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Jo Ann - The history
In 1943, Hilda and Berthold Reich who were German immigrants and their friends Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach started an imported cheese store in Cleveland. The fabric was added, which sold so well that they chose to open a second store. With no money for extra inventory, they divided full bolts into two to supply both stores. Ultimately, they discontinued cheese sales and started operating under the name Cleveland Fabric Shop. The name was later changed in 1969 to Jo-Ann Fabrics due to further expansion. The store's name was created by joining the names of the daughters from both families: Joan and Jacqueline Ann. The Rohrbach family also established two other Cleveland-based businesses—Decorative Hardware Supply, Inc. and Factory Windows Direct, LLC, which still runs in Cleveland.
In 1998, Fabri-Centers acquired House of Fabrics, which also served as Fabricland, So-Fro Fabrics, and Fabric King. The company also changed its name, and all of its stores were renamed Jo-Ann Fabrics. Today, Jo-Ann Fabrics is a national retailer of decorating, crafting, and sewing products.
On December 23, 2010, Jo-Ann Stores declared plans to sell out to private equity firm Leonard Green for $1.6 billion.