A national retailer new to Middle Georgia is heading to north Bibb County.
Ohio-based Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores plans to open this summer at The Shoppes at River Crossing on Riverside Drive at Interstate 75, said Bill Baker, senior general manager of the shopping center. The company will move into a 20,331-square-foot building that Circuit City intended to move into shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy in November 2008. It never opened the store there and closed other stores in the area.
Jo-Ann’s will take possession of the building in March and begin renovations, Baker said. “We are forecasting they will be open sometime in July,” he said.
A company official confirmed Jo-Ann plans to come to Macon, but declined to talk about the timeline.
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“Macon was selected by the Jo-Ann real estate team as a good potential market,” Lorraine Schuchart, manager of public affairs for Jo-Ann Fabrics, said in an e-mail.
The company currently has 12 stores in Georgia, according to its Web site.
“They have kind-of reinvented themselves,” Baker said. “They have a lot more craft materials than they used to.”
The new store will “round out the power section of our shopping center,” he said. “It’s another niche in the merchandising center that we don’t have right now to an already strong merchandising plan.”
According to the company’s Web site, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft is the nation’s largest specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts. The Hudson, Ohio-based company sells a number of products for quilting, apparel, craft and home décor sewing as well as tools and kits for crafters.
It has more than 750 stores in 47 states and employs more than 22,000 people.
Schuchart would not speculate as to how many workers would be employed here.
“The number of employees varies depending on many things, including size of store,” she said.
Jo-Ann Fabrics joins a growing list of retailers coming soon to River Crossing, Baker said.
Three stores that are under construction and expected to open in March are: As Seen on TV, Motherhood Maternity, and La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant, he said.
Also, the construction of a Yankee Candle store will begin soon and should be ready to open by early to mid-June, he said.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.