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No More Beads at Wal-mart?

By February 24, 2007

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We have had a number of discussions on the forum lately about the big craft department shake up at Walmart. Granted, Wal-mart has never had a huge amount of jewelry making supplies, but they did seem to be growing their selection over the past few years.

Though I would rather get a root canal than shop there because I hate the crowds, like many of my readers I live in an area that has no local craft store, so sometimes I have no options when I'm in a pinch. My closest bead shop is even a good 30 minute trip downtown, and don't even get me started about the parking!

So like it or not, I'm often forced to shop there, and I have to admit, the prices are better than just about any place else you shop. However, in many of their stores they are now expanding the electronics division or starting a party supply area, and that means good-bye to the fabric and craft area of the store.

My fellow Guide, Debbie from the About.com Sewing site, has a blog post about this situation as well as information for those who want to voice their opinion to the Wal-mart powers that be. You go girl!

So, what's the deal at our local Wal-mart? Are they moving in the big screen TVs and moving out the hemp and beads?


February 24, 2007 at 11:45 pm
(1) OhJoy says:

My WalMart seemed like it was going to be stocking a better quality of supplies for beading, like some sterling silver for example. But then, all of a sudden, the selection seems to be all gone and nothing gets re-stocked. What’s up with that? Anyone know who to email?

February 25, 2007 at 10:41 am
(2) Tammy says:

Debbie has the contact info posted on her blog here: http://sewing.about.com/b/a/256500.htm

February 25, 2007 at 8:38 pm
(3) Nanc says:

I work at Wal-Mart. The crafts area is not going away. The fabric department is being eliminated. If you ever have a problem with a Wal-Mart, whether its the goods they stock (or don’t) a pat on the back for an associate that helped you out, or a complaint, just call 1-800-WAL-MART. They will ensure that your comments get to the appropriate people!

February 25, 2007 at 9:07 pm
(4) Simplycindy says:

As a former store owner I have to say that there is way too much publicity given freely to Walmart. Price is not the only reason to shop at a store. If you want your local bead shop to stay in business, please us them (that pretty much sums up any type of shop). If we don’t stop depending on Walmart for everything, that will be our ONLY choice for stores to shop at. Use the stores that cater to the crafter to keep them afloat…please.

February 25, 2007 at 9:34 pm
(5) beads_at_any_price says:

If the LBS could offer prices like Walmart, more might shop there. But when it comes down to making a profit for myself, or giving to a bead shop, guess who’ll get it?

February 25, 2007 at 11:51 pm
(6) Karol says:

I noticed in the last two years that a good fabric department in our Walmart in Vestal, N.Y. had turned into a flea market type of fabric department, but there was some good buys there if you just wanted something simple. But to think that they are totally elimating the crafts and fabric? OMG. Now we do have Joanns but they don’t have much in the bead line. And I find that if I have to go to a different area of town for some things, I will probably not go back for the other things. The money I save in gas will justify the price difference of what I may save at Walmart. Its getting so, in the Binghamton area, either order on-line or go out of town – usually up to Syacuse. Also I have noticed that our selection at our local AC Moore has issues too. At Christmas time, two days after Christmas their shelves were empty. They didn’t even put out their Christmas trees til after Thanksfiving, at which time, my shows were over. Too late. I was able to find refuge at Michaels but they are usually a little higher on price. Now what craft shop has empty shelves and expects to sell anything?? Even Walmart was out of all Christmas balls a good month before Christmas !! I do specialized trees and needed them too. I give up. Mail order or drive to Syracuse. Our local merchants have given me no choice. Oh by the way, that scapbooking section is loaded. Some people must just love it, but I find it a waste of time. I don’t really consider pasting random pieces of paper around my photos a craft. Ever stand behind someone at the checkout that just bought 125 pices of 8 X 10 paper and each and every one has to be rung up separate? Give me a break.

February 25, 2007 at 11:53 pm
(7) Karol says:

Sorry – I meant to say the shelves in AC Moore were bare two days after Thanksgiving – not Christmas.

February 26, 2007 at 12:42 am
(8) joyce says:

i live in the country in southeast missouri–wal-malt is a joke–i had rather order on line than to try and find anything there!!!!!!!!

