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Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by dfwanna, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. dfwanna

    dfwanna Grumbler

    Has anyone been shopping Joanns Fabrics lately?
    Just want to share a little info with you all out there that I recently discovered.
    They carry approx 900 samples of Larson-Juhl. Thats their only supplier. Now they get their frames joined and mats precut to size,(This I have confirmed with the local Larson rep).
    I had them priced and well...you do the math and see if you can compete.....
    14 1/2 x 19 1/2 LJ#683IS (I thought the Imperial profile was never to go into huge corps like Michaels and such?)
    cons clear glass, standard mount and fit

    No mats....their original price was 436.67
    sale price 60% off is 174.97.
    Now, I would love to be able to compete with that myself...but being a Larson Partner myself and on the supposed best price list, I really cant compete.
    Please let me know what you think or if you have had Joanns in your area for a while, let me know how it has impacted you, or others in your area. The Joanns are new to my area and making a large impact with their advertising dollars.
    To me it looks like larson Juhl is helping this company to sell at a wholesale level...am I wrong?

    Thanks for reading, Dfwanna
    Sponsor Wanted
  2. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've never been good at sugar coating things so let me say "who gives a ****?"

    The way I see it you have two options at your disposal.

    1. Don't carry LJ.
    2. Buy Joann's and changet the business.

    Ohh and welcome to the grumble.

    Carry on! (if you must)
  3. D_Derbonne

    D_Derbonne PFG, Picture Framing God

    Do a search. This topic has been discussed ad nauseum.

    The Imperial line isn't part of the Ponzo collection and that is what is restricted. At least that is my understanding.
    Of course, I could be wrong.

    Welcome to TG.
  4. Ron's dog's flea's brain on acid

    Ron's dog's flea's brain on acid MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Hmmm... The way my new L-J catalogue is laid out, Imperial is, indeed, in the Craig Ponzio collection.
  5. Kevin Colbert

    Kevin Colbert CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Here's another simple answer to a complex question. We must keep the focus on WHAT is being purchased by the customer and do our best to differentiate what we do from what they do. This is not always easy, and with some customers it is even impossible, but it is what salesmen have been doing from the beginning of time.

    It is known as apples to apples. If you believe that you are defined by them, you have already lost. We have all the big box stores within 5 miles of our stores and they actually SEND us customers. We often have the work previously done by them in our store for a GOOD job to be done. At many times we have beaten their pricing (we are normally higher but get good business because of our work). They often send us business they can’t or won’t handle.

    I have had a great time at their expense. One really good line for a customer questioning the price difference is “That is a lower price. Why do you suppose they have to have there price so low to get customers to go there?”

    I don’t want to be flippant, because I know many people are very concerned about the apparent unfair competition, but I think they are destined for failure. People don’t want to pay $179.00 for something they regret buying. They would much rather spent $250.00 and be really happy they did.
  6. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well said Kevin!

    Spend the energy on defining your business, give them an "experience" they can't get anywhere else.

    my 2 cents


    p.s. welcome to the grumble!
  7. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I too cannot compete with Jo-Anne's on LJ based on price. I was the biggest fan of LJ and their people 5 years ago. Today we show less than 30% of what we had then. It has been replaced with items that they don't have at prices that are better than their sale prices.
  8. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think we make a tremendous mistake by assuming that we cannot compete with them. The biggest thing you absolutely can compete with them is on perception.

    They dominate because they absolutely clobbered us on the "perception" battle. And most of us have surrendered without a shot

    Everyone of us can define some things that we can compete on "perceived value"

    It might be a great same day service on a poster framing special, it might be on a nifty package that blows away the compettion on pricing (notice I didn't say everything under the roof).

    Find one thing that you can buy exceptionally well and make it a "hallmark" idea-something that absolutely drives them to you. It may be as simple as buying a box of something and turning that buying advantage into a huge selling advantage.

    Remember, in spite of what some will tell you, consumers-all consumers-have an inherent idea of pricing. It might not be accurate, but to them it is. And if you can provide a "comfort" level with one singular item that your prices are reasonable, you have so much latitude with your other pricing.

    Remember Taco Bell and their 59 cent Taco promo? Forget that they charged $1.29 for a 16oz soda. 59 cents Tacos filled the drive through

    If you truly believe that you will survive because of your exemplary service and quality workmanship alone, you just might be missing a great opportunity.

