ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (July 14, 2010) The $4.48 trillion U.S. Retail Industry has taken a severe beating over the last several months as the dramatic cutback in consumer spending has resulted in an epidemic of store closings nationwide. According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, industry trends are being redefined as changes in the economy create more value-oriented and price-conscious consumers.
This will be the hot topic of discussion among thousands of retail professionals who come together for the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Summer 2010 Convention & Trade Show and Craft SuperShow at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois July 27-31. More than four thousand retail professionals will be convening at the season’s largest craft and hobby trade show to learn how they can survive and thrive in this rapidly changing environment.
To help its member’s cope with this critical issue, the CHA has teamed with the National Retail Federation (NRF) and KPMG to present a seminar based on their recently completed national survey. Entitled ‘Retail Horizons: Benchmarks of 2009 and 2010 Forecasts – For Retailers’, NRF and KPMG will discuss the most important strategic initiatives in nine key areas of operations for 2010. This presentation will be part of the ‘Retailing With Excellence’ educational track that will offer several sessions designed to help retailers ramp up their businesses in the new economy. In addition, the CHA has also partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce to offer CHA members information on how to expand international sales into new markets. Both the trade show and the consumer-focused SuperShow will offer more than two-dozen seminars, workshops, and educational sessions designed to help retailers drive traffic to their storefronts and their online stores.
“After many months of a tumultuous economic climate, the US retail industry is starting to rebuild, recover, and redefine itself,” said Steve Berger, President & CEO CHA. “It’s critical that our member retailers are prepared to do business in a post-recessionary economy.”
Berger said the Craft and Hobby segment has fared much better than other retail sectors during the economic downturn as the industry reported 5% growth in 2009 creating a $27 billion industry. The average annual craft spending increased 6% from 2008 to 2009 with craft chain stores and fabric and craft stores accounting for the bulk of craft sales.
Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and Michaels, two of the largest craft retailers, have reported solid increases in their 2009 YTD sales and have opened several new stores. Local retail craft & hobby stores have also reported increasing sales during the last several months and expect this trend to continue. “There is a silver lining to the cloud of the economic crisis. We are now forced to consume less, waste less, and think more creatively about ways to express our feelings and celebrate events. Crafts are an affordable and fun bonding activity that families can enjoy together,” said Marisa Pawelko, Chicago-based owner of Modern Surrealist LLC.
ABOUT THE CRAFT & HOBBY ASSOCIATION
The Craft & Hobby Association in an international, not-for-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products in the nearly $30 billion U.S. craft and hobby industry. For more information about CHA, visit www.craftandhobby.org