February 26, 2007 at 10:56 am
(9) sue lawrence-nester says:

In December 2006 I really thought the Wally-world bead dept was on the way up. They were selling Blue Moon Beads. Now I have to search the entire dept to find what is left of them. Then there were the dichro beads that only savvy beaders snatched up at $5-$7 a card. Those ended up in the deep discount/closeout shelf for $0.75-$1.25 a card. Both of these instances are just typical Wally-World stocking practices. You really have to wonder about a company that has pep rallies in order to inspire their over-worked and under-paid “associates” to get back out on the floor and sell, sell, sell!!!! Then forgets to teach their associates the difference between dichro and cheap Chinese beads.
I can relate to everyone who is no where near a bead shop. The closest ones to me are 70 miles away. So, yeah I use Wally-world in a pinch but I order all my good beads online.

February 26, 2007 at 11:25 am
(10) Carol says:

Wal-Mart no longer cares about it’s customers, just as it doesn’t care about it’s emplyees. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, their greed puts me off. I have to drive more than thirty minutes to shop anywhere, we have three fine craft stores in our shopping district so I have no need for Wal-Mart for craft supplies. If Wal-Mart were right next door, I wouldn’t shop there.

February 26, 2007 at 12:15 pm
(11) Rusty says:

Our new Wal-mart in town is having alot of competitor things. Friskers, Blue Moon alot of mixed bags of beads which makes it alot easier for low end bracelets & neclaces or just beading items for your hobby.

March 1, 2007 at 11:09 am
(12) Kathy says:

It’s funny, I just looked last night through Wal-Mart’s bead selection when I went on a late night run for diapers for my little son. The selection they had was huge, but the prices I found were ridiculous compared to http://www.firemountaingems.com. Mostly, I do all my shopping now through them and through a local store called Lonnie’s, Inc, although I think Lonnie’s sells online. They have their sterling wire priced at about $17.00 per ozt, last time I checked, and their Argentium at about $20.00 per ozt. They have all the best prices on some staple jeweler’s components, since they’re more of a jeweler’s supply store than a craft or bead store. They’re http://lonniesinc.com.
I will be sad if Wal-Mart loses their fabric department, because they actually sell a lot of really beautiful fabric at a fraction of the cost of the same thing at Joann’s. At least in my area, anyway. But if they lose their bead department, I won’t even miss it. There are plenty of other really good online resources out there to choose from.

March 7, 2007 at 11:48 pm
(13) Jenean says:

I noticed the Wal-Mart where I shop is buying a better quality of beads. I rarely buy my beads from there in the past because of the quality but now that things are improving, I may buy more, but I mainly shop online and at bead stores.

March 9, 2007 at 12:02 am
(14) Princess says:

I purchase all my jewelry supplies online.Ebay is a great place to shop with good prices and great service.Make sure you read the companies reviews when you order something.You can always return items purchased if they do not meet your standards or if they are misrepresented.Plus there is a great selection.
Firemountain beads is also a good place to purchase jewelry supplies online and the more you buy the better the price.They send you a FREE catalog so you can shop at home price compare and spend all the time you need.I rarely shop at my local bead store as the prices have become too expensive.If your looking for deals Ebay is the place to go.

March 9, 2007 at 8:28 pm
(15) crystal says:

My mom works at wal-mart in south ga and they are taking the fabrics out because its the section that makes the least amount of money. they are expanding our electronics. dont get me wrong i love electronics as much as the next person…but it still doesnt out do our fabrics..im like a kid in a candy shop when i go to the fabrics..

March 17, 2007 at 6:58 pm
(16) Patsy says:

wow is these comments about beads or is it a place to take a hit at Wal*Mart? Wal*Mart tries to bring in new stuff to their stores and in order to bring in new old stuff has to go. I work there and I have not heard anything about them taking out the Fabric and Crafts. Oh yeah and Wal*Mart is a good company to work for!!

March 18, 2007 at 9:18 am
(17) Tammy says:

Patsy – Just read through the comments and the thread linked to the forum about this. Lots of members have reported their walmarts are taking out the fabric area. I have noticed in my area the craft area is much smaller than it used to be as well. As an example, what was once a wall full of yarn is now down to one small isle.

