Arts and crafts – no more just for summer camp – happen to be growing in popularity. It’s paying back for retailers capable of keeping up with Americans’ creative whims, though some that have stuck to a single niche have struggled.
A tiny table with a few chairs welcomes patrons within 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, based on market research firm The NPD Group, which attributed the expansion to art and craft paper, paint and painting supplies. “The DIY (do it yourself) movement took off throughout the recession, and as the economy recovered, people just continued with their Craft Stores Online 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 in the third quarter of 2015, for any total of 1.5 million worldwide, in addition to a 25 percent increase in active buyers. Based on 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 company said.
But a lot of the marketplace for arts and crafts materials inside the U.S. probably comes from enthusiasts, not professionals, based on Macke. Although 45 percent of Americans inside their 30s surveyed by Mintel said they sold a handmade craft via an online shop within the one year 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 individuals 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 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 popular craft supply source among women, in accordance with Mintel’s research. Of women who made crafts within 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 males who had made an art or craft project within 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 kinds of many other materials including yarn on April 28, 2016. By comparison, 18 percent of females and 21 percent of males shopped at local independent stores, in accordance with Mintel research.
Specialty craft chains generally haven’t been that aggressive in pursuing the web marketplace, nevertheless the category “doesn’t really work that well online,” said Michael Baker, a Deutsche Bank analyst covering arts and crafts retailer Michaels. People like to see what they’re buying and browsing to locate inspiration, he stated.
Michael’s has only sold products through its website for around 2 yrs, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only make up just one-digit percentage of sales within the crafts category even over time. “I believe it’s a good add-on, however i don’t think it will likely be the 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 online shopping, compared with 71 percent preferring to shop in-store, said spokeswoman Mandi Broadfoot.
Columbia College student Alsu Andova, 26, gathers materials for screen printing at Artist & Craftsman shop within the South Loop April 28, 2016. Nevertheless the Internet – and a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is giving them a lift, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are 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 before year said that they had looked to YouTube for inspiration, then 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 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 filed for bankruptcy in February and then in early April announced it could close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting use a fairly steady following, unlike scrapbooking, which is declining in popularity, but haven’t been growing like other crafts either, Macke said. Retailers carrying an array of items are likely better-equipped to benefit from new business who may dabble in making many different handmade goods as trends shift, she said.