A.C. Moore has launched a marketplace for artists and makers, called A.C. Moore Marketplace. Since introducing the platform in late June, more than 3,000 storefronts have been established with 75,000 products available for sale, according to a release from the arts and crafts retailer.
Sellers pay a flat fee of $10 per month to list products in the marketplace, and the platform doesn't charge listing fees or commissions on sales. A.C. Moore partnered with Australian online sales management firm Zibbet to serve its marketplace platform.
The Marketplace launch caps off two years of "widespread channel expansion" for A.C. Moore, per the release. The chain has opened 15 new stores in the U.S. during that span, and debuted A.C. Moore Essentials small-format concept stores. In addition, it launched e-commerce sales.
While A.C. Moore is late to the e-commerce game, it's making moves to catch up quickly. The company's relationship with Zibbet dates to 2017, when it made an investment of an undisclosed amount in the marketplace platform; at the same time, the retailer acquired online craft supply business Blitsy.
A.C. Moore also has a new CEO at the helm as of August 1, with President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Anthony Piperno moving up to CEO to take over for his father (the Piperno family bought the chain in 2011). Anthony Piperno led the acquisition of Blitsy and the development of the chain's exclusive partnership with Zibbet.
While A.C. Moore Marketplace has to compete with Amazon Handmade and Etsy, it may have an advantage by working with Zibbet. The platform allows Etsy sellers to manage their listings via Zibbet, giving the latter increased intelligence into what's working for sellers who have storefronts on both platforms. Now, with the addition of A.C. Moore storefronts, Zibbet will have even greater insight into trends and the general landscape for artists and artisans who sell online.
For now, Etsy still has a firm grasp on online sales by artists and makers, despite previous hiccups in its transparency with sellers and a recent push for sellers to adopt free shipping, which was not well-received by the small businesses that use the platform. In Q4, Etsy saw an 18% increase in active buyers year over year, with active seller growth of 9.4%. Amazon Handmade, however, "has had little success wooing vendors or customers," according to an August report on Etsy and its competitors by Fortune.