    I have a simple question: If you are hanging your hat on these two elements, and it is working, then why are you concerned about any BB. You must be rolling in the dough right now

    However, I just don't think we have a lot of candidates for that description

    In truth, most framers are doing pretty much the same things as they did 5 yrs ago and I can pretty much tell you what the predictable path will be

    Did anyone read Jay Goltz's and Marc Bluestone's columns in PFM this month? What the heck do you think they were talking about if it wasn't this exact concept
  9. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    My retail price for that is combination is $192.94

    I guess I need to find a way to trim a few more dollars off.

    I also have a very good knock-off that would retail around 100 bucks PF-9002
  10. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    dfwana ;I am a "Johnny come lately" to this thread and just wanted to compare my price to your's and Jerry's when I noticed something that confused me. If this is a pricer job and you stated

    14 1/2 x 19 1/2 LJ#683IS (I thought the Imperial profile was never to go into huge corps like Michaels and such?)
    cons clear glass, standard mount and fit

    No mats....their original price was 436.67
    sale price 60% off is 174.97.

    The "NO MATS ... Standard mount and fit" leaves me to wonder what is it in the frame and how are you spaceing it away from the glass? I am not familiar with LJ#683IS but is a double rabbeted moulding and then if so what are you useing to support the glass? That could make a difference in the price and also could be a negative point about the Techniques used by your competition regaurdless of their price.
  11. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What other battle is there to win? Perception is reality (in the eyes of the "perceiver").
  12. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Amen! Brother Dave. But no one ever said that perception had to be based on FACT. And that is what the BB count on,and what we need to educate the public to. Even if as Bob suggest we resort to playing the game by their rules only to show how the "slight of hand/price" is acheived.
  13. Kevin Colbert

    Kevin Colbert CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Wow, this string has advice you can take to the bank.

    Bob said "Find one thing that you can buy exceptionally well and make it a "hallmark" idea-something that absolutely drives them to you. It may be as simple as buying a box of something and turning that buying advantage into a huge selling advantage."

    Buddy said "negative point about the Techniques used by your competition regardless of their price."

    Dave said "Today we show less than 30% of what we had then. It has been replaced with items that they don't have at prices that are better than their sale prices."

    These are all competitive techniques that anyone can do but must choose to do. Joann’s and the other big box stores have incredible challenges in personnel, in buying, in cost controls and management that smaller operations don’t face.

    I love the movie The Princess Bride. When Wesley (the hero) is fighting the giant, he has gained the advantage and the giant starts making excuses of how he is not used to fighting just one small quick opponent. Wesley replies “How can that matter?” The giant say’s “Well, I have different moves when I’m fighting large groups”

    Wesley finally chokes the giant into unconsciousness and says “I do not envy you the headache you will have when you wake up. But, in the mean time, sleep well and dream of large women.”
  14. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    I understand your frustration dfwanna. I have always come to LJ's defense in these postings. I have always felt they are within their rights as business people to go after whatever business they choose. I don't see it as underhanded in anyway. If I did Joann's volume I would expect the same prices.

    But, when I walked into our first Joann's Superstore it was like getting punched in the stomach seeing LJ's catalogue displayed on their walls. I didn't expect it to bother me but it has. I still don't think LJ has done anything wrong here but it was a huge wake up call for me. I would never totally remove them from my wall but it became very apparent that I needed to make sure I didn't look like a Joanns wall. My price on your example came in at $332, obviously I cna't compete with their $174 price. So, I am adjusting what I feature on my wall, not that LJ has ever been the major portion of my wall.

    I had this same consternation last year when we discovered that Designer Moulding apparently was selling to the public at our cost. Really annoyed the heck out of me, but some of their stuff I sell pretty steadily and I would have been shooting myself in the foot if I had yanked them all off the wall. Can't afford to make too many emotional decisions like that.......just do what you have to do and look at it as a business decision.

    I wonder why we all take LJ's actions so personally? Probably because they have built their company on being friendly and customer oriented......
  15. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    All this after reading keeping your COGs below 28%.

    Jerry, (respectfully) give me a break. What is your cost?

    If this is all true, it upsets me as well. I asked a LJ rep once before about this. They said they were not getting any better pricing than the rest of us have the opportunity to get.

