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Industry Retail, arts and crafts sector
Founded 1995
Headquarters Christchurch, Dorset, UK
Number of locations
Key people
Products art and craft and hobbyist materials
Revenue £7M (2014) Decrease
Number of employees
250 - 1000 [1]
Website www.hobbycraft.co.uk

Hobbycraft is an arts and crafts superstore retail chain in the United Kingdom.[2][3] When the company started out there were only small independent arts and crafts suppliers, however a number of other online and High Street retail chains now operate in the same market place as HobbyCraft.


Hobbycraft store in High Wycombe
Hobbycraft store 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 2010.[4][5]

The first store opened in Dorset in 1995. There are currently 85 stores across the UK, the newest being in Greenwich & Borehamwood, with a new store opened in Ashford on 21 May 2016.[6]

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.[7] HobbyCraft reported a 10% increase in sales in early 2010, and opened two new stores,[8] with the chief executive saying arts and crafts are a low cost hobby and so he believes they will do well despite difficulties in the economy.[9]

In 2012, the company made EBITDA of £15.6m, a 9% rise on the previous year.[10]

In 2010-2011, 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[11][12]

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.[12][13]

In Oct 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." [14]

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, was quoted as saying 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 15-year lease.[15] Marshall was directly quoted as saying "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." [16][17][18]

At the start of December 2014, Bridgepoint brought in retail veteran Archie Norman in the hope of turning around the fortunes of the company.[19] On 8 December 2014, Catriona Marshall "admitted market conditions remain "difficult" and discounting its arts and craft supplies was becoming increasingly important to keep tills ringing.". Insider Media reported that Hobbycraft Trading Ltd the parent company of Hobbycraft Group Ltd had fallen further into the red posting a pre-tax loss of £21.1m, an increase on the loss of £13.3m in 2013.[13][20]



  • 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 7 Hobbycraft workers attended A&E and reported being covered with an unknown white powder. It was later shown to be inert.[22]
  • In early 2014, Hobbycraft made UK wide news headlines when non-UK national staff were required to speak English at work or face disciplinary action[23][24]


  1. ^ Alexa.com
  2. ^ http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/pages/about%20us HobbyCraft website
  3. ^ "Latest news, insight and analysis on HobbyCraft". RetailWeek. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  4. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bridgepoint-pays-pound100m-for-hobbycraft-stores-1958726.html
  5. ^ http://www.bridgepoint.eu/about-us/news-views/hobbycraft-acquired-bridgepoint
  6. ^ http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/storefinder
  7. ^ [1] Time up for craft store
  8. ^ http://www.diyweek.net/news/news.asp?id=12001&title=Hobbycraft+expands+store+portfolio+ Hobbycraft expands store portfolio
  9. ^ http://www.toynewsmag.com/news/30934/Hobbycraft-boss-predicts-craft-explosion Hobbycraft boss predicts craft explosion
  10. ^ Holland, Tiffany (26 July 2012). "Hobbycraft to drive multichannel as profits rise". Retail Week. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ a b Murphy, Margi (18 September 2014). "Hobbycraft reveals £2.8m exceptional costs after relocation". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  13. ^ a b Mail, Burton (10 December 2014). "BUSINESS: Burton plays part in Hobbycraft earnings drop". Burton Mail. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Hobbycraft reveals £2.8m exceptional costs after relocation". Insider Media. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Hobbycraft takes 200,000sq ft Burton DC". Park Logistics. 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  16. ^ Wood, Zoe (16 September 2014). "Hobbycraft's annual profits halve as supermarkets win price war". The Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  17. ^ Chapman, Matthew (16 September 2014). "Hobbycraft profits down after investment as it prepares loyalty card". Retail Week. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  18. ^ Jane, Sarah (23 September 2014). "Hobbycraft Profits Down After Investment in Retail Initiative". Craft Business. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  19. ^ Clark, Andrew (5 December 2014). "Norman gets a new toy to play with at Hobbycraft". The Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  20. ^ Casey, David (5 December 2014). "Supermarket pricing wars hit Hobbycraft". The Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  21. ^ Ryan, John (9 June 2011). "HobbyCraft: Honing its Craft". Retail Week. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  22. ^ "Queen's Hospital A&E shuts in powder scare". BBC Stoke & Staffordshire. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  23. ^ Endley, Ben (14 February 2014). "Speak English or you're fired! Foreign workers banned from speaking their own language or told they face the sack". Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  24. ^ 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.

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