Arts and crafts – no more simply for summer camp – have been growing in popularity. It’s paying back for retailers able to keeping up with Americans’ creative whims, though some that have stuck to a single niche have struggled.
A little table with a few chairs welcomes patrons within the lower level at Artist & Craftsman shop within the South Loop on April 28, 2016. Sales of coloring and art supplies grew about 7 percent in 2015 now form a $1.14 billion market, in accordance with 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 throughout the recession, and because the economy recovered, people just continued using their Cheap Craft Supplies habits,” said Dana Macke, lifestyles and leisure analyst at market research firm Mintel.
Online handmade goods marketplace Etsy reported a 19.4 percent year-over-year rise in active sellers within the third quarter of 2015, for a total of 1.5 million worldwide, in addition to a 25 % rise in active buyers. According to a 2014 survey of U.S. Etsy sellers, 76 percent considered their shop on the website a company, and 30 percent considered it their primary occupation, the company said.
But the majority of the market for arts and crafts materials within the U.S. probably comes from enthusiasts, not professionals, according to Macke. Although 45 percent of Americans within their 30s surveyed by Mintel said they sold a handmade craft via an online store in the 12 months that ended October 2015, it’s not clear how many sell on a regular basis. In last year’s Mintel survey, only about 10 % of men and women said they crafted to supplement their income, Macke said.
Although there has been some consolidation among retailers serving creative types, including Blick Art Materials’ acquisition of Utrecht Art Supplies in 2013, specialty arts and crafts chains appear more insulated from e-commerce pressure than some segments of the retail sector, industry analysts said.
Specialty chains are the most common craft supply source among women, in accordance with Mintel’s research. Of females who made crafts during the last year, 68 percent purchased from specialty chains, 53 percent from Wal-Mart and 32 percent from Amazon, according to Mintel research. Only 36 percent of men who had made an art or craft project during the last year shopped with 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 types of many other materials including yarn on April 28, 2016. In comparison, 18 percent of ladies and 21 percent of males shopped at local independent stores, according to Mintel research.
Specialty craft chains generally haven’t been that aggressive in going after the web marketplace, but 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 just has sold products through its website for approximately two years, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only account for one particular-digit percentage of sales inside the crafts category even in the long run. “I do believe it’s a great add-on, having said that i don’t think it will be this game changer here it’s experienced other retail industries,” Rubin said. When Hobby Lobby Stores surveyed its customers, no more than 2 percent said they preferred shopping on the web, in contrast to 71 percent preferring to purchase in-store, said spokeswoman Mandi Broadfoot.
Columbia College student Alsu Andova, 26, gathers materials for screen printing at Artist & Craftsman shop inside the South Loop April 28, 2016. However the Internet – along with a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is giving them a boost, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are the greatest things which might have happened to the industry,” Rubin said.
In a Mintel survey, just under 40 percent of adults who did an arts or crafts project in the past year said they had looked to YouTube for inspiration, and one in three cited social networking website Pinterest. YouTube mpzzzq a lot more 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 recently been watching YouTube how-to videos on elaborately frosted American-style cakes.
Not every 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 then in early April announced it would close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting use a fairly steady following, unlike scrapbooking, which can be declining in popularity, but haven’t been growing like other crafts either, Macke said. Retailers carrying a wide range of items are likely better-equipped to help from new clients who may dabble for making a variety of handmade goods as trends shift, she said.