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Rainbow Fabrics to leave downtown
Rainbow Fabrics
A moving sign on the window of Rainbow Fabrics prepares shoppers for the stores upcoming relocation from their downtown home to the Turlock Town Center on North Golden State Boulevard. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Longtime downtown business Rainbow Fabrics is packing up shop and moving to a new location just down the road in search of a change of scenery, more customers and, hopefully, better parking.

The fabric store has called numerous locations on West Main Street in downtown Turlock home over the past 20 years, residing first at 134 W. Main St. and then moving to the Mercantile Mall just down the road. From there, Rainbow Fabrics moved to 108 W. Main St. before landing at their current spot, 100 W. Main St., where they have thrived for about seven years.

Now, Rainbow Fabrics plans to move into 663 and 665 N. Golden State Blvd. in the Turlock Town Center by the end of the month, next to new neighbors including Rite Aid, Big 5 Sporting Goods and dd’s Discounts.

“We thought that maybe moving to a shopping center would bring more customers,” said Rainbow Fabrics manager Crystal Nunez. “Change is good and maybe we needed a little more change.”

Nunez explained that in moving to the nearby shopping center, Rainbow Fabrics hopes to become known as a top fabric retailer in the city, rather than a specialty shop. A shopping center like the Turlock Town Center is more likely to bring in demographics that are looking for retail, rather than restaurant-goers that the downtown area now attracts, Nunez said. The increasing number of restaurants that have opened in the downtown area has created a parking problem for the fabric store as well.

“Since the restaurants opened on West Main, we see our prime parking spots taken up by their waitresses and customers who are planning a night out,” said Nunez.

Oftentimes, the store’s regular customers have to park far away to shop at the store.

“Once, I saw one of our customers with a cane have to park in the alley. I felt so bad, and thought, ‘This needs to change,’” said Nunez. “Hopefully, the parking situation at our new location will be better.”

Though there are some things about downtown Rainbow Fabrics is hoping to leave behind, there are plenty of things the business will miss, Nunez said.

“We’re going to miss the downtown community, definitely,” she said. “We’ll miss being involved with the Christmas parade, and all of the other events the Downtown Association brought.”

Nunez expects the shop to be moved into its new location by the end of March, following completion of the permit process with the City of Turlock. The store will remain open during the move, she said.

“It will be chaotic, but we will always remain open for service,” said Nunez. “We love Turlock; that’s why we wanted to stay in town and available to our patrons.”