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Product innovation is also behind the recent growth, says suppliers including Vivid.

Bad weather boosts arts and crafts category

The arts and crafts sector has seen a recent revival, with NPD data showing an increase of five per cent up to March 2013 year-to-date.

The sector fell behind in Q1 2012, with £178.7m generated for the year. Now the category is on the rise.

David Allan, sales and marketing director at DKL, said: “We are delighted to report that Hama is over 15 per cent up on last year. The recent weather has been beneficial to this sector.”

However, there are those unconvinced that poor weather could hold greater sway than innovation.

Leon Jarmolowicz, head of marketing for Vivid’s Crayola division, added:?“It is possible that arts and crafts traditionally benefits most from rainy days, with basic activities being linked to indoor play. However, the sector still faces stiff competition from other areas of play, so the growth in the sector year-to-date has been about more than the weather.”

Flair believes the success of the sector partly lies within product makeovers.

“The classic brands were all received well and we also had a very positive reaction to our rebranding of Plasticine,” stated Flair’s marketing manager for creative play and pre-school Kirsty MacKenzie.

“As games and puzzles were also doing really well and outdoor toys weren’t, this indicates that the coldest winter for 50 years may have had an effect on the figures.”

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