    So, why should I be mad at them? That one is simple. I feel they are partially responsible for inflating and setting up most of our current price structure. Look at their suggested retail pricing. Now that the BBs are forcing their hand, they cave - by necessity - and leave the rest of us holding the bag.

    LJ has to be selling their joins to Joann's at box price in order to make it possible to return a profit. And, that is only joined x2. Cost of goods my ***.

    Is this JUST a special, or is this typical pricing throughout LJs entire line?

    We certainly can compete, but it will have to be without LJ. If this is true, ultimately, it is LJ that will get hurt the most.

    By the way Kathy, that's real close to my price without discounts.
  16. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Hi Anna,
    Welcome to the Grumble.
    Now, don't be a "One Hit Wonder".
    This is a great place to step out of the vacuum of working in a small business, and though the responses you get might not be exactly what you want to hear, they are generally well reasoned.
    If you have looked into the archives you will find that this subject is not new. Some of the more attuned Grumblers have been working on solutions to this issue for quite a while and they are sharing helpful info about their findings.

    So, though a good rant is how many of us start here, I think you'll find that the discourse that follows will be helpful in your dealing with the changes that are happening in the industry.

    So pull up a chair and set a spell. Share another voice from Florida's First Coast.
  17. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well, today, the applecart tipped over and you wouldn't believe what spilled all over

    I used to buy a bunch of mid-priced photo frames from a well known seller. They import boatloads of the stuff.

    They sold the exact same stuff to Target and every other big box under the sun. The story is as familiar as any other rants. You know, we could almost buy the same product from Target at their full retail as we paid from the mafgr, factoring in freight.

    So, we and apparently many other small retailers, just said "Forget it" (okay, I cleaned it up)

    Now, they are back begging for my biz back.

    Here is the rub: I had a very candid (more candid than I think he meant it to be) conversation and, not that I am sneaky, but was able to put this interesting story together.

    Each container, as an eaxmple, would carry 10,000 units at for this story cost $2 a unit. They knew 75% of the shipment was headed for a BB near you. The BB would pay around $2.80 and sell it for around $4.69 (40% margin approx at retail). The remaining 30% was sold to me and others for around $4.00 and we would sell them for around $8.99 (or about 50% margin after freight).

    Well, we got tired of getting beaten up in the perception battle and quit buying from them. Except now they were selling 100% to these BB's and only making .80 GP per unit and no longer had the $2.00 GP to offset the smokin' deal the BB's got. In essence, our fuller margined (for the seller) price was subsidizing the lower prices offered the big players.

    Now, I have no problem with the concept and if I bought 70% of the container, I would expect similar.

    But the company no longer had me to make up the difference and they could no longer make any money on just the BB's.

    Their response? They now offer a line with private labels, private boxes and much closer pricing and very few duplications.

    As he told me, they now establish the base price on the BB's and if they get 25% more from me, it's all plus business and they are now aggressively marketing both tiers of the marketplace. The spread is nowhere near as severe and we can compete easily again

    I thought the similarities were worth noting
  18. Kevin Colbert

    Kevin Colbert CGF, Certified Grumble Framer


    That’s a great story, once again proving "What goes around comes around".
  19. DenKym

    DenKym CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I am not getting on one side or the other, however I wanted to make one point that has not been made yet...

    All of us do realize that pretty much every BB out there considers the ‘custom framing’ department as a cost loss center? They could really case less if they make .01%, 1% or 100% or in fact loose a considerable amount because they make their margins on all of the plastic/imported stuff they sell off their shelves at 200% mark up. Why do you think that the ‘custom framing’ departments are in the rear/back areas of the stores, where you have to walk though almost the entire store to get to?

    It’s all in marketing, displays and public buying patterns to them, not in customer service, design detail or the personal detail that we can offer.

    I guess that we have already got over that 'trying to compete' attitude against the BB's for it cant be done on price alone.
  20. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Everytime the BB's come up, someone just has to drag out that tired old pony of framing being a loss leader; that they don't care if they lose money yada yada yada.

    Let me be the person that breaks this myth and sends into oblivion (until the next time, I am sure).

