Crafts and arts – no longer just for summer camp – have already been growing in popularity. It’s paying down for retailers able to keeping up with Americans’ creative whims, though some that have stuck to a single niche have struggled.
A tiny table with a couple of chairs welcomes patrons inside the lower level at Artist & Craftsman shop inside the South Loop on April 28, 2016. Sales of coloring and art supplies grew about 7 percent in 2015 now constitute a $1.14 billion market, according to consumer research firm The NPD Group, which attributed the growth to art and craft paper, paint and painting supplies. “The DIY (do it yourself) movement took off through the recession, and because the economy recovered, people just continued making use of their Cheap Craft Supplies habits,” said Dana Macke, lifestyles and leisure analyst at researching the market firm Mintel.
Online handmade goods marketplace Etsy reported a 19.4 percent year-over-year boost in active sellers inside the third quarter of 2015, to get a total of 1.5 million worldwide, along with a 25 percent increase in active buyers. In accordance with a 2014 survey of U.S. Etsy sellers, 76 percent considered their shop on the website an organization, and 30 percent considered it their primary occupation, the business said.
But a lot of the industry for crafts and arts materials within the U.S. probably originates from enthusiasts, not professionals, based on Macke. Although 45 percent of Americans within their 30s surveyed by Mintel said they sold a handmade craft via an online store within the twelve months that ended October 2015, it’s not clear how many sell on a regular basis. In last year’s Mintel survey, no more than 10 percent of individuals said they crafted to supplement their income, Macke said.
Although we have seen some consolidation among retailers serving creative types, including Blick Art Materials’ acquisition of Utrecht Art Supplies in 2013, specialty crafts and arts chains appear more insulated from e-commerce pressure than some segments of the retail sector, industry analysts said.
Specialty chains are the most famous craft supply source among women, in accordance with Mintel’s research. Of women who made crafts in the last year, 68 percent purchased from specialty chains, 53 percent from Wal-Mart and 32 percent from Amazon, based on Mintel research. Only 36 percent of men who had made a skill or craft project in the last year shopped in a specialty store, instead choosing Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target.
Along with paints and canvases the Artist & Craftsman shop in the South Loop carries all kinds of many other materials including yarn on April 28, 2016. In contrast, 18 percent of ladies and 21 percent of men shopped at local independent stores, based on Mintel research.
Specialty craft chains generally haven’t been that aggressive in going after the web marketplace, nevertheless the category “doesn’t actually work that well online,” said Michael Baker, a Deutsche Bank analyst covering arts and crafts retailer Michaels. People want to see what they’re buying and browsing to discover inspiration, he stated.
Michael’s only has sold products through its website for about two years, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only take into account a single-digit portion of sales in the crafts category even in the long run. “I do believe it’s an excellent add-on, having said that i don’t think it will probably be this game changer here it’s been in other retail industries,” Rubin said. When Hobby Lobby Stores surveyed its customers, just about 2 percent said they preferred shopping online, compared with 71 percent preferring to purchase in-store, said spokeswoman Mandi Broadfoot.
Columbia University student Alsu Andova, 26, gathers materials for screen printing at Artist & Craftsman shop inside the South Loop April 28, 2016. However the Internet – and a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is offering them a boost, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are some of the greatest stuff that could have happened for the industry,” Rubin said.
In a Mintel survey, just below 40 percent of adults who did an arts or crafts project in the past year said they had turned to YouTube for inspiration, and something in three cited social media website Pinterest. YouTube mpzzzq greater than 139,000 crafts-related video channels. Lynn Cagayat, 49, enjoys creating decorative flower arrangements, but on Thursday she browsed Michaels’ dessert decoration aisle. She loves baking the Filipino sweets her mom and grandmother taught her to help make but has been watching YouTube how-to videos on elaborately frosted American-style cakes.
Its not all craft retailers have already been in a position to capitalize on the growing interest. Mississippi-based fabric and sewing retailer Hancock Fabrics declared bankruptcy in February and in early April announced it might close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting have a fairly steady following, unlike scrapbooking, which is declining in popularity, but haven’t been growing like other crafts either, Macke said. Retailers carrying a wide range of products are likely better-equipped to benefit from new customers who may dabble to make a number of handmade goods as trends shift, she said.