Michaels Launches an Online Marketplace
Specialty arts and crafts retailer Michaels is getting into the online marketplace game, announcing Monday it would feature a curated selection of third-party sellers and increase its U.S. online assortment by 750,000 SKUs.
"The launch of Michaels’ curated marketplace for arts, crafts and décor is the next phase of our ongoing digital transformation to be the destination for all creatives to get inspired, learn, shop and create,” said Heather Bennett, executive vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Michaels. “By more than quadrupling our online assortment across categories including candle and soap making, leather work and more, Michaels will ensure every customer can find what they need to bring their creative dreams to life no matter their craft."
The marketplace is invite-only as of right now, and sellers are invited to apply here. Applications will be accepted from sellers in categories including arts and crafts supplies, candle and soap making, leather and wood work, baking, tools and tech, yarn, stitchery, kids, toys, education, journaling, seasonal products, and more.
Total Retail's Take: Michaels is following in the footsteps of other traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that are seeking to expand their reach to consumers via an online marketplace. Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, 1-800-Flowers.com, and The Home Depot have all recently launched similar marketplaces to enhance their online offerings for both products and services, while also potentially acquiring new customers in the process.
Online marketplaces are a rapidly growing segment of the retail industry; a recent survey from Avalara found that the top two channels for expansion in the U.S. are direct-to-consumer websites (61 percent) and marketplaces (41 percent). Considering consumers' increasing penchant for shopping online, it's wise for legacy retail brands to consider ways to enhance their digital footprint. Michaels is likely just the latest example of this, not the last.