Joann on Monday said it is reaching out to professional crafters with a new program, dubbed JOANN+, that offers bulk ordering and shipping options, dedicated customer service and sales teams, rebates and financing plans, and special pricing, among other services.
Additionally, members earn a 5% percent rebate each quarter, according to a company press release. There's no cost to sign up, according to a Joann spokesperson.
The program is aimed at large businesses, non-profits and smaller artisans selling through Etsy, Ebay and Amazon Handmade, according to the website.
Since the launch of Etsy in 2005, maker culture has found new business prospects online. That has only accelerated as Amazon Handmade (launched 10 years later) and Ebay have also moved to cater to artisans looking to drive sales.
While it stumbled after its initial public offering in 2015, Etsy recovered in its most recent quarter, led by new CEO Josh Silverman. Third quarter gross merchandise sales rose 13.2% to $766.4 million, reflecting growth of 140 basis points from the second quarter following the launch of new features and tools, as well as 10.8% growth in active sellers and 16.7% in active buyers, according to the company.
Amazon Handmade, meanwhile, has boosted delivery options for its sellers and introduced a curated bridal page. Even West Elm has invited in artists and makers, expanding collaborations with them in some locations with "West Elm Local Experiences," where customers can take workshops at their studios.
All of this presents an opportunity for Joann. "[I]ndustry research estimates 15% of specialty retail shoppers are buying for an organization or business, or are single sellers," a Joann spokesperson noted to Retail Dive in an email. "More and more people are turning their creative hobbies into side businesses (i.e. Etsy), so this program will definitely help a growing number of makers across the country."
The move to attract makers and businesses follows Joann's rebranding effort as well as the acquisition of Creativebug, subscription-based provider of online how-to crafting videos, last year.
Last summer the retailer also rolled out a new mobile app, which Joann described then as an "industry-first tool that enables users to publish their own projects with photos, videos and even music," as well as shop for supplies, find and share project ideas, and redeem mobile coupons.