entrance restrictions limited the number of the not-so-professional professional crafters. We didn't hear a single vendor complaint about pro crafters.

STATS. Buyer attendance was 4,462, up 4.3% from 1999's 4-day show and does not include 930 buyers registered for the Art Glass show ... 583 exhibitors, up 2.3%. 171 new exhibitors, up 185% ... 1,269 booths, down 8.2% ... ACCI's retail membership is over 2,000 and pro craft membership is 642.

TRENDS. Soapmaking ... Candles and Candlemaking ... Paper ... Wire ... Glass ... Someone said it would be a Rolex Christmas -- silver and gold ... More upscale-looking designs ... Fabric paint and wearable art are definitely on the rise again ... Stamping ... And scrapbooking has certainly not peaked and the number of vendors continues to mushroom ... Lots of kids crafts and products/projects for pre-teens.

GLASS. The Art Glass show was a fine complement to ACCI, given the crafter's growing interest in glass. Some glass exhibitors showed products -- kits, projects that remove the perceived danger of working with glass, etc. -- that showed potential for craft stores. The consumer day, Sunday, drew 800-plus consumers.

EVENTS. The Designs For Living display, led by task force chair Tracia Williams, was very impressive. 97 designers contributed ... The Creating For Life auction raised about $25,000. The neatest "item" was from Delta, which promised to name an acrylic paint color after the highest bidder. (It went for $2,700.)

TRADE SHOW BUZZ. The show was proof to doubters who had wondered if ACCI would remain a viable show ... It may start a trend among exhibitors who realize they don't need a booth the size of a city block to have a productive show ... The merchandising vp of a major chain said you could find something new in every aisle ... More new products than a year ago, because the later date gave vendors more time for product development ... A major needlework company is heartened by some recent research that shows the decline in usage by hard-core needleworkers has stopped.

E-COMMERCE. Lots of talk about how quickly some dot.coms have come and gone. Meanwhile, Crafttopia.com ran a full-page ad on the inside back cover of the July 31st issue of People magazine. (That has to be an industry first.) Look for upcoming ads in Parenting magazine, too.

WINNER. The winner of the 2000 VW was Rebecca Wilcock of My Favorite Things, a gift-stamp-scrapbook store in Morris, Illinois.

2001. ACCI's 25th annual show reverts to the 4-day format, July 20-23.
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INRG REPORT: SMALLER BUT BETTER

Comments from attendees/exhibitors:

1. "Surprise! Surprise! Our folks at INRG were very happy. Traffic was good -- probably because there were fewer exhibitors and more people had time to spend in our booth. We actually wrote one and a half times the orders that we wrote last year and gave away many more catalogs. Also saw a number of NEW shops! Does this say that cross stitch is dead? In the words of the immortal bard, '... death has been grossly exaggerated.'" -- Rita Weiss, ASN Publishing.

2. "INRG was good. It was wonderful to have our own booth. All the shops were so happy to see us back and on our own again. It has been a long time since I've seen shops so up about their business. Did not hear one shop complaining about hard times. Lots of new shopowners were there and most all shops have started their own web page." -- Linda Queen, 2Needles.

3. "The show appeared to be smaller ... A number of exhibitors seemed to have taken fewer booths (perhaps some split their booths and also attended ACCI) ... Some international customers apparently visited both INRG and ACCI ... Traffic was not terrific, but the second day seemed quite good ... Faces and customers were familiar -- not much new business ... Extracurricular activities were a big hit. ... Publishers were showing more inexpensive chart packs rather than leaflets. Most of the product directed to shops as opposed to chains." -- Various exhibitors

4. "The thrill and excitement of the 80's, when cross stitch was new, has faded. The heady times of discovery may have passed, but business is still substantial and, for the most part, in the chains. Shops will continue to exist as long as some folks have magic in their hands and a desire to share it. In order to compete they have to be selective, personal, and be willing to give up or compete, price-wise, on the best selling products -- I suppose." -- Longtime needlework observer

