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From storefront to website

Coming Home Fabrics will close its store, sell exclusively online

Posted: November 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Tom Fisk, owner of Coming Home Fabrics in Valencia, has a variety of fabrics on display. The storefront will close at the end of the year, but custom fabric services will be offered online.

 

After nearly 15 years in business, Coming Home Fabrics is closing its storefront at the end of 2011 and moving into the online realm to continue providing its custom-fabric services.

The retailer originally opened on Cinema Drive in 1997. Coming Home Fabrics later moved to the Valencia Industrial Center on Anza Drive. As the economy worsened, the business moved back to its original location, and a smaller store, about three years ago.

A local resident since 1978, owner Tom Fisk said business has changed so much over the years. Shoppers’ buying habits changed, and then as the economy weakened that the need for a brick and mortar store to provide his services has diminished.

“Seventy-five to 80 percent of my sales are custom-fabric orders today,” Fisk said. “Only 25 percent of our sales come from in-store inventory.”

Buyers looking for upholstery or drapery fabric rarely buy from existing inventory, Fisk said. The majority look through the retailer’s fabric sample books and then custom order a fabric to suit the specific color or pattern desired.

The overhead cost of a retail store for a minority of his sales just doesn’t make sense, said Fisk. So, he is changing his business model.

“I realize if we close, people will have to leave the area to shop for custom fabrics,” Fisk said. “So, I decided rather than close the business altogether, I’ll set up appointments to meet people so they can continue to order their fabrics from the samples.”

In the meantime, Fisk plans to start holding close-out sales to clear existing inventory over the next two months.

Coming Home Fabrics provides many customized services including in-home consultation services, fabric education and selection help, in-home visits for measurements as necessary, handling the reupholsters or drape making and even installations.

Changing his business model to an online service means revamping his website, Fisk said. In the future, people will be able to make appointments and get more information they need on line.

Ideally, Fisk would also like to find an existing business where he might have space to meet customers who aren’t yet ready for a home visit but need some preliminary consulting services on fabric and design choices as well as pricing.

Coming Home Fabrics is located at 23300 Cinema Drive, Valencia and be reached at (661) 255-5023. The retailer is located between A Chorus Line and Stonefire Grill restaurant.

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