Joann's new concept invokes shopping, creating, sharing

Joann has created a new community space in its first concept shop. (Joann)

Crafting chain Joann is introducing its first concept store. Located in Columbus, Ohio, the new store will combine new technology with creating a community building experience.

"In speaking with our customers through the years, as well as gleaning insights from our Team Members and overall industry trends, we know they want to have a more experiential relationship with Joann—both in-store and digitally," Steve Miller, senior VP of marketing and e-commerce at Joann, told FierceRetail. 

One of the unique features of the location is the Creators' Studio, an open community space where consumers can take classes, host events and rent machines to make projects on—all while sipping a cup of coffee. 

"Through internal and partner research, we learned that one of the top things our customers look for from Joann is support with opportunities to learn and improve skills—in fact, 1 in 5 want to learn about skills and techniques for their projects in our stores," he added. "Our new Creators’ Studio invites customers to a large open community space where they can take classes, host their own event, use open studio time, rent machines to work on projects or simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while working on their craft."

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And shoppers can browse for crafting ideas on the Craft Creator touchscreen kiosks. Each kiosk is loaded with Pinterest projects and entries are personalized for customers based on preferences. 

In addition, the Joann concept shop will host a Cut Bar, which allows customers to check in and continue shopping until a staff associate text messages them that their fabric is ready to be cut. 

Finally, the store will offer two concierge services. The first is called Sew & Go, a custom sewing service for all fabrics for both clothing and home decor. And the second service is a Personal Shopper, which offers one-on-one purchasing guidance.

"Also, half of our customers have told us they want in-store help within the fabric department—from deciding what fabric to use to locating it. Our new concierge service, Sew & Go, provides customers with guidance as they shop and offers a solution via a custom sewing service for anything from suit tailoring to home decor," Miller said. 

Moving forward, Miller says that the first concept store will allow Joann the opportunity to test a variety of new ideas with customers, and give the team an idea of how to adjust and expand implementation throughout the chain.