    Framing in the BB's accounts for around 16-17% of the stores business. Anyone that truly believes that they do not make money, and a ton of it, simply doesn't understand business. I do not mean to be so harsh, but you simply cannot make such an uninformed statement like that.

    I will guarantee that every single square foot in these monsters is measured. In retailing, it is called an Engineered P&L. A lineal foot of product doesn't produce? It's outta there

    A sales manager that doesn't generate profit for his area? He's outta there

    These people make money and tons of it and with that volume they buy so effectively they could sell to you and make a ton of money.

    The first thing we need to do when we enter into a serious Buisiness Discussion is to understand the dynamics.

    The biggest tool used in understanding these dynamics is the ability to measure. And when we measure the volumes and market share they control, it is staggering.

    Just imagine how much more they would dominate the market if they were only half as bad as we all seem to rejoice in thinking they are.

    I do not mean to be so direct, but we need to understand what the challenge really is. If we cannot identify that simple element, how do we possibly expect to combat it; much less overcome it?

    Lose a little on each sale? Yeah, I guess they just make it up through volume
  21. Jana

    Jana SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been reading this thread and others like it and have been thinking about competition. I still think JoAnn's is low-balling with their pricing of LJ frames. I can understand lower prices, but this divide is so extreme. Our price is way up there. We don't sell this moulding often.

    What do you think would happen to LJ if lots and lots of indie framers would pull their mouldings? Would they come back with sweeter deals like Bob's RM supplier did? Just thinking aloud.
  22. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    dfwana I was not just makeing a point about the techniques of the competition. When I said"The "NO MATS ... Standard mount and fit" leaves me to wonder what is it in the frame and how are you spaceing it away from the glass? "

    I was truly interested in what was being framed and how it was glazed without a mat and no mention was made about spacers or what cost they added to the package. PLEASE enlighten this dumb framer.
  23. Kevin Colbert

    Kevin Colbert CGF, Certified Grumble Framer


    I have to agree with you on this one. I was in management for many years with discount chain store and I am sure they don't operate anything expecting a loss.

    However, I am also sure they could be losing money while trying to make money. What they love about the business is very simple. It is the high margins in custom framing (at least in theory) and the corporate buyer types love high margin items. If they do a good job in controlling the shrinkage, they will make money. What they hate, is mistakes, old inventory, and high labor costs.

    The fact that these companies are guided by accountant types rather than marketing types is the thing that gives me confidence they will ALWAYS try to make a profit with lower costs rather that higher quality. That is why I am not worried about them.
  24. sheritex

    sheritex CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Well, have to throw my 2 cents into this fray....concerning JoAnn's...I worked there for aabout 2 years...then left for better pastures. Since then, the JoAnns in Tyler and the one in Longview have both been closed down. Having observed what went on ( I was an assistant manager)...I'm not surprised at them closing. When you get shipments on a daily basis of stuff that is being dropped on you..inventory control goes out the window...and to see 3/4 of it marked down to 20 cents on a dollar is wild. I saw this all the time....employee turn over is unbelievable also...I personnally don't think the lastest adventure into framing is going to last..(let me also insert here that in both towns the JoAnns closed is 80,000 people +) I saw the same thing happen to Factory Card Outlet. My husband was a manager of Radio Shacks in Ala, Ar, and Tx.... for over 20 years....and one thing Radio Shack did was control inventory...At anytime, he could tell you right down to the last resistor what he had in that store...plus they did inventories at least 4 times a year....Now, back to JoAnns...I know of stock that sat in the back room for weeks at a time...short payroll and no one to put it out...very brisk business as far as sales go...Managers worked 80-90 hours a week and more because of payroll constraints....so folks....how long is this going to last...people have to have training to frame....its not like cutting cloth....and how many of the "framers" are getting tied up on the registers, cutting fabric etc. From my experience with this company, I'm willing to bet that anyone and everyone is working in the framing department doing heavens knows what to customers jobs.
  25. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    The answer is Yes.
  26. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God


    There are different levels of "Partner".

    When I was selling Decor and Omega, my CoGS would run 30 to 32% because of shipping and all those tacked on charges. For the past 6 months, including the Christmas rush, my CoGS is 26%. My retail prices are about the same, my gross sales are up, and the percentage that stays with me is better. This is for one of my locations only. The other location is begging for plastic moulding, cardboard and hot glue.

