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Fabric store announces mall opening

Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm



After sitting vacant for more than four years, a portion of the former Dillard’s store in Northgate Mall is about to have a new occupant.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores announced Thursday that it will open a new store in Northgate Mall by late spring 2014, according to mall manager Ken Keller.

The store will occupy 15,000 square feet of the 65,000-square-foot former Dillard’s building.

“We are elated that Jo-Ann Fabric is coming to our city, knowing that they will spur positive retail momentum moving forward,” said Northgate LLC managing partner Joe Lester.

“We hope this is the building block that will lead to more very good news soon.”

web JoAnn option storefrontWhen the letter of intent was signed in March, Northgate Mall general manager Keller said he hoped revitalizing the mall would help increase Tullahoma’s $360 million in annual retail sales.

“Those sales tax dollars staying local means a lot for our city from an economic standpoint,” said Keller.

Project general contractor Buck Newby says plans are to have the building ready to turnover to Jo-Ann by Feb. 10, 2014. Jo-Ann would then complete any specialized construction required before its opening, tentatively slated for late spring.

According to the company’s website, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is the nation’s largest specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts, offering under-one-roof selection of products for quilting, apparel, craft and home décor sewing along with a full array of components, tools and kits for crafters of all ages.

The company is headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, located between Cleveland and Akron, and operates over 790 stores in 49 states, plus its website, Joann.com. Its three distribution centers are located in Hudson, Ohio; Visalia, Calif., and Opelika, Ala.

Jo-Ann has more than 23,000 employees. Serving in leadership positions are Darrell Webb, chairman of the board; Travis Smith, chief executive officer and president; Kenneth Haverkost, executive vice president, store operations; and James Kerr, executive vice president, chief financial officer, leadership/operating officers.