5. "INRG was better than we expected. Our booth wasn't mobbed, but with the exception of Sunday, we had fairly steady traffic throughout the show. From what I could gather, the talk of the show seemed to be more about who was NOT there than what was going on on the floor (There were some notable designer/company absentees)." -- Major needlework supplier

6. "The foot traffic was down, but the orders were up -- better than last year. The mood among the buyers was more upbeat, too." -- Designer/publisher

7. "1. Few buyers, but they were buying. 2. Overseas folks were there and buying, but no chain buyers. 3. High-end needlework and primitive needlework exhibited. 4. Smaller booth spaces for "large" companies and lots of the old-timers missing." -- Award winning publisher
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COPYRIGHT PROBLEM PLAGUES INDUSTRY

The music industry has the Napster controversy and now, so do we. The issue of consumers illegally sharing copyrighted patterns on the Internet, mostly crochet and cross stitch so far, exploded last week when the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy article on the subject.

The article included comments from Jim Hedgepath of Pegasus Originals and ignited a mini-media frenzy. In the ensuing days Jim was interviewed by the Associated Press, NBC (two minutes on NBC Nightly News), CNN, Reuters, Canadian National News, and some live nationwide radio shows.

The problem has always plagued the industry. Until these email, list-serve Internet groups, however, the culprits were the photo copier and consumers ignorant of the copyright laws. Today, the Internet spreads the pirated designs around the world instead of around the block -- and many consumers believe they have the right to distribute any designs any time, to anyone.

How widespread is it? "I found there are about 11 groups, some of them with several hundred members," Jim told Reuters. "I signed up to one such group and within a few days I got sent so many charts that I couldn't download my e-mail."

Peg Edwards, President of the Charted Designers of America and Carolina Country House, said she joined an Internet swap group, posted a note explaining the copyright laws, and was bombarded by angry emails, some of them obscene.

Certainly there are other causes, too, but the effect is dramatic: 75% of all cross stitch shops have gone out of business since the 1980's, Reuters reported.

Some even appear to be virtual cyber anarchists. The folks at Annie's Attic have been leaders in fighting this problem and told us about one site, now shut down, www.copyrightsbedamned.com.

Jim thinks the problem will affect everyone. "What is happening with cross stitch will quickly move to all craft and painting books," Jim warns. "No publisher is safe now that scanners are under $50, computers are cheap, and access is free. These designs and craft patterns will be picked up in other countries and the foreign markets will be gone. If I let them do this to another designer, I give them the right to do it to me. If they know we will not lift a finger against an individual, they will never stop."

Step one is contacting the hosts/moderators of these sites to shut down the swap groups. Step two is legal action.

Want to help? There is a legal fund to which you and/or your company can contribute. Write the checks to INRG Legal Fund, Needlework Markets, PO Box 533, Pine Mountain, GA 31811. Efforts are also underway to publish a book by many designers -- the proceeds of which will go to the fund.
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ACCI FROM A BUYER'S VIEW

Comments from Bob Ferguson, President of Ferguson Merchandising which operates a Ben Franklin crafts store in Redmond, Washington. Bob is also 1st Vice Chair of ACCI:

The timing obviously makes a difference in the attendance. So much for listening to the complaints of the buyers and vendors who were all demanding that the show dates be moved from July to June just three years ago.

I really like the quality of the pro-crafters that attended this year's show. They were respectful of the needs of the vendors, were professional in a way I have not seen in the past, and generally added a lot to the show.

We did see a lot of new products but no great, new categories. I heard lots of comments that it looked like a scrapbooking show, but also heard from folks that their scrapbooking departments were still producing extraordinary numbers.

Gel candles and components from Legacy Candles really caught our attention, as did a lot of other gel candle lines. Soap and candle making supplies were everywhere and the best of them seemed to be at Delta and Yaley.

