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TNNA Survey Says: How Is Your Counted Thread Store Doing?

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Friday, September 09, 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 Counted Thread 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 counted thread businesses is doing compared with others. Counted thread stores in 2015 typically had sales of $92,000, inventory valued at $60,500, a sales floor of 950 square feet, and sales per square foot of $84. 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 counted thread retailers:


Counted thread retailers*, 2015

Gross annual sales

Median (typical store) $92,000
15% more than $200,000
30% $50,000 or less

Sales growth

54% increased
12% no change
35% decreased


52% yes
48% no

Profit margin
= profit divided by gross sales

12% average


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

52% yes
48% no

Spending with suppliers per year

$39,000 median

Inventory value
(12-month average, at cost)

$60,500 median

Inventory turn
= sales/(inventory value x markup)


Retail sales floor size

950 square feet, median

Sales per square foot

$84 median
(in-store sales only)

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

*27 counted thread retailers responded to the survey, which is not enough for a statistically reliable sample, but this data is still useful to understand about how your store is doing. Counted thread retailer benchmark data did not change markedly since 2009 and 2012 and it was similar to that of yarn retailers, indicating the data is reliable.

  • Source: TNNA 2016 Counted Thread 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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