When its previous owner Phoenix Textile Group set it up to sell fabrics by-the-yard directly to customers, Fabric.com had an been selling fabric since 1993 (Opens in a new window) rating. 15 years later, the Amazon acquisition proved that it had been a success. However, recently, suppliers that use the site have started to detect issues with the company.

As Craft Industry Alliance (CIA) reports (Opens in a new window) noted, Fabric.com had began paying vendors later than expected over the previous few years. Then, six months ago, Amazon contacted suppliers to inform them that all fabric would soon be available in quantities of one, three, and five yards straight on Amazon.com. They were also required to provide free overnight shipping for orders.

According to a former employee, Amazon repeatedly inquired about the viability of selling pre-packaged lengths of fabric and was always assured it wouldn’t. They don’t understand cloth at all, said an executive from an undisclosed fabric firm.

An chance to transfer to another position inside Amazon as well as a severance payout were offered to employees of Fabric.com. However, Fabric.com’s exit from the fabric industry may not ultimately be a bad thing.

EDITORS’ RECOMMENDATION

Co-founder and director of operations of Cloud9 Fabrics and Felicity Fabrics Gina Pantastico thinks it’s most likely advantageous:

“I believe that Fabric.com’s withdrawal from this market will ultimately create opportunities for new stores to establish and greater business for small quilt shops.” Fabric manufacturers will need to adapt to this, but after we all get over our initial shock and astonishment, I believe this might be a good development for the fabric business as a whole.

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