Hobbycraft

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Hobbycraft
TypePrivate
IndustryRetail, arts and crafts sector
Founded1995
HeadquartersChristchurch, Dorset, UK, ,
United Kingdom
Number of locations
100
Area served
Physical stores in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland. Online is Worldwide via Global-E
Key people
Owner, Adam Howarth OBE
ProductsArt, craft and hobbyist materials
Revenue£193.6M (2019/20) Increase
Number of employees
2,200 - 2019
ParentBridgepoint
Websitehobbycraft.co.uk

Hobbycraft is an arts and crafts superstore retail chain in the United Kingdom.[1][2] It is currently owned by investment group Bridgepoint.

History[edit]

Hobbycraft in High Wycombe
Hobbycraft in Tunbridge Wells, using the former logo

It was started by the Haskins Group, a nursery and garden supplier in the south of England, and was bought by investment group Bridgepoint in April 2010.[3][4]

The stores have been blamed for putting independent craft suppliers out of business, and the amount of choice for specific hobbies has been said to be not as good as in specialised stores.[5] Hobbycraft reported a 10% increase in sales in the beginning of 2010, and opened two new stores, with the chief executive saying arts and crafts are a low cost hobby and he believed they would do well despite difficulties in the economy.[6][7]

In 2010 to 2011, Hobbycraft quickly brought in a new shipping system under the guidance of Hobbycraft IT Director Mike Thomas, a former supply chain director, IT and Business Development Director for the defunct Entertainment UK and Woolworths Group companies in which he had held active senior director/shareholder roles.[8][9]

During the deployment of the new IT system, Hobbycraft management also decided to relocate the distribution centre operations from Blandford Forum to Burton-upon-Trent.[9][10] In October 2013, it was revealed that "Hobbycraft's pre tax profits fell from £11.5m to £6.3m last year after the company incurred exceptional costs of £2.8m, mostly as a result of the decision to relocate its distribution from Dorset to Staffordshire."[11]

In September 2014, it was revealed that Hobbycraft's profits had halved, due to chains such as Aldi, Lidl, Poundland, and online retailers such as Amazon moving into the craft market. Hobbycraft's CEO Catriona Marshall said that the company's profits had been depressed by a £3m investment on a rented warehouse in Burton-upon-Trent, on which Hobbycraft took out a fifteen year lease.[12]

Marshall said: "Our performance in 2013/14 reflects investment in infrastructure and the final stages of the programme to put in place our new supply chain and online trading platform. We are now using this investment to grow store sales and our online presence."[13][14][15]

At the start of December 2014, Bridgepoint brought in retail veteran Archie Norman in the hope of turning around the fortunes of the company.[16]

In May 2018, Matt Davies, the new chairman, added: "This is a unique business that I have followed for many years. I look forward to working with Dominic again and to working with the team to build on its success to make Hobbycraft an even greater place for crafters and enthusiasts alike."[17]

In August 2020, Hobbycraft announced multi-channel growth plans after a complete financial year in which its online revenues increased by 19%. The company has seen ecommerce turbocharged this year – recording 200% rise in internet revenues as the 12-week shutdown of Covid-19 channelled much of its web revenue.[18]

[edit]

Controversies[edit]

  • In May 2013, Queen's Hospital A&E department in Burton upon Trent was closed down for three hours "in accordance with national guidance" after seven workers of Hobbycraft attended A&E and reported being covered with an unknown white powder. It was later shown to be inert.[20]
  • In September 2014, Hobbycraft made wide news headlines in the United Kingdom when non national staff were required to speak English at work, or face disciplinary action.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ HobbyCraft website
  2. ^ "Latest news, insight and analysis on HobbyCraft". RetailWeek. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  3. ^ Thompson, James (30 April 2010). "Bridgepoint pays £100m for HobbyCraft stores". The Independent. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Time up for craft store". Hunts Post.
  6. ^ Hobbycraft expands store portfolio
  7. ^ Hobbycraft boss predicts craft explosion
  8. ^ "UK retailers MFI and Woolworths collapse". Wikinews. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2015. Press Release, Woolworths (7 May 1996). "Woolworths Group PLC - Director/PDMR Shareholding". Woolworths. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b Murphy, Margi (18 September 2014). "Hobbycraft reveals £2.8m exceptional costs after relocation". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  10. ^ Mail, Burton (10 December 2014). "BUSINESS: Burton plays part in Hobbycraft earnings drop". Burton Mail. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Hobbycraft reveals £2.8m exceptional costs after relocation". Insider Media. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Hobbycraft takes 200,000sq ft Burton DC". Park Logistics. 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ Wood, Zoe (16 September 2014). "Hobbycraft's annual profits halve as supermarkets win price war". The Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  14. ^ Chapman, Matthew (16 September 2014). "Hobbycraft profits down after investment as it prepares loyalty card". Retail Week. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  15. ^ Jane, Sarah (23 September 2014). "Hobbycraft Profits Down After Investment in Retail Initiative". Craft Business. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  16. ^ Clark, Andrew (5 December 2014). "Norman gets a new toy to play with at Hobbycraft". The Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Hobbycraft appoints Tesco CEO as chairman | Post". Retailsector.co.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Hobbycraft plans multichannel expansion via small format shops – and says its online sales grew by 200% during the Covid-19 lockdown". Internet Retailing. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  19. ^ Ryan, John (9 June 2011). "HobbyCraft: Honing its Craft". Retail Week. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Queen's Hospital A&E shuts in powder scare". BBC Stoke & Staffordshire. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  21. ^ Russo, Sergio (16 September 2014). "Retailer Hobbycraft's foreign staff face disciplinary action if they speak in their own language". HR Review. Retrieved 7 April 2015.

External links[edit]