Office Supplies - Putting Fashion into Function 9/20/2016
The back-to-school season is drawing to a close and classes are underway around the U.S. for elementary and college students alike. For office supplies industry players, September also means it’s time to head to ECRM to showcase and view the latest in supplies trends and new product innovation. At ECRM’s School & Office Supplies EPPS last week, I had the opportunity to present on some of the biggest factors influencing sales within the traditional supplies space.
Several trends are having an impact on sales growth levels for traditional supplies. An important one is the increasing presence of lower-priced private label or store brand alternatives at retail. The number of categories where the consumer may opt for a private label product to take advantage of a lower price-point and more savings has been intensifying over the past few years. According to retail sales data from NPD, the presentation, reference, and storage binders category is one example, where private label share of sales has grown from 29 percent in 2014 to 53 percent in 2016. Another example is encased pencils; the $0 - $0.99 price range for encased pencils is seeing actual unit growth led by private label product sales, as eight of the 10 top growth brands are private label.
Integrated into the fashion, design, and style trends in supplies is personalization. Products that provide consumers with the ability to personalize their experience with their supplies is key, and manufacturers are finding various ways to succeed at this at retail. Manufacturers looking to take advantage of the trend around personalization and fashion are generating creative ideas like build-your-own planner concepts. Consumers are being provided the opportunity to personalize items such as their dated products, binders, and notebooks.
Consumers may be looking for ways to trim cost in their traditional supplies purchases, but there is unlocked opportunities and growth potential in putting fashion in function. Manufacturers and retailers are headed in the right direction by developing products that can be personalized to provide a unique and creative experience for consumers.
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides market information and business solutions that drive better decision-making and better results. The world’s leading brands rely on us to help them get the right products in the right places for the right people. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter:@npdgroup
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