This being a scrapbooking blog and all, I thought I would give a minor critique to stores that I visit on my travels. This is something I do on my own as a service to other scrapbookers and please feel free to agree or disagree with me in a manner that serves as constructive.
Fabric Barn appears to mainly serve wholesalers (and these clients must have a wholesaler's license); however, between the warehouses is an outlet retail store that isn't much to look at from the outside. But inside ... Let's just say if you are looking for a specific type or color of ribbon you will probably find it here.
Head into the back half of the store to find spools and spools of ribbon - I won't even try to guess how many. Most are hung comfortably at eye level, clearly marked with prices and cutting directions. It's based on the honor system, you cut your own ribbon using very accessible yard sticks and scissors, writing down your selections on the provided pads of paper.
Prices, for the most part, seemed great. Specialty ribbons and ribbons in the designated "Scrapbookers" section (Fabric Barn saw us coming a mile away!) are generally discounted, especially when you compare the prices to those at most LSSs. Most ribbons in these sections are 2,3 or 4 yards for $1, depending on the design. I am usually charged at least 69 cents a yard, or more, for the EXACT SAME ribbon at local LSSs. At Fabric Barn, if you need the entire spool, an even deeper discount is given.
However, thin, 1/4-inch ribbons such as the Offray ribbons you can get at Michaels or JoAnn's aren't much of a bargain at all. They are actually just as much or more that they would be on sale at the box stores. My advice is to wait for the sales at the box stores and save your Fabric Barn money for tougher-to-find selections.
The following ribbon themes were well-represented at Fabric Barn: Sports, pets, wedding, baby, holidays (Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and more) baptism/faith, seasons (especially fall) and floral.
Be sure not to miss the bargain box of spooled ribbons in front of you just as you walk through the front door. You might discover a hard-to-find color at a cheap price! (I got 50 yards of a 1/4-inch aqua I hadn't seen before for a mere $1.99, plus tax).
For less than $18, I got the 50-yard spool (which I will end up sharing, I'm sure!), 13 yards of 6-inch wide black tulle, and 40 yards of different specialty ribbons of my choice. I left many great ribbons behind for the next time I visit.
You can even order personalized ribbon, printed with whatever verbiage you want. Go to Fabric Barn's website (click on the title of this post) for details.
Aside for ribbon, there is also lace, cable, tulle, trim, elastic, Velcro, batting, pillow forms and a limited amount of fabric. Woodcraft, dollmaking and other craft supplies are available, as well as party decorations and favors in nearly every one of life's themes (wedding, birthday, baby, holidays, etc.).
As I mentioned before, this is definitely a store I will visit again ... whenever I have a spare $20 and an urge to add to my ribbon collection!