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Hobbycraft

‘I was initially skeptical that a consultant from outside the business could take on something so central to our brand and add more value than we could ourselves, but I’m happy to say that Dana proved me wrong’.’

Simon Burke
Hobbycraft
Chairman

Acquired by Bridgepoint Capital in 2010 Hobbycraft is the UK’s largest retailer of arts and crafts.

Notwithstanding, its retail proposition was thought to be utilitarian rather than inspirational, and it was felt that there was an opportunity to develop the business further by creating an experience that guided customers into the world of craft.

Hobbycraft

I was asked to lead a team (with both internal and external expertise) to develop a new format that clearly positioned Hobbycraft as THE destination for Arts & Crafts. We examined every aspect of the in-store experience in detail and made changes in virtually all of the customer-facing aspects of the business.

The focus for the store team was changed from replenishment to service and demonstration, aided by supplier merchandising, which also required the removal of some of the team’s existing tasks. Additionally, a new recruitment process was developed such that the new store teams were selected to ensure their love of craft and a desire to engage with customers.

Hobbycraft

 

Hobbycraft

New products and trend are key to the success of this proposition. Reviewing global trends against each category, a brief was created for the buying teams which outlined the importance of new, innovation and expertise and, together, we reduced the existing range by 8000 products, removing duplicated items as well as those not fitting the defined customer brief for that product category. In the search for new we sourced over 5000 products, many of which are exclusive to Hobbycraft in Europe.

‘Dana listens to the client’s needs and manages the process throughout. She has met the cost parameters we set, managed our expectations as the client and delivered a first class concept which we are confident can be rolled out.’

Vince Gwilliam
Hobbycraft
Partner Bridgepoint Capital

New products and trend are key to the success of this proposition. Reviewing global trends against each category, a brief was created for the buying teams which outlined the importance of new, innovation and expertise and, together, we reduced the existing range by 8000 products, removing duplicated items as well as those not fitting the defined customer brief for that product category. In the search for new we sourced over 5000 products, many of which are exclusive to Hobbycraft in Europe.

Hobbycraft
The in-store environment was transformed to one that would inspire and engage, encouraging browsing and trial without becoming intimidating. A difficult balance, that was delivered with the collaboration of a number of creative agencies. The final design has a fantastic blend of simplicity (in store navigation) and inspiration (from the product displays, demonstrations and examples of finished product). Commerciality is at the core of the concept, with the layout enabling a clear view of offers and ‘how to’ solutions and the introduction of new ‘impulse’ tables and bins. The development of the tone of voice, which is chatty, friendly and embraces humour, ensures that the stores become neither too structured nor too similar.
Hobbycraft
Hobbycraft

‘Dana is resourceful, reliable and realistic, three traits that are often underestimated in delivering complex projects. The icing on the cake is that she’s a pleasure to work with’

Catriona Marshall
Hobbycraft
Chief Executive

This all had to be achieved within tight constraints on both capital and programme time. The first new store to deliver the proposition opened in May 2011, with the second a few weeks later, and the first renewal in July 2011. The customer response has been exceptional and the stores are meeting, or exceeding, sales expectations in all our target categories with the renewal showing double digit growth. The Capex targets were met on the first store, significant savings achieved on the second, and the renewal was transformed in three days at a cost of only £10/ft2!

Hobbycraft

‘As part of our plan to transform Hobbycraft from a good business to a great one a new customer proposition was needed. Dana is one of the very few people who has the skills and experience needed to manage all the aspects of People, Product and Place that such a transition requires; motivating and directing internal and external multidisciplinary teams to achieve the desired results whilst keeping a firm control of costs but never losing sight of our long term goals.’

Guy Weldon
Hobbycraft
Partner Bridgepoint Capital