Retail

Amazon Handmade Launches Gift Shops

Amazon is expanding its Handmade program with support for event-specific gift shops, according to news from CNBC. Announced on Monday (Oct. 23), the gift shops will cater to occasions like weddings and Halloween.

Amazon Handmade, which launched in 2015, is a microsite that sells handcrafted goods to consumers in 30 countries. Originally specializing in jewelry, stationery and party supplies, the eCommerce retailer has recently begun offering products in other categories, such as clothing, shoes and pet supplies.

“Every item on Amazon Handmade has a story behind it — and after hearing from customers and artisans, we are thrilled to make gift shopping an experience they will look forward to,” said Katie Harnetiaux, an Amazon Handmade spokeswoman.

The announcement caused shares of Etsy, a crafts-focused online retailer, to fall 3 percent at midday, CNBC reported. The company has been looking to increase profitability and sales at the behest of activist investors.

“Etsy shines specifically in three types of purchase occasions: celebrations, gifting and style,” said Etsy CEO Josh Silverman in the company’s second quarter earnings call. “If you think about it, these types of occasions happen regularly throughout the year. These occasions drive purchases across six primary categories: clothing and accessories, home and living, jewelry, craft supplies, art and collectibles and paper and party supplies.”

Etsy has been struggling since 2015, CNBC stated. Sales have slowed as a result of Amazon and Instagram moving into the crafts marketplace, offering other eCommerce venues to the independent sellers that Etsy caters to as a platform.

Hedge fund Black-and-White Capital revealed it owned a 2 percent investment in Etsy earlier this year, according to CNBC. The hedge fund urged the company to consider a sale. As a result, Etsy announced a new CEO and job cuts that reduced total staff by about 22 percent.

Recently, Amazon announced that it was launching food ordering through its mobile app, with GrubHub shares dipping in response.

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