The new line of foam designs from Design-A-Line is looking hotter than anything in the hard crafts area that we have seen in awhile.
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ARTIS' FUTURE IN QUESTION

We talked to Tony Hershman, President of Artis, when we saw the Aleenes.com website had posted a message saying it had temporarily ceased operations.

Artis is in negotiations with two potential buyers, Hershman said, and he should have an announcement in 10 days. In the meantime, all employees have been laid off and the Odyssey cable network will temporarily stop broadcasting Aleene's Creative Living as of August 11th. The series will resume when the fall television season begins September 25th, Hershman said.

Employees were laid off, Hershman explained, because the television series had increasing ratings, but not high enough to warrant retaining the employees to operate the phones for the series and the website. He's hopeful the website will resume operations in 3-4 weeks.
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AN ICON PASSES, PT. I

Wally Raley died of Alzheimer's just before the ACCI show began. He was 89. He was certainly one of the most well loved, and respected people in our industry. And if any one person is responsible for the great success of acrylic paint in our industry, it's Wally, the founder of Delta and an inspiration to countless numbers of industry people and painters.

Was there anyone who didn't like Wally? We doubt it.

Wally originally poured his paint in baby food jars. From there it was one-ounce, then the two-ounce squeeze bottles that have become the standard. He was the first to recognize the growing importance of acrylics and the consumer's interest in a full (hundreds of colors) palette.

From Dick Thompson, long-time Delta sales rep: "Wally gathered people like a sponge. He was instrumental in getting the tole and decorative painting business up and running. Along the way he helped a great number of ladies get started and keep going. If they couldn't afford to go to a show, Wally would hire them for Delta. He supplied teachers with huge quantities of free paints. I can't prove it, but I'll bet he bought a few booths along the way. That was his way of helping the ladies out, making sure they got to the tole shows.

"Another 'Wally'", Dick remembers, "is the year, in December, when he estimated our commissions for the current month and special delivered our commission checks so we would get them on December 23rd, rather than in January.

"That's the kind of man he was," Dick added, "that's the Wally we remember and loved."

Send cards to The Wally Raley Family, 1947 Turnbull Canyon Rd., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745. The family requests that contributions be made to your favorite charity or to the Alzheimer's Association.
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AN ICON PASSES, PT. II

Cliff Zimmerman passed away recently at the age of 82, after a long battle with cancer. He and Eleanor are true pioneers of the industry as founders of Zim's in Salt Lake. The company is now run by their son, Craig, and his children, the third generation of Zimmermans in the industry.

What kind of a man was Cliff? Here's one story, told by Maria Nerius, one of the industry's best known professional crafters: During the 80's, ACCI held a trade show in Orlando and Maria attended, hoping to buy supplies in order to start her craft business.

No one would sell to her, Maria said, and she was leaving the hall, almost in tears when Cliff stopped her and asked why she looked so sad. Maria explained, and Cliff took her to his booth and took her order. Maria said once she had credit from Zim's, other vendors sold to her -- and her career was born.

Cards can be sent to Zim's Inc., 4370 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
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DMC, CDA ANNOUNCE AWARD WINNERS

Janice Love won the DMC 2000 Needlework Designer of the Year award, presented at DMC's annual awards breakfast during the INRG show. About 140 teachers and designers attended the annual festivities. First Runnerup is Diane Arthurs, and Second Runnerup is Lula Chang. Love's design company is Love 'n Stitches, which specializes in hardanger. Arthurs is a freelance designer; much of her work has been published by Imaginating, Inc. Chang's company is Wooly Dream Designs, which specializes in needlepoint.

The DMC 2000 Needlework Teacher of the Year award went to Shay Pendray. The First Runnerup is Martha Beth Lewis, and the Second Runnerup is Ruth Ellen Duncan. Pendray teaches at seminars worldwide, owns a needlework shop, and hosts her own show which airs on PBS. Lewis teaches classes nationally, and writes extensively on needlework techniques. Duncan owns The Strawberry Sampler, an independent cross-stitch shop. She teaches there and runs stitchers' retreats.

