WICHITA — Ohio-based Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is moving its east Wichita store to the former CompUSA store at 3665 N. Rock Road.
“Well, you scooped me on this one,” says Lorraine Schuchart, manager of public relations.
“All I know is that it’s happening,” she says of a move. “As we get closer, I will have more information, but I honestly don’t have it at this point.”
The current east-side store is in the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.
That store will remain open until the new store opens.
At more than 25,000 square feet, the former CompUSA space is substantially larger than its current space.
“It’s a little bit bigger space than they typically take,” says Doug Malone, a J.P. Weigand & Sons broker who handled the deal.
“They can make that extra space work,” Malone says. “They’ll use every bit of that space.”
There will be extensive remodeling between now and when the store opens next year.
“It won’t look anything like a CompUSA when they get finished with it,” Malone says.
Schuchart says the store is tentatively slated to open in March.
Malone says Jo-Ann Fabric initially considered moving into the Rock Road space in 2008.
“Timing was better now.”
Schuchart says business is doing well nationally, in part possibly because of the economy.
“We find that there is kind of a return to tradition, and DIY (do it yourself) is certainly a big part of that.”
There’s an increase in entry-level classes, such as cake decorating, sewing and crafting.
“That’s indicative of new people wanting to learn,” Schuchart says. “People really seem to be getting into the whole DIY phase.”