29 April 2006

The Big Box Store

In case you haven’t checked your current JoAnn’s flyer, this weekend is a big sale with lots of extra markdowns on clearance items and a 50% off coupon for each day. Those coupons are brilliant marketing. Really, whoever is in charge of JoAnn’s sale calendar should be enshrined in the marketing hall of fame.

We all patiently await our coupons in the mailbox or email, then inevitably we have to use them. I mean, really, it’s basically throwing money away if you don’t stop by and use your discount. And let’s not get into the big markdowns that happen every so often. Need I tell anyone what happens to rational people when flannel is marked down to $1 or $2 a yard? If you need a refresher, I wrote about Black Friday back in November.

Depending on your perspective, JoAnn’s (or Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, A.C. Moore, etc.) is either Crafty Mecca or Where Bad Crafts Go To Die. For those who prefer the latter reading, it’s everything wrong with American capitalism, a virtual monopoly which woos would-be crafters with cheap prices and promises of easy output, yet fails to actually offer service to those in need. Woe be to the knitter in search of guidance in the warehouse aisles. However, it can also be a pleasure ground for exploration. Who hasn’t wandered into an aisle and discovered a previously unknown crafting universe? Oh, the possibilities. If only I’d known what you can do with craft sticks and a glue gun…

Lately, I’ve tried to avoid the siren call for a variety of reasons. There’s that whole yarn/fabric diet thing… bah. I’ll also confess that I’m swiftly embracing my own snobbery, yarn, fabric and otherwise. Red Heart? No thanks, this chic demands Rowan. Give me Kaffe Fassett or give me death! But, as my recent flyer announced, JoAnn’s now carries Alexander Henry fabrics and more. Course, I couldn’t find any of said fabric in my recent aisle wandering, but the idea that it’s there to be discovered kept me looking for far too long Thursday evening.

My economic theory is pretty rusty, but I believe it was Adam Smith who said that capitalism demands creation of markets where there previously were none, i.e. the niche. Need must not just be met, but more importantly, need must be created. Do I need Alexander Henry fabric at the moment? Nope. But darnit, I do need it if I can get it with my 50% off coupon which I need to spend.

So, in true Leslie fashion I celebrated the end of my semester on Thursday with some shopping. Hit up a JoAnn’s (since there are several in the area, there's even more need to check out the differences between the stores) and the mall (for a birthday present which I really did need to buy). Found the skein of yarn I needed to finish my socks and some double points that I need to make Shedir from Knitty. Then since I had a coupon that I needed to use on Friday, I returned to a different JoAnn’s and added a skein to my slowly growing stash of yarn for a felted bag project in the works. And since I had another Friday coupon that I could use at A.C. Moore, I snagged a book that I didn’t need at all, but I did the ol’ justification routine and put it in my cart. It’s a great resource; I’ll probably buy it anyway at some point. I have to use my coupon and the yarn that I intended to buy is already 50% off. So, really, I need to get the half-price yarn and the book at half-off to save money. It’s a savings, really. Ah, the logic or lack thereof in my universe…

Oh, and for those eagle eye readers who may be wondering how all this yarn purchasing jives with my yarn diet, remember my little caveat about buying yarn that I need to finish off projects? All three skeins that passed through my front door are already promised to projects awaiting finishing. So long as I already had some yarn for a project prior to Dec. 27, I’m allowed to buy a skein here and there to finish things. It may sound like I’m being pretty easy on myself, but trust me, the no new project yarn is restrictive enough. I almost broke down when I discovered new sock yarn at A.C. Moore, but like the Knitpicks sale, I only resisted because I didn’t want to break my streak with cheap sock yarn, at least not yet.

So, now I just need to do some knitting. Of course, I still have two Saturday-only coupons and I'm just sure I need something or other.

Thursday, 27 April: $4.13 venti nonfat hazelnut latte (we all have our coping drugs); $11 JoAnn’s sale round one: Paton’s Wool and sz 3 dpns for a hat; $xx Rachel’s bday present: silicon muffin baking pan, Le Gourmet Chef

Friday, 28 April: $6 breakfast/lunch sustenance; A.C. Moore (to use JoAnn’s coupon): $21 for Sensational Knitted Socks, summer candle and 1 skein Paton’s Wool; JoAnn’s Sale round two: $3 Lion Landscape to add to growing stash for felted bag; Rachel’s BDay night out: Taste of Thai: $12.50, Shadow Lounge: $12, Elmwood Lounge: $10

Saturday, 29 April: so far, zilch, but I may do my Wegmans run later

1 comment:

Lone Knitter said...

Leslie, the whole Joann's marketing scheme completely got me. (I don't think I can communicate anymore! Too many French verbs and too many books....and what I am doing surfing the web at midnight?) Anyhow, I got a swift and a ballwinder and two balls of yarn. I have no idea what I needed the yarn for.