Hobbycraft has confirmed plans to open seven new stores in 2025, after recently opening its fifth store of 2024 in Blackpool, taking the total opened over the last four years to 26. This reinforces how much physical retail space continues to be a big focus for the UK’s leading arts and crafts retailer.

Whilst simplified access to the online world has led to a shift in prioritisation for many retail businesses, Hobbycraft regards its stores as a vital hub for its customers, with arts and crafts shopping seen more as an experience than a simple transaction.

Dominic Jordan, CEO at Hobbycraft, comments “Our continued store roll out across the UK illustrates the importance we place in providing customers with a physical presence to gain the full art and craft experience. We want to build a communal space for crafters across the UK to build their passion for craft and enhance their creativity, with seven new stores scheduled to open in 2025 and further expansion thereafter.”

With each new store opening Hobbycraft aims to create a community of makers via expert crafting colleagues, dedicated craft spaces and customer experiences varying from workshops to live demonstrations.

Every new store consists of a dedicated digital crafting space and haberdashery area allowing customers to test drive products before purchasing, which has led to a year-on-year rise in sales of stitching kits (11 percent)* and fabric by the metre (43 percent)*. Furthermore, regular workshop sessions are hosted by a store colleague designed to give everyone the opportunity to master a new craft or refine a long-time favourite, leading to a year-on-year rise in workshop sales (23 percent)*.

The arts and crafts retailer sees its stores as a platform for people to showcase their creativity and enhance their crafting passion, not just as a customer but as a colleague as well. 325 new job roles have been created over the last three years, with a further 105 roles expected to be created with Hobbycraft’s scheduled store openings for 2025.

Store colleagues have the opportunity to join Hobbycraft’s unique Artisan programme, providing them with additional training to develop their writing and presenting skills, learn how to effectively use social media, and participate in training days centred around business skills and development. In addition, Artisan colleagues are provided with the opportunity to pitch and produce products and help develop Hobbycraft’s workshop programme, all while continuing to deliver world class customer service to customers.

While the business continues to champion physical stores within its growth strategy, Hobbycraft has ensured all new sites in its portfolio feature LED lighting and Building Energy Management Systems, aimed at reducing energy consumption with electricity sourced from renewable energy, and 100 perrcent of internal waste from operations being recycled or recovered and burnt as a fuel source. Over half (59 percent) of all products in-store are now made with plastic free packaging, with a further 28 percent having no packaging at all.

*52 weeks ended 23rd June 2024

 

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June 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide