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TNNA Survey Says: Financial Benchmarks for Yarn Retailers

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

TNNA Survey

Financial Benchmarks for Yarn Retailers

Wise people go to the doctor for a checkup every so often. Wise business owners check the health of their business compared with benchmarks for the industry. Use the following table to understand how your retail yarn businesses is doing compared with others. Yarn stores in 2015 typically had sales of $125,000, inventory valued at $75,000, a sales floor of 1,025 square feet, and sales per square foot of $95. Half grew and half were profitable. How did your business do?

If you’re doing better than most, pat yourself on the back and keep up the success. If you are not doing as well as most and would like to have an income from your business, kick yourself into making some changes. Look at the other TNNA Survey Says blog posts for ideas about store features, marketing, product trends and selection, and adding more value to your business.

Summary of financial data for yarn retailers:


Yarn retailers, 2015

Gross annual sales

Median (typical store) $125,000
29% more than $200,000
25% $50,000 or less
Range: $25,000 to $10 million+

Sales growth

48% increased
11% no change
41% decreased


50% yes
50% no

Profit margin
= profit divided by gross sales

16% median


Owner income from store
(salary, distribution, or dividend)

54% yes
46% no

Spending with suppliers per year

$49,000 median

Inventory value
(12-month average, at cost)

$75,000 median

Inventory turn
= sales/(inventory value x markup)


Retail sales floor size

1,025 square feet, median

Sales per square foot

$95 median
(in-store sales only)

Data from multiple questions on TNNA 2016 Needle Arts Retailer Survey. Much more detail is available in the Yarn Retailer Survey Results Report.

  • Source: TNNA 2016 Yarn Retailer Survey Results
  • Freshness: Retailers surveyed February 23 to March 28, 2016.
  • Respondents: 325 yarn retailers, 41 needlepoint retailers, and 27 counted thread retailers

More information:

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