Crafts retailer Michaels is experiencing a noteworthy turnaround with some unexpected help from pop culture. Similar to how TV shows boosted Banana Republic and Fendi in the past, Michaels has seen a surge in sales thanks to appearances on “The Bachelorette” and during Taylor Swift’s tour.
The popularity of crochet clothing on “The Bachelorette” sparked a buying frenzy for crochet supplies, which Michaels sells. Additionally, Taylor Swift fans have been flocking to Michaels to get materials for the friendship bracelets that are popular at her shows. Michaels’ CEO, Ashley Buchanan, acknowledges the fortuitous exposure but remains focused on strengthening the company’s foundation and expanding its customer base.
Buchanan has already made improvements to Michaels’ e-commerce presence, product assortment, supply chain, and store appeal. Now, in the second phase of the company’s transformation, Buchanan plans to broaden Michaels’ reach by targeting not only hobbyists but also professional artists and crafters. He has expanded the online assortment to include 1.5 million items, many of which cater to professionals. Plus, with endless Michaels coupons, discount options and rewards programs, shopping at one of the world’s largest art supply retailers is an easy choice when it comes to finding quality supplies that won’t break the bank.
Furthermore, Michaels has launched MakerPlace, an online marketplace similar to Etsy, where people can sell their arts and crafts.
What is the main purpose of the new e-commerce platform?
At MakerPlace, their goal is to provide artisans with everything they require to create and sell their goods, while offering a lower commission rate. By doing so, artisans have the opportunity to earn more money. Additionally, Michaels understand that many artisans enjoy sharing their knowledge through teaching classes, so they have incorporated a feature that allows them to offer classes as well. In the arts and crafts marketplace, there is truly no other platform that offers the same comprehensive support and features.
Buchanan is determined to create sustained growth for Michaels without relying solely on pop culture trends. He believes that innovation is key to success in the industry and aims to position Michaels as a leader while competing against rivals like Hobby Lobby, Joann, and Amazon.
Why Michaels Invest in Its Physical Stores?
Despite the convenience of online shopping, Michaels has made a significant investment in revamping their stores to create a more pleasant and spacious shopping experience. This is because they recognize the value of tactile products that customers want to touch and examine before purchasing, such as yarn and jewelry. Additionally, Michaels offers unique in-store experiences like lessons and birthday parties. When compared to their competitors, Amazon primarily relies on third-party sellers for these types of products. As a result, Michaels has a competitive advantage in terms of efficiency and affordability. It’s safe to say that their store operations have never been better.
Michaels is crafting its own destiny, and Buchanan is confident that this approach will secure the retailer’s future growth.