On Long Island where I live we lost 1,200 grocery store jobs year-over-year. Where did those jobs go? Costco I am betting — a much more efficient and price-favorable retailer. This is the way of the world, this big box approach. Yet as we know, what goes around comes around and even Amazon is experimenting with brick and mortar retail stores. And big consumer packaged goods companies like General Mills and Campbell’s and even Anheuser-Busch InBev are investing in start-ups and small participants in the craft economy. The craft economy dabbles in small batch, high-value products with an artisanal bent.
I suspect the craft economy will also result in a resurgence in small specialized retailers popping up in towns again. In our little town, Crushed Olives opened a year or so ago offering assorted olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Kilwins is offering specialty fudge. And our second independent coffee barista just opened. They’re premium priced but seem to be worth it. The craft economy will by no means be in every neighborhood. But it’s here for those with a little extra cash who like to savor the flavor. It is fueled by people tired of selling junky or pedestrian quality products. And there is demand. The craft economy is a multi-billion dollar category.