    Is it better to sell a 50 cent moulding for $5 a foot, or a $2 moulding for $8?
  27. dfwanna

    dfwanna Grumbler

    Hmmm...now that I've seen some pretty diverse reactions. I just want to say I only posted this to make framers aware, and I appreciate the responses, (all of them).
    Now as I see it, the only way to make profit on something like this really, is to be given a 40% discount by Larson.
    My prices are right up there (by the way)in the 300s. I think this is Larson's suggested retail, is it not?
    (I had a prematted print priced, just to compare their prices and see if the rumors were true.)
    The main reason I was concerned, was if this may cause a price war with Michaels and other BB's. then what happens to us? Are we forced to compete? Right now Michaels ups their prices about 9 times to give that 50% discount, still keeps it at a retail level. We dont worry...well thanks to our beloved Larson...Joanns really is about 40% off. With their large advertising dollars, if you don't think someone will drive 30 miles to get a 60% discount on a quality moulding, that really is at wholesale cost,I think you are mistaken. Joanns is carrying most of the Larson line, not all of it. But the Imperial is not a cheap line.
    Now I too, only carry maybe 30% Larson, (I'm no dummy), and I do have about 25 years of experience. I don't worry that this will put me out of business, but I do believe it is wrong for the Co. that standardized the prices in the industry, may also drive them down if a price war happens with the BB's. I hope I'm wrong.
    Thanks again for all of you responses.
  28. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Do me a favor let me know what your cost is on that frame. You need about 8ft for that frame.

    Not including shipping:

    Box is 6.28
    Length is 8.97
    Chop 14.83
    Joined is 20.76

    I'm not a "Partner" but I get 5% on chops & 10% on length.


    I don't see how you can sell this job at your stated price of $192.94

    Please share how you came up with your figure. I am not criticizing. Please don't tell me you are length x2.

    I've got a call in to my new LJ rep. This should be an interesting conversation. Another company's rep said they used to have that account and got dumped due to the LJ deal. He says LJ picks up the art and delivers it finished the next trip. I keep getting conflicting stories. Sorry if this has been clarified before. I have not been around here in a while.
  29. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God


    One of these is 2.15 a foot and 1.35 by the box. One is not.

    We will discuss the other off line.

    How do you get 5% and 10% and not be a Partner?
  30. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's not faaaaair! [​IMG]

  31. Jana

    Jana SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree with Betty.
  32. Kevin Colbert

    Kevin Colbert CGF, Certified Grumble Framer


    I have been trying to figure out what you are saying about how you sell this same thing for less. You make it sound like you are buying Larson Juhl for less (substantially) than everyone else.

    Are you selling a different manufacturer that looks similar? It's OK if you are but it isn't the same thing if you are. I'm sure you don't CLAIM it is Larson!
    I'm not sure the rest of us understand this clearly. Could you please clarify?
  33. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    I am also wondering about the Legal ramifications and problems of saying a moulding is made by a certain maufacturer when it isn't .However that priceing stratergy sounds very similar to what Bob Carter suggested in another thread. Price similar looking mouldings like the alternate brand they look like.

    I also think I finally got my answer about Glazing ,Is the work "PRE-MATTED"? If not I still say you are omitting some of the cost.

    But my probale Retail would be around $315 tax included. But I also think my COG if I attempted to sell the LJ moulding at $175 would be right around 45%. Which sounds like a sure fire way to close shop.

    I also am wondering how Jerry gets 5-10% discounted rate with LJ if he isn't a Partner. You must do a huge Volume.And I agree with Betty and Jana that isn't fair to substitute moulding when the original question and Clients choice was based on LJ moulding.Anyone could give a better price if they changed materials. But can you LEGALLY do that to a customer without being guilty of FRAUD?

    I think I remeber reading in that Art Busines News article on Cpyright Infringement By Joshua Kaufman or in his website, that even IMPLIED Immatation can be an Infringement.
    And I do hope everyone realizes that LJ does LURK on TFG.Don't you?
  34. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Naa, I just meant it was unfair for them to discuss it off line. Just joking around.