The judges were Mary Ann Blackburn of DMC, Phyllis Hoffman of Hoffman Media /Just Cross Stitch, Barbara Young of Hobby Lobby, Judith Brossart of Michaels.com, and Karen Ancona of CNA.

The Charted Designers of America also announced the winners of their annual awards. "Best Book" went to Moonlight Kitties by Cross My Heart ... "Best Single Charted Design" to Safari Sunset by Cross My Heart ... "Publisher's Award" to Jeanette Crews for Moonlight and Magnolias, which also won "Best Overall Publication" ... "Best Charted Embroidery" for My Son by Indigo Rose, which also won the "People's Choice" award ... The "Special Recognition" award went to Douglas, Andrew, and Jacqueline Kreinik of Kreinik Manufacturing.
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A.C. MOORE: QUARTERLY EARNINGS IN THE BLACK

Operating profit, before pre-opening expenses, for the quarter ended June 30 was $347,000, compared to a loss of $268,000 in 1999. The pre-opening costs related to new stores opened during the quarter were $311,000 or an after-tax impact of 3 cents/share. In 1999 there were no preopening costs in the quarter. The net income was $15,000, compared to a net loss of $157,000 a year ago.

As we reported in our last issue, quarterly sales grew 21% to a record $55.2 million and same-store sales increased 7%.

President/CEO Jack Parker said, "Due to our operating results, as well as our strong balance sheet, we have been able to internally fund the openings of our five new stores. And we expect to continue to fund the additional stores scheduled to open during the second half of 2000." The current store count is 45.

"In addition to five new store openings," Parker added, "we implemented a new POS system that was only in the development stage at this time last year. The installation of that system will be completed within the next few weeks. Due to the combined efforts of our team members, these major projects are being handled not only without any loss of focus but with evidence of improved inventory management, increased margins and very positive results to our bottom line. Thanks to our people, A.C. Moore is operationally and financially stronger than ever."
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Learn to Paint Update

Learn to Paint is now in the hands of the retail segment of the decorative painting industry, says Gretchen Cagle, President of the Society of Decorative Painters. SDP has committed 53,000+ surfaces, 106,000 brushes, and 35,000 bottles of paint to retailers offering this free, hands-on workshop to 54,000 non-painters on September 16th. 1,029 classes are being offered by the chains, including Michaels, Jo-Ann's, Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby and A.C. Moore. Another additional 447 classes are being offered at independent locations. 179 SDP chapters have committed to coordinating the events. The Society has also completed a successful national media blitz and local promotion at the retail level begins shortly. Countries showing interest in Learn to Paint include Canada, Japan, Bahrain, Australia, England, and South Africa.

But more needs to be done, Gretchen says. Current needs include locating teachers willing to teach classes at the local level and SDP is still is $10,000 short of the $50,000 goal needed to purchase and ship surfaces. Those willing to teach or to make donations should contact Janelle Johnson, SDP staff coordinator, at janellej@southwind.net.
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THE ZANY-NOODLE DEAL IS COMPLETE!

Zany Brainy completed its acquisition of Noodle Kidoodle, exchanging 1.233 shares of Zany stock for each share of Noodle Kidoodle stock. Keith Spurgeon remains as Chair/CEO of Zany Brainy, and Stanley Greenman, former Chair/CEO of Noodle Kidoodle, becomes a member of Zany's Board.

"The acquisition increases Zany Brainy's revenue base and store count by over 50%," said Spurgeon. The 60 Noodle Kidoodle stores will become Zany Brainy stores, resulting in a post-merger total of 171 Zany outlets in 34 states. This year Noodle Kidoodle had opened two stores and Zany opened eight.

