The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
What is it? *********** A retail outlet selling art and craft materials.
Special Features? ******************** This retail outlet is very big, massive actually, a warehouse sized outlet placing all the areas of art and craft materials under one roof. There is almost everything. Materials for art sketching, paints, clay, modelling equipment, dressmaking, jewellery making, cake decorating, dress making and the list goes on.
What do I think of it? ********************* The very first time I came across Hobbycraft was in a retail park, I was on my way to the new pet shop store and this was just a couple of doors away. In fact, there are many retail parks around the country that will have a Hobbycraft and some other well known brand names. I think these retail parks specifically house these particular companies.
Anyway, back to Hobbycraft! The first I walked in it was very specious and huge - literally aisles and aisles of art and craft materials, there is also an upper floor! It's easy to get lost in your little world looking at the products because you soon start conjuring up lots of ideas of what you could do, make, use with all the arts stuff that they have for sale - it's very easy to spend an hour or two in there!
My first impressions, which was way back towards the end the last year, I just thought that everything was a little too expensive - prices too high and I knew I could get the same stuff cheaper from the internet and other art shops. So I just thought Hobbycraft was just another big super business creation. However, a few months (on my way to the pet shop again!) I popped in there for another browse just to get some ideas and I walked out with quite a lot of stuff! I noticed that many of the prices were more competitive and there were a few that were cheaper than the internet - although this does depend on what you're after. There are a few brands that I already shop at and I've noticed some of their products placed on Hobbycraft's shelves and they are priced triple the amount than they would cost if you went straight to their original shop! So, it really helps if you know your stuff!
The outlet is obviously trying to be a kind of one-stop shop, though it provides a wide range of basic materials, it doesn't really supply much of the specialist items for the serious / advanced / professional level hobbyist.
The staff are generally friendly, though some do like to spy on you from the top floor if they think you're potentially a shoplifter. I was looking at some paints, and I was looking at them for quite a long time trying figure which shade to choose that will go with my project then a few members of staff 'pretended' (it was pretty obvious) to refill the shelves on my side (sigh)! Ok, I was there, like 20 minutes or more and they were getting suspicious - this I can understand from a very narrow perspective but as a genuine customer it didn't feel too pleasant.
Another point, it would be nice if the staff at the tills could smile a bit more, been there about 20 times now and it almost feels as if they're telling me that it's the worst place to work - yes, I ask too much at times...
Final word - brilliant place - a haven to fuel all that creativity, but watch those prices and make comparisons.