Arts and crafts – no longer simply for summer camp – happen to be growing in popularity. It’s paying off for retailers capable of checking up on Americans’ creative whims, though some that have stuck to some single niche have struggled.
A tiny table with a few 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 researching the market 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 with their Craft Stores Online habits,” said Dana Macke, lifestyles and leisure analyst at consumer research firm Mintel.
Online handmade goods marketplace Etsy reported a 19.4 percent year-over-year rise in active sellers inside the third quarter of 2015, for any total of 1.5 million worldwide, plus a 25 percent boost in active buyers. Based on a 2014 survey of U.S. Etsy sellers, 76 percent considered their shop on the website a business, and 30 percent considered it their primary occupation, the organization said.
But a lot of the industry for crafts and arts materials within the U.S. probably arises from enthusiasts, not professionals, according to Macke. Although 45 percent of Americans in their 30s surveyed by Mintel said they sold a handmade craft with an ecommerce site within the twelve months that ended October 2015, it’s not clear the amount of sell regularly. In last year’s Mintel survey, only about 10 % of people 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 famous craft supply source among women, in accordance with Mintel’s research. Of women who made crafts during 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 males who had made a skill or craft project during the last year shopped in a specialty store, instead choosing Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target.
Along with paints and canvases the Artist & Craftsman shop inside 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 men shopped at local independent stores, according to Mintel research.
Specialty craft chains generally haven’t been that aggressive in going after 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 find inspiration, he explained.
Michael’s only has sold products through its website for approximately a couple of years, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only take into account a single-digit amount of sales in the crafts category even in the long run. “I do believe it’s a great add-on, but I don’t think it will likely be this 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 contrast to 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 in the South Loop April 28, 2016. However the Internet – as well as a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is providing them with a lift, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are among the greatest things which may 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 that they had considered YouTube for inspiration, and something in three cited social network 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 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 filed for bankruptcy in February and then in early April announced it might close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting have 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 goods are likely better-equipped to help from new customers who may dabble to make a variety of handmade goods as trends shift, she said.