Zany plans to open 15 stores this year -- in Hurst, Texas; Omaha; and Greenville, South Carolina in August; in Roseville, California; Virginia Beach and Alexandria, Virginia; St. Charles, Illinois; and Monroeville, Pennsylvania in September; and Amherst and Pittsford, New York; Gurnee, Skokie, and Deer Park, Illinois; Austin, Texas; and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania in October.

The second-quarter report will be released September 5. The stock is traded on NASDAQ under Zany and is currently trading at $2.75/share. The 52-week range is $2.31-$14.87.
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FIRST HALL OF FAME CLASS NAMED

The new Craft Hall of Fame, founded by the M. Isabella Foundation and Maria Nerius, inducted its first group. For more information, go to www.CraftHallofFame.com

Trailblazers: Betty Christy, Clapper Communications, Bernie Liebman, Aleene Jackson, Patricia Nimocks, Eleanor Zimmerman, Hazel Pearson-Williams

Creative Spirits: Marie Browning, Maria Filosa, Lela Gunning, Rosie O'Donnell, George Smith

Business Leaders: American Art Clay, Grace Publications, Greg Markim Inc., Paper Adventures, Zim's Inc.

Educators: Sharion Cox, Priscilla Hauser, Marie LeFevre, Bob Ross, and Kaye Wood

Innovators: Adhesive Technologies, All American Crafts, Delta Technical Coatings, NuCentury, Phillip Coomer, The Professional Crafter, and Craftmark

President's Award of the Creative Heart: The late Barney Pruetting and Bill Gardner, for Creating For Life

Wall of Lasting Impressions/In Memoriam: Pat Depke, Scott Ladd, Patricia Nimocks
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MISCELLANEOUS NEWS

YARN. The 3rd annual Knit-Out is Sunday, September 24th, at Union Square Park in New York. Sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council of America, last year's Knit-Out was wildly successful and helped trigger an incredible wave of positive national publicity for knitting. Go to www.knit-out.com for more information.

SALES. Same-store sales for July: Michaels, +8.0% ... Wal-Mart, +6.2% ... Target, +3.7% ... Duckwall-ALCO, +1.2% ... Kmart, +0.7% ... Ames, -2.6%.

DATA. The DSN Retailing Today "Annual Industry Report" lists the top 7 craft chains (including Frank's as the 4th largest?!?). Michaels, Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby, Hancock, A.C. Moore, and Rag Shops are the others. Total sales in 1999: $5.26 billion, up 12.9%. (The most recent HIA Size of Industry puts the entire industry at $10-$11 billion.) The report also said Jo-Ann etc stores have doubled their average transaction to $22.44, and by 2002 will open 50-75 stores annually.

TO BUY. An investor wishes to buy a small rubber stamp business (sales less than $3 million). For more, call Mike Hartnett, in confidence 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.

PEOPLE. Greg Cummings has been named Director of Sales for DMC. He had been National Accounts Manager at Del Laboratories, a manufacturer of cosmetic products ... Walnut Hollow hired industry pro David Watson as Sales Manager.

JOB OPENING. Major soft craft-quilting company is looking for a Regional Sales Manager for the Northeast -- all of New England. Salary/compensation in the $60's ... Major ribbon/floral company is looking for a VP Marketing and a regional Sales Manager. Call Mike Hartnett, in complete confidence, for more info. 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.

ACQUISITION, I. Fairfield Processing acquired DJS Quality Products from David Sanders Co., a Camarillo, California-based provider of rolled polyester quilt batting. Fairfield combines its powerful brand and distribution channels with DJS's sales, marketing, and distribution expertise for the western states. Principles Dave and Jason Sanders will also provide additional national account sales support. For info, call Fairfield's Chuck Waimon, 203-744-2090.

ACQUISITION, II. Loew-Cornell purchased the Tolin' Station division from Craft & Hobby Supplies, which has closed its doors ... Plaid has completed its acquisition of Jonco, the major European distributor. Ron and Charles Aptroot continue in active management roles. Jonco distributes 30,000 products in Europe.

