Crafts and arts – no longer simply for summer camp – have already been growing in popularity. It’s paying down for retailers able to 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 in 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 now constitute a $1.14 billion market, in accordance with consumer 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 through the recession, and because the economy recovered, people just continued making use of their Crafts 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 increase in active sellers in the third quarter of 2015, to get a total of 1.5 million worldwide, in addition to a 25 percent boost 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 company said.
But the majority of the market for arts and crafts materials in the U.S. probably originates from enthusiasts, not professionals, in accordance with Macke. Although 45 percent of Americans within their 30s surveyed by Mintel said they sold a handmade craft via an online store in the one year that ended October 2015, it’s not clear the amount of sell frequently. In last year’s Mintel survey, just about 10 % of people said they crafted to supplement their income, Macke said.
Although there has been some consolidation among retailers catering to 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 common craft supply source among women, according to Mintel’s research. Of women who made crafts during 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 a form of art or craft project within the last year shopped with a specialty store, instead choosing Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target.
In addition to paints and canvases the Artist & Craftsman shop inside the South Loop carries all types 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, in accordance with Mintel research.
Specialty craft chains generally haven’t been that aggressive in pursuing the web marketplace, nevertheless the category “doesn’t work well that well online,” said Michael Baker, a Deutsche Bank analyst covering crafts and arts retailer Michaels. People like to see what they’re buying and browsing to find inspiration, he said.
Michael’s only has sold products through its website for around two years, and CEO Chuck Rubin estimated online sales would only take into account just one-digit percentage of sales inside the crafts category even over time. “I do believe it’s a great add-on, however i don’t think it will likely be the game changer here it’s experienced other retail industries,” Rubin said. When Hobby Lobby Stores surveyed its customers, only about 2 percent said they preferred shopping online, in comparison with 71 percent preferring to look in-store, said spokeswoman Mandi Broadfoot.
Columbia University student Alsu Andova, 26, gathers materials for screen printing at Artist & Craftsman shop within the South Loop April 28, 2016. But the Internet – as well as a flood of craft-related blogs, websites and tutorials – is providing them with a boost, Broadfoot and Rubin said. “Pinterest and YouTube are among the greatest things that may have happened for the industry,” Rubin said.
In a Mintel survey, just under 40 % of adults who did an arts or crafts project previously year said that they had considered YouTube for inspiration, then one 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 create but has recently been watching YouTube how-to videos on elaborately frosted American-style cakes.
Its not all craft retailers have been in a position to capitalize on the growing interest. Mississippi-based fabric and sewing retailer Hancock Fabrics filed for bankruptcy in February and in early April announced it could close its remaining 185 stores nationwide.
Sewing and quilting possess 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 variety of items are likely better-equipped to help from new business who may dabble in making many different handmade goods as trends shift, she said.