Longtime users of Amazon-owned craft and hobby materials online website fabric.com were greeted with a surprising announcement on its website today explaining that the website is shutting down immediately.
“As of October 20, 2022, we will no longer sell products on fabric.com. Thank you so much for supporting our business over the years. We appreciate the role we played in bringing your creations to life, and wish you the best as you continue to make this world a more beautiful place with your handmade designs! Amazon.com continues to offer more than a million fabrics and sewing supplies, and we encourage you to explore the Amazon fabric shop to meet your creative needs.”
Fabric.com was originally launched by Stephen Friedman in 1999 to sell textile yardage directly to consumers.
Amazon acquired the company in 2008 “to further expand its selection of fabrics and accessories while enabling Amazon.com to offer its customers a wider variety of products in the sewing, craft and hobby segment.”
The cost-cutting move by Amazon was originally reported on Wednesday by the Craft Industry Alliance which said Fabric.com alerts its employees of the decision on Monday.
“As part of our regular business planning, we continually evaluate the progress and potential of our offerings and have made the decision to close Fabric.com,” Amazon spokesperson Betsy Harden said to the AP today.
She further explained employees will be given an opportunity to find other opportunities at Amazon and those who do not stay with the company will be given severance.
Amazon Has Shut Down Acquired Brands Before
This sudden shutdown of Fabric.com is similar to other similar moves Amazon has made in the past. It also shows how much Amazon is looking at even very small line items on its Profit & Loss statement to find cost savings as eCommerce growth has slowed and its retail business is under pressure to generate profits.
In 2017, the company shut down its money-losing Quidsi division which operated diapers.com and soap.com. Amazon had acquired Quidsi only six years earlier to gain market share in those verticals.
However, the sudden news that Fabric.com would shut down came as a bit of a surprise. Unlike the Quidsi brands, shoppers probably don’t think of Amazon.com as a source for materials like textiles.
Also, for many suppliers, Fabric.com has been the largest buyer, which means they will have to broaden their customer base to maintain sales, not ideal during these inflationary times.
Amazon seems to hope that Fabric.com customers will just easily move their business to the Amazon Fabric Shop on Amazon.com. Something suppliers will also hope for.
But such a sudden change may also make customers look for alternative options such as Etsy, eBay or other specialty sites who are angered by this decision.
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