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July 25th, 2007 at 00:37 am

Retailer Attitude Towards Crochet

Crochet As The New Knitting –

Part IV:
Retailers & Crochet Consumers

Retailers need to realize there is growing segment in the yarn community who have been exposed to and have been enamoured of “Yarn Store Yarns” for Crochet.

It is true, that based on harsh experience many who crochet have not had the most positive of experiences, some of the fault is the attitude they bring in the door.

Yet, more of it is likely a defensive response by the shop owner or staff because they are not sure they possess the necessary skills to properly support the Crochet customer in the way they (The Retailer) want to be able to serve their customer.

Nor, should Retailers believe that all past behavior is the unbreakable rule. An opportunity exists to increase your sales thru common courtesy. So what if they initially only buy from the Sale Bin. You did want to sell that stuff didn’t you?

At a shop recently opened in my area, she has a begun monthly stitching night. The Group was quite diverse including a small cadre of those who can knit but prefer not to. We had an interesting discussion about why Yarn Shops seem to be Crochet Unfriendly. Typical of many of the shops opened in the last few years, the shop owner is rather new to the business.

Atypical is that she is completely upfront about her lack of indepth knowledge and has gone out of her way to hire ‘experts’ who can assist her customers in the many ways of using yarn.

I explained that, in my opinion, it really has nothing to do with Crochet – although changing in the last few years, reports and reality of clique-ishness in “local shops” for any needle arts have been rampant for years. You can read all about that in just about any “Knit Group”

Add in the challenge of possibly not having the skill set to properly support Crochet, with a smidgeon of Customer Attitude because they have not had happy experiences in other shops, and I sincerely believe that most of what is perceived as snootiness about crochet is really just a very human reaction defensive reaction caused by fully understanding something.

It is just so hard to say “I don’t Know” when you are in the position of thinking it paramont to the be the expert.

If Retailers recognize this and explain it to their staff, then it will help them to create the Retailer/Consumer relationships that benefit both.

It is neither rational or reasonable for the consumer to expect a retailer to stock merchandise that that is unprofitable. If Crocheters want free patterns and cheap tools and low cost yarns, they need to shop elsewhere.

From a shop owner perspective.

No, Crochet is NOT the New Knitting…

but why not make them feel welcome, perhaps invest a bit of time in learning more about Crochet and at least carry a few patterns, books and tools for this craft, they will see this become an increasing portion of their sales.

Don’t they deserve the same courtesy and respect you give to other user of yarn?

Maybe I need to offer a class at TNNA on making your shop “Crochet Friendly” without breaking the Open to Buy Budget Let me go make a note to include cost of a Nerf Ball Bat to use on those who forgot to knock off the chip before they came in the door.


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  • 1

    ;) I could regale you with a couple horror stories about the local yarns shops, but here’s my fave. One clerk argued with me that what I was wearing (a poncho) could not “possible be crochet” and told me it _had_ to be knitted. Since I made it, I knew it was crocheted.
    The other thing that makes me laugh is the remark about the bargain bin yarn. Do knitters avoid the bargain bins and pay full price for _everything_? I doubt it.

    blazelaflame on July 25th, 2007


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