Sunday, April 23, 2006

Scrapbook Supplies Locally versus the Internet

By Christina VanGinkel

Our local Wal-Mart has undergone a makeover in their craft department. The scrapbook aisle has had the same racks of paper for close to two years, and the shelves holding embellishments including stickers and items such as brads and eyelets, have not seen anything new in about the same length of time. Therefore, a few weeks ago, when I noticed that they were starting to clearance out many of the items that have been standard for so long, I had high hopes. Yesterday I had to stop at Wal-Mart for groceries, and I told my daughter that I wanted to see how they had come along with what I had heard was a complete makeover. They had finished the reorganization, and while some of the changes were interesting and they had added a few new tools and selections of paper, the main category that they had added was not something that I would really use. They had added a whole section to the scrapbook department devoted entirely to pets.

Before anyone shouts that hey, what is wrong with that, let me further explain. I realize that pets are an important part of many people's lives. My own included. Our family has four dogs and one very spoiled bird. With all of the photographs that I have to scrap and those yet to be taken, there are pictures of them, but to fill a whole scrapbook devoted to them is not likely something I will do. Yes, I know there are many pet lovers who are shouting that they will scrap a book about their pets, even more than one. However, I firmly believe that many more people will scrap about their kids, their vacations, and their homes and families. I guess what I am saying is that the proportion of space that our local Wal-Mart devoted to the pets was much more than I think would be needed. Broken down, they used over one quarter of their available scrapbook supply space for pet items. They have dog, cat, fish, and bird scrapbooks, papers, stickers, rub-ons, and embellishments. For anyone wanting to create a scrapbook entirely about his or her pet, our Wal-Mart could have you started and finished in no time at all.

I must concede that they added a few sports related categories in a similar format to the pet section, with soccer, basketball, and football themes abundant. I was thrilled to see this, as I am always in search of football gear to embellish my youngest son's football snapshots. They now stock scrapbooks, papers, and embellishments to fit just about any sports need that might arise.

The rest of the space was more or less just cleaned up, with much of it the same as it was before. Stickers were the same, with a few new ones added, and the tools and necessary supplies such as cutters and adhesives the same items that they have carried for several years running. I know I might be expecting a lot, but with no traditional scrapbook store in our locale, I was quite optimistic when I saw that they were reorganizing the shelves. I was hoping to see a new line of papers, maybe a few new tools. Stamps were all on clearance, with only a few foam ones left, and there was not a single heat gun to be found. A few months back when I bought mine, I ended up ordering one from the Internet, as I could not find one locally to buy. I had thought that with embossing being so popular, for both scrapbooking and other paper crafts such as card making, that when they reorganized, they might stock supplies for this. When I had inquired about the heat gun way back, the employee who had waited on me had said that it was a popular request, that she herself had customers ask her almost every day that she worked for either a heat gun itself, or the embossing powders that go with it, but that they had no shelf space to carry the supplies. Therefore, for now, I will continue to order all of my heat embossing supplies via the Internet. I might have been expecting too much I guess, as Wal-Mart has never said that they were a full featured scrapbook store, but still, a person can hope, can't she?

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