Stay-at-home Trend Impacts Retail

May 31, 2002

Top U.S. arts and crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc. reports that quarterly earnings nearly tripled lifted by the strong trend toward stay-at-home activities. Its first-quarter sales jumped 15 percent to $603.2 million from $524.7 million last year, with sales at same-store sales open at least a year up five percent.

Earlier this month, retail executives and analysts said the September 11 attacks and the resulting decline in travel had boosted industry profits as interest grew in leisure activities such as macramé and scrapbooks, reports Reuters. Jo-Ann Stores Inc., also a crafts retailer, saw strong sales following the attacks, citing the “nesting” of many Americans.

Analysts expect the trend to continue. Consumers spent $27.3 billion on arts and crafts last year, up 19 percent from 2000, according to the Hobby Industry Association. And the total is expected to rise this year, according to Patricia Koziol, the group’s director.

Moderator Comment: Are consumers nesting more than
in the recent past? If yes, what are the implications for retail? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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