    I'm sure there are some customers who know (and give a hoot) who Larson Juhl is, but I figure most of them wouldn't know Omega from Alpha.
    They just care:
    1. what the price is
    2. does it look good
    3. did I enjoy the "experience." (It's all about the "experience" ya know ;) )

  35. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hey you guys, here is his original quote. He has a good knock off for a lower price.....I don't think he is deceiving anybody. But if you can really sell the actual LJ Imperial one for $194 you have to be in the upper eschelon partner program with LJ to sell almost as cheaply as Joann's. Obviously partnership does have it's rewards if you are a big enough fish......
  36. sheritex

    sheritex CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Betty, you are absolutely right concerning customers knowing or caring about whether its LJ, or whatever....I ran into a similar problem with the first polysty moulding that I sold. I wanted my customer to understand this was not wood.....she didn't care...she like the moulding and that was it.....$150 or so to frame her masters degree and she was thrilled...she actually cried when I gave it to her...(and she already knew the price guys! LOL) and her experience was great....had an idea of frame she wanted...took her 4 samples....showed her the suede mat and fillet...she never had to leave her office.
  37. Kath.ryn

    Kath.ryn Grumbler

    Originally posted by Jana:
    What do you think would happen to LJ if lots and lots of indie framers would pull their mouldings? Would they come back with sweeter deals like Bob's RM supplier did? Just thinking aloud.

    I like LJ but I've taken them all off my wall. My customers are very happy, as am I, with what my other suppliers have to offer. Great look, great quality, great price - and my business has not been hurt at all by not having LJ.

    I feel strongly that LJ now has a retail framing business and I choose not to support them but to give my business to my other suppliers who are not in competition with me. These suppliers have been great "partners" with me for many years, and I want to give them my business to help keep them in business as well.

    I think LJ is very interested in the reaction of the independants, and I'm sure they have a marketing stratey ready in response should more walls come tumbling down.
  38. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Kathy the original question asked ;"14 1/2 x 19 1/2 LJ#683IS (I thought the Imperial profile was never to go into huge corps like Michaels and such?)
    cons clear glass, standard mount and fit'

    So when Jerry said"I also have a very good knock-off that would retail around 100 bucks PF-9002 " he in deed isn't fooling any of us ,as you said,but when you said,"I don't think he is deceiving anybody." My question is what is he telling the consumer? If he doesn't even insinuate that it is LJ as was asked ,that's fine and I agree a lot of customers could care less who amkes the moulding.The rub comes,as i understand it, if they are told it is LJ or justgiven that impression,or that the other moulding is as good ,while not being able to proove any of those positions .

    Is that a liabious statement and is it an infringement of LJ's copyrights?

    But more to the point it isn't a direct answer to the question being asked.And also why does LJ give jerry ( a nonpartner) those high discount rates? Not that any of us begrudges him the discounts . It would just be nice to know how to get them and level our playing field with Jerry's,just like the BB's.LOL

    But then maybe Jerry has already given too much information to some LJ Lurkers.LOL
  39. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    (This has nothing to do with JoAnns. If the on-going debate is what you're here for, skip this post. [​IMG] )

    Sherry, another thing I do is take digital photos of 3-4 samples and e-mail them to the customer. They can look at them at their convenience, and saves me one trip to the office.

  40. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    If he (doubtfully) has said too much, you certainly aren't going to let it drop. You've questioned his partnership with a vendor, the way he represents his products and his integrity. None of which you know the first thing about.

    Now he has seen your question (2 or 3 times now). Please offer him the courtesy to comment, or not. He has made it abundantly clear that there is a limitation to what he intends to discuss on this board. Please respect that.
  41. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Experiences in Europe would indicate that it is not always “others” who “Knock” of LJ but the other way around also in that LJ participate in this practice of knocking of other manufacturers moulding, there is one factory in Europe who will no longer even send LJ samples as all they have used samples for in the past is to produce their “Knock” of version of this factories moulding/product and have passed the “Knock” off as a LJ original………..nice people all round at LJ……I will await with baited breath LJ denial of this practice……….
  42. sheritex

    sheritex CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I don't deal with LJ. my point is unless a lot of things has changed in the JoAnn's way of business....I seriously doubt they are going to be able to make a huge impact with this adventure with LJ. But I don't blame the folks that deal with LJ being upset....sounds like a raw deal for them. Perhaps I am being naive...but when you close stores (there were more than the 2 I mentioned)...there is something wrong. I agree with whoever said what would happen if everyone else pulled the LJ mouldings. Also appreciate the tip about the digital pics....Have thought that might be a good idea with possible customers that I run into in the areas I travel in.
  43. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Buddy, I didn't read it to mean he would sub the cheap frame for the LJ. He said he had one price for the LJ and could offer a lower price with a knock off. I think we all probably have frames we can pull out that are similar but less in cost to save a sale. I know I do. Plus, I don't think Jerry said he wasn't a partner, I think he said there are different levels of partner. That is at least how I read the postings.