CLOSINGS. Kmart is closing 72 stores around the country by November 1.

TV. The PBS series, Hands On, Crafts for Kids, continues to be used in more and more schools, up 27% over 1999, reports Executive Producer Katherine Stull. Call 800-348-3909; fax, 440-349-3995; e-mail, kathies@en.com; or surf to www.craftsforkids.com.

AWARDS. Polyform's Fridge Critters and Magnetic Funny Faces have made the finals of Parenting magazine's recommended children's holiday toys and products.

ROLODEX. DEB Design moved to 535 Sycamore Ave., Bld. 2, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702. 732-224-8686; fax 732-224-1191; email dab@monmouth.com.

PROMOS. Next month AARP will post an article on family crafting at www.aarp.org to help promote HIA's Family Craft In September 23rd -- all part of HIA's branding campaign, Crafts. Discover Life's Little Pleasures. For more, go to www.horry.org.

CONTEST. Of the 17 winners in HIA's consumer contest as part of National Craft Month in March, 9 were customers of chain stores, 7 of independent stores, and one unknown.The grand prize ($10,000 worth of travel prizes) winner was a customer of the Michaels store (#9970) in Springield, Missouri.
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E-COMMERCE UPDATE

NEW! The first phase of the re-designed Michaels.com site is operating. So far it's primarily an extraordinarily large number of free how-to projects. This editorial portion has been led by industry veteran Judith Brossart, a consultant for Michaels. The site also features free craft screen savers and an excellent store locator -- you're only two clicks away from learning about the classes-events at your nearest Michaels. While the site will sell prints, kits, and eventually supplies, the primary purpose, CEO Michael Rouleau told us, is to increase general interest in crafts and drive traffic into the stores.

JOB. GoliathFalls.com, a Chicago-based business-to-business site for independent retailers, is looking for a craft buyer. (It plans to add crafts this fall.) Call Jeff Rothe at 312-494-7200.

NAMES. It looks like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will be approving new suffixes, including .shop. Stores may have that, instead of .com.

FEATURES. Stamparoo.com has a feature where a family can order a customized stamp that will include the family name and up to 8 figures, including Man, Woman, Boy, Girl, Infant, Cat, and Dog. Go to http://www.stamparoo.com/customfamilystamps.html.

QUOTATION. "As the Internet matures and becomes more of a way of life than a novelty, it will become another tool for creative thinking marketers. People will always need stores and I think they find a certain comfort in ordering online from a store or company that has a physical presence that they can relate to. I just hope the Internet hasn't established itself as a 'bargain hunters' paradise' too much because all these dot.com companies are realizing that at some point they will need to turn a profit." -- Richard Miller, Miller Woodcrafts

FOR SALE. eBookCafe.com -- an interesting concept: a crafter chooses a project and pays a small amount, then downloads a photo, pattern, instruction sheet, and materials list. The owner didn't have the money to keep it going long enough to see if it could be successful. Call Mike Hartnett, in confidence, at 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com
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RANDOM THOUGHTS, RANDOM QUOTES

1. I never met him, but I've heard nothing but raves about Don Soderquist, who's retiring as Wal-Mart's Senior Vice Chair. A typical comment from a vendor of the old Ben Franklin, where Don served as President before moving to Wal-Mart: "Ben might never have gone bankrupt if Don had remained as President."

We heard this at ACCI: At Soderquist's retirement party, recently retired CEO David Glass told the audience that every morning for 15 years, Don would buy two bran muffins and give one to Glass, each day refusing to accept Glass' dollar for his muffin. After Don left Glass' office, Glass would put the dollar in a jar. When he had enough dollars, he would buy a share of Wal-Mart stock in Soderquist's name. At the retirement party, Glass surprised Don with a check for more than $100,000.

