What Foot Traffic to Arts & Crafts Stores Tells Us About Consumer Shopping Trends

August 31, 2023

2023 has been the year of shifting consumer trends and lingering post-pandemic economic challenges like high inflation. While the pandemic forced drastic shifts in consumer needs and behavior, economic challenges continue to impact consumer foot traffic trends as they ebb and flow well into 2023. To learn more about current consumer trends and preferences, we analyzed year-over-year foot traffic to various shopping destinations for our Q2 2023 Consumer Foot Traffic Trends Report. Read on for our findings.

Foot Traffic to Shopping Destinations in Q2

The last year proved to be an interesting time for in-person shopping. Although many types of shopping destinations went through notable ups and downs, there was an interesting mix of top performers in Q2 2023. Arts and crafts stores and jewelry stores saw 27% and 22% higher foot traffic in Q2 2023 than during the same period a year prior, respectively. At the same time, discount and dollar stores also saw 20% more visits. On the other hand, big box stores, furniture stores, and wholesalers were the only categories to see flatness in year-over-year foot traffic, ending Q2 2023 with a 2% decline. All other groups saw increases in foot traffic.

So, why would both stores selling discretionary items and those selling deeply discounted necessities see more visitors in 2023? It seems that some consumers are now more comfortable indulging in discretionary and even luxury spending, while others, still impacted by recent inflation, may be figuring out how to stretch their dollars even further. Let’s take a look at the top performers in this category to learn more.

Foot Traffic to Arts and Crafts Stores

We examined foot traffic to category giants Michaels and Hobby Lobby along with non-chain arts and crafts stores. Over the last year, foot traffic to arts and crafts stores has fluctuated greatly. In Q3 2022, all arts and crafts stores saw increases in foot traffic, with Michaels seeing the most substantial growth. This was followed by a quick, sharp decline in Q4 2022 for Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but a slight increase for non-chain stores. Between Q2 2022 and Q1 of this year, all stores experienced tremendous growth in foot traffic, and the growth continues into Q2 2023. Hobby Lobby ended Q2 2023 with a significant 36% increase in year-over-year foot traffic, Michaels saw a 33% increase, and non-chain stores saw a 30% increase.

So, what could be impacting consumer foot traffic to arts and crafts stores, causing such significant growth?

Arts and Crafts Trends in 2023

The pandemic was a time for many consumers to stay indoors, work from home, and stay at a distance from others. This caused a boom for consumer electronics and hobby-based retailers like arts and crafts stores. While consumers were stuck at home looking for ways to entertain themselves indoors, new trends emerged, DIY projects began, and hobbies like arts and crafts became a focus for many. It’s likely that these trends continue to impact arts and crafts stores, especially as many consumers are still impacted by inflation and are likely looking for in-home and cost-conscious ways to spend their free time.

This year, there is a growing trend in the arts and crafts world: blending digital and traditional mediums. This trend opens doors for artists and hobbyists, leading to growing interest in stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. On top of that, there is an increasing level of consumer interest in personalized and unique items, expanding the DIY market. While 2022 was the year of tightened wallets and less interest in hobbies, 2023 seems to be the year that consumers are re-prioritizing having fun.

For more insights into recent consumer foot traffic trends, download the full Q2 2023 Consumer Foot Traffic Trends Report today.

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