HobbyCraft is a UK based arts and crafts superstore retail chain. It is a private company, and it was founded in the year 1995. HobbyCraft, being a retail industry, deals with crafts, artistic and hobbyist products. Its headquarters is situated in Christchurch town of Dorset in the United Kingdom. The company provides employment to over 1000 employees.
During its initial years, the company started out only as a small independent supplier of arts and crafts. However, there has been a significant rise in some other High Street retail and online chains which now function in the same marketplace as HobbyCraft.
HobbyCraft, being an arts and crafts company, provides a full range in knitting and crafting essentials to choose from. Some of the products it provided are as follows:
- Knitting and crochet: HobbyCraft offers a fantastic variety in Knitting and crochet essentials. They help their customers to explore top brands as well as all kinds of necessary tools and accessories which are required. Some of the brands associated with HobbyCraft for providing knitting and crochet essentials are Women’s Institute, Odin, Debbie Bliss, etc. among others. The products available for the same are wool and yarn, needles, books, kits, and patterns.
- Craft Essentials: HobbyCraft provides everything when it comes to essential crafting supplies. Products in this category range from decoration and finishes, adhesives, crafting tools, craft blanks, storage boxes and daylight lamps among many others.
- Art supplies: HobbyCraft provides all the materials needed for painting, drawing and printing purposes. Some of their best-selling products in this category are Nylon paint brushes, White design Kraft sketchbook, Pastel dual tip brush markers and White stretched canvas being just to name a few.
Difference Between HobbyCraft and Other Competitors
Founded in the year 1995, HobbyCraft is the most extensive retailer of arts and crafts of the United Kingdom. Unlike other similar companies, HobbyCraft provides over more than 25,000 different products for performing 250 activities and for executing hundreds of exciting ideas. They make sure that their customers get the best of products and services, thus enabling them to keep making their personal and unique handmade projects.
HobbyCraft was started by the Haskins group, which is a garden and nursery supplier in the south of England. In the year 2010, it was bought by the investment group Bridgepoint.
HobbyCraft opened its first store in the year 1995 in Dorset. After being in the business for 22 years now, there are currently 85 HobbyCraft stores across the United Kingdom. In the early part of 2010, there was a reported increase of 10% in terms of sales for the company, which led them to open two new stores. In 2012, HobbyCraft made EBIDTA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of £15.6m, which was a 9% rise in comparison with the previous year. Between 2010 and 2011, HobbyCraft brought a new shipping system under the guidance of Mike Thomas, the IT director of the company. While deploying the new IT system, the management over at HobbyCraft also relocated its distribution centre from Blandford Forum to Burton-upon-Trent. In 2013, it was reported that the company’s pre-tax profits fell from £11.5m to £6.3m previous year after the company experienced exceptional costs of £2.8m, due to their decision of relocating its distribution to Staffordshire from Dorset.
The following year, it was reported that the profit-making of HobbyCraft was decreased by almost 50% due to the rise of other chains like Poundland, Aldi, Lidl as well as online shopping sites like Amazon. After witnessing the incurring losses, the CEO of HobbyCraft was then quoted by saying that the profits of the company were depressed mostly due to their £3m investment on their rented warehouse in Burton-upon-Trent, for which they took out a tenancy for 15 years. Catriona Marshall, the then CEO of the company, reportedly admitted in their 2013/14 performance regarding their poor attempt of investment in infrastructure.
In December 2014, Bridgepoint brought in Archie Norman, a UK based retail expert, in the hope of changing the fortunes of the company. In the first of December 2014, CEO Marshall admitted the difficulties faced in market conditions which forced them to reduce their arts and crafts supplied until it deemed necessary.
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