JoAnn stores emerge from bankruptcy

(Rigo Moran)

Fabric leader JoAnn was able to avoid store closures and employee layoffs through expedited Chapter 11 process

VISALIA – A fabric store retailer and distribution center in Visalia got some good news last month about the future of their parent company.

JoAnne, the nation’s leader in sewing and fabrics, announced on April 30 the company had successfully emerged from bankruptcy by substantially reducing its debt by $500 million, according to a released statement.

“For more than 80 years, JoAnn has been a leader in the textiles, sewing and craft industries, and we are now moving forward on the strongest financial foundation in many years. I am confident in this company’s unique ability to continue serving and inspiring handmade happiness with our millions of loyal customers for a long time to come,” said Chris DiTullio, chief customer officer and co-lead of the interim office of the CEO. “We see great opportunities ahead for this business and are as committed as ever to our customers, team members and communities nationwide.”

The fabric retailer filed a voluntary, prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 18 of this year. A press release at that time said the company expected to complete the Chapter 11 court-supervised process on an “expedited basis” and that it will become a private company no longer listed on the Nasdaq.

The expedited process lasted less than 45 days thanks to strong alignment and support among all involved parties. The plan allowed the company to avoid store closures and employee layoffs throughout the process. JoAnn currently has more than 800 stores across 49 states including a retail store at 3930 S. Mooney Blvd in Visalia and a major distribution center on Plaza Drive in the industrial park.

Scott Sekella, chief financial officer and co-lead of the interim office of the CEO, added, “We are very pleased with how smoothly and swiftly this process has progressed and are incredibly appreciative of the support from our lenders, creditors and industry partners, not to mention our more than 18,000 Team Members in our stores, distribution centers and corporate headquarters who remain committed to our mission. We have now emerged as a significantly strengthened business and will continue to invest in our teams, communities and the customer experience.”

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