Crafts and arts – no more simply for summer camp – have been growing in popularity. It’s paying back for retailers able to maintaining Americans’ creative whims, though some that have stuck to some single niche have struggled.
A tiny table with a couple of chairs welcomes patrons within the lower level at Artist & Craftsman shop in the South Loop on April 28, 2016. Sales of coloring and art supplies grew about 7 percent in 2015 and today constitute 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 (diy) movement took off throughout the recession, and as the economy recovered, people just continued making use of 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 increase in active sellers inside the third quarter of 2015, for a total of 1.5 million worldwide, in addition to a 25 percent boost in active buyers. According to 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 marketplace for arts and crafts materials inside 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 with an ecommerce site within the 12 months that ended October 2015, it’s not clear the amount of sell on a regular basis. In last year’s Mintel survey, no more than 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’ purchase of Utrecht Art Supplies in 2013, specialty arts and crafts chains appear more insulated from e-commerce pressure than some segments from the retail sector, industry analysts said.
Specialty chains are the most popular craft supply source among women, based on Mintel’s research. Of females who made crafts within the last year, 68 percent bought from specialty chains, 53 percent from Wal-Mart and 32 percent from Amazon, in accordance with Mintel research. Only 36 percent of men who had made a form of art or craft project during the last year shopped at a specialty store, instead choosing Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target.
In addition to paints and canvases the Artist & Craftsman shop in the South Loop carries all sorts of other materials including yarn on April 28, 2016. In comparison, 18 percent of females 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 internet marketplace, however the category “doesn’t really work that well online,” said Michael Baker, a Deutsche Bank analyst covering crafts and arts retailer Michaels. People want to see what they’re buying and browsing to find inspiration, he explained.
Michael’s only has sold products through its website for approximately 2 yrs, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only take into account a single-digit percentage of sales inside the crafts category even in the long run. “I believe it’s a good add-on, however i don’t think it will be the video game changer here it’s been in other retail industries,” Rubin said. When Hobby Lobby Stores surveyed its customers, only about 2 percent said they preferred shopping on the web, in comparison with 71 percent who prefer to shop 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. Nevertheless the Internet – as well as a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is giving them a boost, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are among the greatest stuff that may have happened for the industry,” Rubin said.
In a Mintel survey, just under forty percent of adults who did an arts or crafts project in the past year said they had turned to YouTube for inspiration, then one in three cited social networking website Pinterest. YouTube mpzzzq 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 create but has been watching YouTube how-to videos on elaborately frosted American-style cakes.
Its not all craft retailers happen to be able to capitalize on the growing interest. Mississippi-based fabric and sewing retailer Hancock Fabrics declared bankruptcy in February as well as in early April announced it could close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting use a fairly steady following, unlike scrapbooking, that is declining in popularity, but haven’t been growing like other crafts either, Macke said. Retailers carrying a variety of products are likely better-equipped to profit from new clients who may dabble in making a number of handmade goods as trends shift, she said.