65% of UK SME craft and design retailers saw growth in the past year

By Dan Wilson May 23, 2018 - 11:42 pm

It looks like craft and design merchants have had a positive year and are confident about the year ahead because 65% of the UK SME craft and design retailers surveyed say they have seen an increase in their sales over the last twelve months, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail On average, these retailers have seen a 19% increase in sales in the last year.

81% of the retailers surveyed are confident that their sales will continue to increase in the next year and online marketplaces and social media sales are part of that bullishness. To grow sales British craft and design retailers intend to list their products on more marketplace sites (41%), look for space in another physical store (26%) and use social media (22%). Over half (52%) are also planning to increase their marketing spend and 34% intend to take advantage of the increased interest in UK exports that has resulted in the weak rate of sterling amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Gifts, artwork and jewellery are the most common products sold by UK SME craft and design retailers. Stationery, children’s clothing and adults’ clothing are also popular products to make and sell in the UK. Surprisingly, 72% sell via their own website, 69% sell via a marketplace and 41% through social media. 80% say that selling their products via online channels and marketplaces has helped to increase their sales and 85% feel the design industry is increasingly attracting entrepreneurs.

Nearly half (49%) of UK SME craft and design retailers export goods, with 50% importing goods. 57% of these retailers sell to overseas customers: 74% are based in Europe, 45% in USA and 35% in Asia. The majority (63%) of UK SME craft and design retailers are aiming to increase their international sales revenue over the next 12 months.

There’s no doubt that craft and design sales, and those related to handmade goods, have enjoyed growing popularity over the past few years and it looks like the vertical is burgeoning. What has your experience been?

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