    Sherry, Joann's bought up lots and lots of fabric stores all over the country in order to become "the" fabric store. The ones they are not interested in for their new "super store" concept are being closed. There are several here that you can tell are not being invested in probably due to location, they will eventually be closed when the new ones are added in. I'd be surprised if the ones that closed in your area were the new concept ones. The ones that have the full service frameshops are a whole different ballgame altogether. Beautiful stores, at least here in Colorado anyway, not your mothers fabric store. If I wasn't so annoyed seeing all the LJ in them I would actually get a kick out of sitting back and watching them and Michael's duke it out. Because they will reach a saturation point the way they are currently warring it out. Where do they go from 60-70% off? Maybe all framing done "Free" while you wait?

    Just felt the need to clear up misnomers this morning.......

    As Jay says, Carry on!
  44. Jana

    Jana SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's what I thought Betty meant and that's what I agreed with.

    Kathy, I figure they will raise their base price and then have an 80% off special. :rolleyes:

    I double-checked. Our Imperial samples have Craig Ponzio stickers on them. What gives?
  45. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hey, I'm wondering... do you know for sure that it was the LJ Imperial? Because if it was this whole thing is going give me a level of disillusionment that I haven't experienced since "weapons of mass distruction."

    Anyway... they have this moulding that looks a lot like the Imperial but I don't think it is...


    It's the 6th moulding down and they are selling a 16 x 20 beveled mirror for $150 including the mirror and, I believe, shipping. Only one other moulding on the page looks like it may be from Larson, so they are definitely selling more than just LJ. I'm hoping it's just a mix-up.

    By the way, I've been a partner for as long as the program has existed, buy in length, and I do several times the minimum required and my price on the job in the first post is $345.44. No way I can afford to sell it under $200 and I don't think Joann's can either. In fact, I'm in the heart of Joann's turf here in Ohio and frame for some of their execs and while they definitely see Michael's as a competitor I don't believe they think we are even in the same business. It's a whole different level of framing.
  46. dfwanna

    dfwanna Grumbler

  47. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Nope, don't need a copy. I trust ya. I was just really hoping it was a mix up. Thank you!
  48. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God


    No harm, no foul.

    I am a partner.

    I would never bait and switch a customer.

    I have the knock-off samples displayed right beside the real thing. The design is dead on, however the finish is not as nice. I sale as much of one as the other. I have bought the 9002 by the box and ran it on mirrors before.

    I just don't feel that all prices should be discussed publicly.

    Some of you may be really pissed at what I pay for glass. It took a lot of negotiating to get the prices that I have.

    I work the system when I can. As we all should.
  49. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Geez! Someone should grow up here. The decision to carry LJ or not should be based on whether or not they sell in your shop. period!

    LJ can be very good for a small shop. I took my training from them. Their rep helped me set up and helped me acquire my initial equipment. I have never had any trouble selling their line using chop prices. They are an excellent source of supplies mats and glass - with free delivery. It doesn't take that much dollar volume to get to their first level of discount - first notch quantity for single purchases - a great help for a low volume shop. I carry a wide selection of other lines - from cheap Studio to expensive Munn closed corner frames. I wouldn't dream of pulling LJ samples over anything that I have read in this thread.

    I believe my rep when he says that Ponzio frames are not marketed to BBs, however it wouldn't bother me if certain lines, i.e. Imperial and Castellano, that pre-date the "Ponzio" promotion were still available for BBs. BTW the the frame in the Joann's web-site is NOT LJ Imperial.

    Pat [​IMG]
  50. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree with Pat. It is a knock off. My supplier charges 2.15 a foot and 1.35 by the box, delivered. It could be found cheaper from the importer ProFrame in Georgia. However, you would be paying shipping and buying box only.
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