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The retailer launched its first in-store pilot with MakerPlace sellers in seven locations in February, with more planned in March.

The Michaels Company announced updates on March 7 to its MakerPlace online marketplace, changing how the company promotes it and giving MakerPlace a presence in stores.

The online marketplace launched in November 2023 as a site for handmade goods, classes and how-to guides.

“Our latest efforts, including our first brand campaign and an in-store selling pilot, are just the beginning of what we have planned to deepen our support for the independent handmade community,” Michaels CEO Ashley Buchanan said in a statement.

Michaels ranks No. 111 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 database. Digital Commerce 360 categorizes Michaels as a Toys & Hobbies retailer.

Although the MakerPlace launched online, Michaels announced that it will start testing the concept in its physical locations through a new pilot program. Some sellers will be invited to sell their handmade products inside their local Michaels locations across categories including home decor, art and woodwork, the retailer said in a press release. 


The first in-store pilot began on Feb. 24 in seven locations across Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and Utah. The next test is scheduled for March 23.

Giving marketplace sellers the opportunity to sell goods in stores tackles one of the biggest challenges small businesses face, Michaels said. The pilot program gives those sellers a chance to find new customers while breaking through a crowded industry, the retailer said. 

Michaels promotes MakerPlace with a new campaign

Michaels MakerPlace ad campaign

The craft retailer also announced a new campaign to promote the MakerPlace. Michaels will share the “Respect the Handmade” campaign across social media, streaming platforms and paid media, alongside Michaels-owned platforms.

The advertisement uses handcrafted puppets to portray MakerPlace products coming to life. It features actual products available on the marketplace.


Why Michaels launched MakerPlace

Michaels debuted MakerPlace in late 2023 after a successful three-month beta test, it said.

“We launched MakerPlace by Michaels with the goal of becoming the best place for handmade sellers and their customers,” Buchanan said. “MakerPlace, together with our stores and expanded ecommerce assortment, enable Michaels to be the true one-stop shop to support handmade sellers along every step of their creative journey.”

At the time of launch, Michaels positioned MakerPlace as a competitor to Etsy. Etsy ranks No. 20 in Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the Top 100 online marketplaces by gross merchandise value (GMV).

The initial MakerPlace announcement cited seller pain points on other marketplaces and consumer sentiment that there was a void in the online marketplace landscape. 

Michaels MakerPlace doesn’t charge a listing fee to sellers. It charges a 4% referral fee to sellers on its basic subscription plan. It also charges a 2% referral fee to sellers in the professional tier, which costs $9.98 per month. All sellers pay a transaction fee of 3% plus $0.20 per item.

Michaels is one of 40 retailers in the Top 1000 with a consumer marketplace.

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