2. The industry talks about consolidation at the retail and manufacturer levels, but lately it's happening at the distributor level. Three California distributors merge into one, the Jonco sale to Plaid is complete (although Jonco remains a bonafide distributor), MacPherson's buys Artcraft, and now Craft & Hobby Supplies is closing.

3. I'm hearing from vendors who seriously doubt Ames' long-term commitment to crafts. Between industry pros like Wayne Schneider and Dave Lehman leaving, the company's stock troubles, and now I'm hearing some stores are putting up signs that say, "Arts, Crafts, Electronics." No confirmation from the company.

4. Some sewing-fabric vendors tell me they're worried that Wal-Mart is looking to reduce inventory again. No official confirmation on that, though.
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THE CREATIVE NETWORK: JOB OPENINGS

The only personnel recruitment firm specializing in our industry has the following job openings. Go to ACCI #9806 or call 360-834-0802; fax 360-834-0702; email jessica@creativenetworkinc.com; or check www.creativenetworkinc.com.

Mid Atlantic: Administrative Assistant/Copywriter ... Soft Craft Buyer ... Channel Marketing Manager (office supply & mass merchants) .... Divisional Merchandise Manager ... National Sales Manager (crafts, gift, mass merchants) ... Product Manager (stationery & office supply) ... Product Manager (home dec) ... VP Sales (key accounts) ... VP Marketing.
North Central: Marketing Communications Assistant ... Book Editorial/Layout ... Website Layout ... Direct Marketing Managers ... Group Marketing Manager ... National Sales Manager (craft, school, home, office) ... Oracle Developer/WebMaster ... Designers (gift/collectibles) ... Sales & Marketing Manager (quilt & needlework) ... Sales Executive/General Manager (gift) ... VP Product Development (sports) ... Sr. Product Designer (3D products).
South East: National Sales Manager (Gift) ... Sr. VP Sales (gift, mass markets).
West Coast: Director of Product Development (gift, home dec, stationery) ... Marketing Manager ... Marketing Communications/Liaison.
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CREATIVE NETWORK: JOB OF THE MONTH

Position: Sales & Marketing Manager ... Location: Illinois ... Company: Distributor specializing in quilting and needlework supplies ... Description: Interact with customer service and buying departments; increase sales within channels of distribution that include quilt, needlework, and book suppliers. Facilitate growth with key accounts, distributors, and catalog companies; create new ways to reach customers and promote new and existing products; create monthly promotions for key accounts ... Qualifications: Experience with the quilting, sewing, or needle craft industries; publishing knowledge a plus; management/supervisory experience desired; strong communication and presentation skills.

For more about these positions, contact The Creative Network at 360-834-0802.
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THE CLN STOCK RETAIL INDEX

A. C. Moore (ACMR). Last*: 8 7/16 ... Change**: +7/16
Ames (AMES). Last*: 5 21/32 ... Change**: -2 1/16
Hancock Fabrics (HKF). Last*: 4 1/16 ... Change**: -3/16
Jo-Ann Stores (JAS.A) [a]. Last*: 7 3/16 ... Change**: -9/16
Michaels (MIKE). Last*: 46 15/16 ... Change**: -3/16
Rag Shops (RAGS). Last*: 2 1/4 ... Change**: -1/16
Wal-Mart (WMT). Last*: 52 15/16 ... Change**: -6 9/16
CLN Retail Index. Last*: 127.469 ... Change**: -7.7%
Dow Jones Index. Last*: 10,767.75 ... Change**: -0.4%
* August 4 ** from July 14 [a] voting share Note: Prices are exclusive of dividends
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Note: Creative Leisure News is published on the first and third Mondays of each month. Your next issue will be on Monday, August 21th.

Have any rumors you need checked? Company news or comments on industry issues? Call Mike Hartnett, in confidence, at 309-925-5593; fax 309-925-9068; or Email to mike@clnonline.com.

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