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Retail Trends

Power Players Hobby And Craft

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Michaels, the only hobby and crafts power player listed on the Top 100 Retailers chart, includes both the core Michaels Stores and some 120 Aaron Brothers stores on the West Coast. Last year Michaels stepped up expansion, opening a net of 35 stores with plans to add as many as 55 new stores this year; the chain says it hopes to eventually operate as many as 1,500 domestic stores. Earlier this year the company brought in Chuck Rubin from the Ulta Beauty chain as CEO; Rubin also served in management positions with Office Depot, Sportsmart and Federated Department Stores.

Hobby Lobby began as a 300-sq.-ft. retail offshoot of a miniature frame manufacturer; today its stores average 55,000 sq. ft. with more than 65,000 SKUs of crafting and home décor items and higher sales per store than Michaels Stores.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores emphasize sewing, crafting and home decorating with merchandise that encompasses home accents and seasonal and home decor. Joining such national retailers as Macy’s, J.C. Penney and The Home Depot, Jo-Ann stores carry a Martha Stewart line of products that includes brushes, rollers, sponges and a heat tool for cutting, burning and embossing.

A.C. Moore has slowed its growth considerably of late. This month, however, the retailer opened a 21,000-sq.-ft. facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that includes a custom framing shop, a classroom and more than 40,000 SKUs of products.