Current value sales within the US writing instrument market have increased slightly in 2013.
This lack of movement was caused by technological advances being incorporated into all aspects of life. Whilst schools and businesses still use plenty of writing instruments, many of these sales are B2B (business-to-business).
Consumers' purchases of these products are primarily realised when schools ask students to buy certain materials. However, there is also a steady rise in the use of electronic products within schools and businesses, in particular. This shift is decreasing the necessity of writing instruments.
Newell Rubbermaid continued to lead the US writing instruments market in 2012. The company continues to have a diverse portfolio, and has a presence in all of the categories within writing instruments.
This strategy helped the company in 2012, which posted 7% growth and achieved retail sales of US$1.7 billion. However, this growth will be difficult to sustain, as the entire industry is shrinking.
Office Max and Office Depot, the second and third retailers in office supplies, decided to merge. The merger, announced in February 2013, is expected to strengthen the performance of these retailers, as both have been in decline.
The merger aims to cut costs and increase efficiency by capitalising on the respective retailers' strengths. Whilst the merger will combine these two forces in the industry, the merger will not dethrone Staples as the leading office supplies retailer in the US.
The impact is yet to be seen, but the merger will allow increased efficiency for the resulting union. The merger is not all bad news for Staples, because one of the outcomes of the merger will be decreased redundancy in terms of stores.
This means that Staples' physical stores will face less competition in terms of outlets, as Office Max and Office Depot consolidate their stores.
For more information on the US writing instruments market, see the latest research: US Writing Instruments Market
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