Paragould Women Upset Over Wal-Mart Decision

January 27, 2007 - Posted at 8:30 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD-A new initiative by Wal-Mart stores has several Paragould women speaking out.

The company has decided to remove the cut-fabric section from some of its locations to make way for a new craft and celebration center.

But those who frequently buy fabric from Wal-Mart, feel they are being cut short a yard or two.

"Nothing speaks any louder to wal-mart than the loss of dollars.," said Kimberly Warmath of Paragould.

It's that reason the Wal-Mart corporation has removed the fabric department from several of their stores.

"It's such a big deal because it is the only access to fabric that people in rural America have," said Warmath.

And with a petition of more than 19-thousand people already asking Wal-Mart to reconsider, one group of Paragould ladies says the stores could be losing out on their routine spending.

"I'm all the time going in after hours getting material for this and that," said Viola Rogers.

"You could go to Wal-Mart, look at the colors, touch the fabrics, and it was just really convenient," said Tara Piatt.

And those that frequent the Wal-Mart fabric department say the store is taking away convenience and pushing business elsewhere.

"I hardly ever go into Wal-Mart to buy fabric, that I don't end up buying a lot of other things while I'm there. And if I don't have to buy fabric, then I'll buy my other articles somewhere else," said Warmath.

Therefore Warmath is urging other women to boycott Wal-Mart for the first two weeks of February.

"I just couldn't stand the thought of especially the elderly ladies that I know of in this community that do not drive and do not have access to fabric now. They could possibly be wanting to sew and now they are not going to have access to fabric," said Warmath.

For ladies like Viola Rogers, who likes to quilt, passing on the family tradition means reaping what you sew.

"This is northeast Arkansas. We still have sewing in our blood. I have a 12-year-old granddaughter that I'm trying to teach to sew, and I think this is memories we can pass on," said Rogers.

Memories she says will be a lot harder without the help of Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart tells us they are only taking the cut-fabric section out of new stores and those that are going to be undergoing remodeling.

Company officials say this is something they are trying for now, but are always willing to look at changes if it better suits a community.

If you would like to sign the petition asking Wal-Mart to reconsider pulling the cut-fabric section, log on to  www.petitiononline.com/savefab.

You can also call wal-mart's customer line at 1-800-WAL-MART.

Marmath also urges everyone to join in with her in boycotting the store from February 1st through the 15th.

Story ideas or comments?  E-mail Will at wcarter@kait8.com.