March 24, 2007 at 3:52 pm
(18) bobbie says:

i live in a town where there isn’t any beading or craft stores, we like everyone else depends on wal-mart. I would like to see them expand there craft department, especially the beading section.

January 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm
(19) Sandra says:

I love Wal-Marts glass pearls. They come in a clear box. I use them all the time, it is the only place I can get good glass pearls and not have to worry about them chipping and losing color. I hope they don’t discontinue these! JoAnn has bulk pearl beads but they are really cheap and messy to work with.

January 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm
(20) Djamy says:

Yes ! I have had to shop at Walmart for the crafts, & beads. Use to I’d come out with a small bag of a handful, that costed me a bit, but now it seems worse. I was first in my hometown Wlamart when I saw the BIG cnage in the Beads section, OH,WOW ! they changed the type of styled beads, more & different, PRETTY, hmp! PRETTY PRICE TOO NOW! Couldn’t wait to get back to my town I live in now to check out our Walamrt for the new selection. ACTUALLY WAIT, to see if they had any of the old type of beads on sell & if they had moved in the new selections. Sure enough, I was right on both. I got a great deal on the old stuff I use to get, and just looked at the new styles. Threy are for a small string of beads now, about 4 dollars, and for a pendant you can double that amount. Looks better and big and sassy like everyone wants to wear & show off lately, but the prices are rediculous now. So I dont get bead sthere no-more UNLESS- i have beads & need one of the pendants to make my jewelry or project work.I still look for specials there but still looking for another craft or bead store I can go to and get everything I need.Dont get me wrong, if jewelry was selling now as it used to and at what you actually put into it, then it would be ok. But it isn’t anymore.It would have to be something really supertremendously a big deal for me to go splurge at Walmart again as I used to do.Just wanted to share my feelings and thoughts.

January 20, 2010 at 9:23 am
(21) Est says:

We live in a small area on the oregon coast and have a walmart superstore here. I have never been so disgusted with a store in my life. Oh they used to sell some wonderful things there. we even had a whole isle both sides with jewelry supplies. And such good prices. Of course you couldn’t find the “really good stuff” there but you could find a lot of what you needed and you could work it in you your good pieces. Now if they keep it stocked there is about 1/4 of an isle of the most cheap junk pieces I have ever seen and they’ve doubled their prices. especially the focal beads. the pearl are cheap, and most have at least a chip of paint off. My big complaint is the seed beads. They used to have Toho’s and myuki’s. now they just have a package of 100 I’d say about 3 hundred multi colored beads that are suposed to be about a size 6. You can’t do any quality beading with theses seed beads. I’m sure you catch what I’m saying. Anyway, yes that have enlarged the electronics department, taken out the sewing department, continually move the isles around, oh I could gone forever. I HATE that store with a passion and I think most of the employees do too. they don’t care anymore and some can downright be rude. I now go online to get my beads. I opened a small savings account at the local credit union and I do this. I take cash to the credit union (Now I have my main account at a different bank) and deposit it. I also have an account with paypal. After depositing the money, I go online and transfer money to my paypal account (I only keep enough to pay for my items and enough to keep my paypal account open).
I know it sounds paranoid of me. But let me tell you, the bad guys won’t get into my main bank accounts thru buying off the internet.
If this helps you in anyway I’m very happy.

and when I need to used a credit or debit card

March 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm
(22) BrianY says:

I have been beading for several years now. Unfortuneately I don’t own a car, since I live in the city, so I can’t get to Walmart even if I wanted to. However, whenever I go home to visit my family I always seem to end up at Walmart at least 5 times in a week. When I lived at home I LOVED the craft department. There were so many quality items to work with and fairly priced. I have watched the craft department dwindle down to next to nothing and the prices more than double for even poorer quality junk.
I’ve started buying items online from http://www.firemountaingems.com and also saving money and taking trips to New York. There are literally hundreds of bead stores there. You can find anything from cheap plastic beads all the way up to cut gemstones and gold pieces. A lot of the prices are comparable to Walmart and in a some cases cheaper. The wholesale stores are the best bargain. You don’t need a membership to shop there nor do you need to pay a fee. The more you buy, the more you save. If anyone makes jewelry to sell, this is the place to buy your inventory. Plus it’s a great place to people watch and see what jewelry styles are out there.

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