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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
First Rice, Now Floss....
...Last week I talked about the impending rice shortage in the world due to many factors, and the rising costs that have been seen here in the Valley that has driven some folks to stockpile aromatic rice. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I was going to have to consider talking about stockpiling floss.

That's right. Floss. Not the dental kind for those who are wandering by - the stitching kind. Embroidery, friendship bracelets - that sort of floss. A major company in France, with 250 years of history behind it, has stated that they are going to declare bankruptcy.

This has caused quite a stir in the stitching community because DMC (the company in question) has a long history, is the most accessible floss you can get, and generally has the best price. We're talking half the price of the next best competitor (Anchor) with the same quality. Losing something like that would be a very bad thing.

But this is business and it's bankruptcy. Just because someone is declaring bankruptcy doesn't mean the business is dead. Generally, when you file something like Chapter 9 or 11 (as they're referred to here in the United States) you're looking to restructure your debt load. I suspect the same is true in Europe. Granted, this has put quite a few stitchers into a tizzy.
My response to this?

That's right. Don't Panic. We don't know what's going to happen in the next few days. As I said elsewhere it may be prudent right now to run out and stockpile floss (which would probably be good for DMC's bottom line as well) it might not be necessary.

According to a quick bit of research I've done, the insolvency/bankruptcy laws in France were overhauled about 20+ years ago. The purpose of this was to "encourage effective reorganization of financially distressed business entities". That sounds like DMC right now.

After one files, according to the link above there is a period of 4 months for the courts to decide whether a "rescue plan" (read: restructure) is feasible. Another code in the law was changed to an economic plan, rather than a legal one, of 1) save the business, 2) save the jobs and 3) pay the debts - In. That. Order.

Following on those two being true, and the fact that DMC is going to close a retail enterprise they started (and that's the only news that they've said firmly is going to shut down), then I'd say they're well on their way with the restructuring plan. I suspect they're going to be just fine.

Still, I am going to head out and buy some floss today in a indirect support of DMC (because really, if you buy now who ever you purchase from is making the money and not DMC at the retail point of sale) and because I need some for some projects that I have. Everything is a big unknown right now and it may be prudent to stock up for any projects that you have that are older that you may want to stitch someday. And perhaps the price of floss will rise slightly as well because of the recent events, just like rice has.

But I don't think that there's significant reason to panic today or to mourn. The company is not dead and won't be until we hear definitively that they are shutting their doors and no more floss will be produced. I've heard that one plant is closing, not the entire company. So, there's no reason to run out and buy up entire store inventories of DMC...

...and no reason to panic.

A quick thank you to Melanie who I stole the blog title from when she cleverly said it on a message board. That one statement gave me the idea for this entry.