Hancock’s flagship store gets makeover

By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Hancock Fabrics customers will notice a significant change in the company’s Tupelo store – it’s half the size it was.

But company officials say it’s quality, not quantity, that matters most at the Baldwyn-based retailer’s flagship location.

“It’s a more customer-friendly format, more intimate,” said Joe Finley, the company’s vice president of marketing and e-commerce.

The store, located in the Tupelo Commons retail center that houses Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Best Buy, hasn’t moved. But it does have a smaller footprint.

Until its reopening Friday, the store covered almost 30,000 square feet. Now it’s a more manageable 12,000 square feet, similar in size to the new look and design of Hancock stores going forward, Finley said.

“We have some stores that are even smaller,” he said.

While the exterior hasn’t changed, the interior of the store has been renovated.

Employees can provide better service with less floor space to cover.

“Before, it was sometimes harder to spot a customer,” Finley said. “This is all about having a better customer experience.”

Gone is the furniture that the store once carried. And while craft and home decor remain part of the product mix, the focus clearly is back to Hancock’s core business – fabrics.

The back-to-basics mentality is a result of the company reviewing its strategy and selling customers what they want.

Two years ago, the company expanded the Tupelo store’s offerings, adding thousands of new items, with more emphasis on crafts and decor.

But fabrics are now front and center as soon as customers walk into the store, a move that will be mirrored in the rest of the company’s stores.

On Friday, customers finally got their first look at the revamped Tupelo store, after it was closed Sunday for the renovation.

A grand reopening will be held starting at 9 a.m. today

Hancock Fabrics, headquartered in Baldwyn, was founded by L.D. and Elaine Hancock in Tupelo in 1957. The company has 261 stores in 37 states.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com