Arts and crafts retailer makes two key digital moves

A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts is ramping up its digital offerings with an acquisition — and an investment.

The retailer's parent company, Nicole Crafts, has acquired Blitsy, an online retailer of arts and crafts products that was founded in 2011. Blitsy will operate largely as an independent subsidiary of Nicole Crafts and remain based in Chicago, with access to A.C. Moore's infrastructure and scale. A.C. Moore will leverage Blitsy's e-commerce expertise and relaunch in 2018.

"We are joining the A.C. Moore family because there is a huge opportunity to utilize each other's strengths and move faster toward our vision of delivering a truly rewarding and holistic experience to customers, teammates, and brand partners," said Ross Petersen, co-founder and CEO of Blitsy.

In a second initiative, the A.C. Moore parent company secured an exclusive partnership as part of a major investment in handcraft marketplace Zibbet, a marketplace of some 50,000 independent artists, crafters and vintage collectors.

"A.C. Moore is entering a period of unprecedented growth," said Anthony Piperno, owner and chief marketing & merchandising officer at A.C. Moore, which operates 135 stores across the East Coast. "These dynamic additions to our company can rapidly accelerate adoption of our proprietary product across a global audience of creative consumers and position our family as industry leaders among arts and crafts enthusiasts everywhere."

A.C. Moore was advised on both transactions by EGL Holdings, an Atlanta-based boutique investment banking company.