New Jersey-based A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts, with 135 brick-and-mortar locations across the East Coast, announced two major investments that will fuel digital initiatives in the coming year. Nicole Crafts LLC, parent company of A.C. Moore Inc., has acquired e-commerce company Blitsy, a leading online retailer of arts and crafts products. It has also secured an exclusive partnership as part of a major investment in handcraft marketplace Zibbet.
Blitsy will operate largely as an independent subsidiary of Nicole Crafts LLC and remain based in Chicago. It will focus on its current business strategy with access to A.C. Moore’s infrastructure and scale. Leveraging Blitsy’s e-commerce expertise, A.C. Moore will relaunch acmoore.com in 2018.
“In April, the craft retailer opened a massive 27,000-square-foot flagship in downtown Philadelphia, its first urban location,” reports industry enewsletter Retail Dive. “Sales there so far have exceeded expectations by 10 percent, the company said in an email.”
It is expecting 10 percent growth overall in 2018, continued the email. Plans include opening new stores in urban and West Coast locations.
“A.C. Moore is entering a period of unprecedented growth,” says Anthony Piperno, A.C. Moore owner and chief marketing & merchandising officer. “These dynamic additions to our company can rapidly accelerate adoption of our proprietary product across a global audience of creative consumers, and position our family as industry leaders among arts and crafts enthusiasts everywhere.”
“We are joining the A.C. Moore family because there is a huge opportunity to utilize each other’s strengths and move faster toward our vision of delivering a truly rewarding and holistic experience to customers, teammates, and brand partners,” said Ross Petersen, cofounder and CEO of Blitsy.
Under the leadership of founder and CEO Jonathan Peacock, Zibbet supports more than 50,000 independent creatives and has become one of the fastest-growing peer-to-peer marketplaces. He noted, “We’re very excited for what we will achieve through our partnership with A.C. Moore. Our company values are tightly aligned and I have no doubt that together we’re going to change the face of creative commerce. This is great news for the industry as a whole.”
Competing with Etsy, and Handmade at Amazon, presents the biggest challenge, says Retail Dive. “While Etsy has come under fire for the watering down of its maker stance and high operating costs, it’s in the midst of a turnaround that is gaining traction and provides key tools for its sellers. Amazon, meanwhile, has massive reach and a major source of financial backup thanks to its lucrative cloud services unit.”