Joann Stores Helping Consumers Make Coronavirus Medical Supplies

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
Lisa Johnston CGT
Inside one of Joann's Creator's Studio
Inside one of Joann's Creator's Studio

Joann is opening its doors for consumers who want to help make such in-demand medical items as protective masks, covers and medical gowns.

The craft retailer is offering sewing machines, necessary materials and instruction in its store classrooms while still adhering to the social distancing guidelines set by the CDC and local restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Store associates, meanwhile, will continuously sanitize materials and the store.

The company states on its website that it’s following sewing patterns used in other medical settings, with the recommended fabrics and materials provided.

“The amazing thing about the crafting community is that, especially in difficult times, they are always looking for ways to help,” said Wade Miquelon, president & CEO of Joann. “We are seeing hospital workers, organizations and individuals coming into our stores for supplies to make these essential items, and our customers are asking us how they can help. So many are spending their time and money to help in this tragic situation, and we want to step in to do our part to protect the amazing people who are helping the communities we serve.”

Stores are also serving as collection points for consumers who wish to make these items at home, with curbside pickup available. The company said it’s made provisions for employees who choose to take leave during the health crisis.

“We are providing the items made directly to medical professionals, who can make decisions about how best to use them,” the company notes. “This is a grassroots effort, and we will connect with hospitals near our stores to provide the items to local hospitals, so they can be used at their discretion. Joann is also working with larger hospitals and medical facilities to secure fabric, elastic and clear vinyl – all materials that we understand to be in short supply at many facilities.”

Joann, which operates 865 stores in 49 states, has long used its stores as consumer experience centers, beefing them up with customer-centric technology in recent years.

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