Friday, January 27, 2006

The scrapbooking industry of the future...

altered ambitions

Yesterday, one of the most amazing stores in the UK, Scraptastic, announced that they were closing their doors. The UK board has been filled with shock and sadness over this change. Mark, the owner, is renowned for his amazing customer service and for knowing exactly where the industry is going. In fact, it was just a few months ago that he changed over from being an online store to actually having a storefront, so the question is, WHY???

That was not stated in the announcement so this is purely conjecture on my part, but there are pages of shocked patrons saying that his was the first place they ever went to purchase scrapbook supplies. Everything is stated purely in past tense... like from several years ago.

Mark absolutely was one of the first scrapbook businesses in the UK and when I moved there 2 1/2 years ago, it was through his site that I found the UK message board. In fact, for the first 6 months that I was there, I entered the board through his storefront that I had bookmarked. But the scrapbooking market is growing phenomenally in the UK and it seems like everyone is starting up some sort of online business. Did this contribute to one of the greats going out of business? So many of these smaller businesses come and go so quickly, but how much are they killing our tried and true scrapbooking businesses? I cannot imagine the scrapbook market in the UK without Mark and Scraptastic, but that is what has happened.

It scares me about where the scrapbooking industry is going, not only in the UK, but everywhere. I just can't see most of these little fledgling companies surviving the next few years and, quite honestly, I don't think that their owners plan on them being a long-term business. But if they drive the big guns out of business, will we have anywhere left to shop in 5-10 years?

It's very disheartening. So the lesson learned here...go shop at your tried and true scrapbook store today or they may not be there tomorrow.

BTW, I have another (rather different) creative prompt coming tomorrow!

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