The office supplies market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.63% through to 2016, driven by the increasing working population and the increasing adoption of luxury stationery items.
Office supply stores are set for a rebound, albeit a small one. Competition remains high from online retailers, supercenters and warehouse clubs, forcing some operators to leave the industry in the midst of the recovery.
The biggest threat currently facing the office supplies market is the fact that workplaces are going digital, making the decline of the office supply industry a reality. For instance, paper shipments have continued to plummet as offices go digital and become more efficient. The shift to the paper-free cloud is not only affecting paper and printers.
It also means that people don't need mega-packs of highlighters, because they're going through data on their iPad. They don't have to buy pens to jot down notes, because they're typing them out on Evernote. They don't need staplers, because a file on a computer monitor doesn't need to be stapled.
Office supplies are all the supplies regularly used in offices by businesses and other organisations. It includes small, expendable, daily use items such as paper clips, post-it notes, and staples, small machines such as hole punches, binders, staplers and laminators, writing utensils and paper, but also encompasses higher-cost equipment like computers, printers, fax machines, photocopiers and cash registers, as well as office furniture such as chairs, cubicles, filing cabinet, and armoire desks.
The increasing use of glamorous wishing cards, extravagant notebooks, and digital pens is creating the demand for luxury stationery items. Also, luxurious stationery items such as engraved pens are gifted to colleagues, buddies, and other people on many occasions. Luxury stationery items are also adopted to be used as home decor materials.
As of 2012, the largest office supply chains in the United States (in terms of revenue) are Staples (US$25B), Office Depot (US$15B), and OfficeMax (US$8.9B). Staples is also the largest office supply chain in the world that directly owns and operates its own stores, with 2,000 stores in 27 countries. The largest operator of franchised stores is Office 1 Superstore, with 600 stores located in more than 25 countries.
For more information on the office supplies market, see the latest research: Office Supplies Market
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