Art and Office Supply Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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This industry is in decline, with firms increasingly competing with lower-cost imports. Furthermore, the rising penetration of electronics and the internet will cut into revenue growth, as fewer individuals use traditional office supplies. The industry will look to boost profitability by focusing on higher-priced products and new technologies, but even these efforts will not reverse the industry's decline. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Art and Office Supply Manufacturing industry.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The rising use of electronic communication is eroding demand for office supplies

If writing has gone out of style, the Art and Office Supply Manufacturing industry is feeling the effect. Computers, the internet, text messages and e-mail are all communication tools that do not require the use of pens, pencils or other writing and drawing supplies. The number of students in schools and colleges is growing slowly, but this market alone is not enough to support the industry. Furthermore, younger generations are more comfortable with electronic forms of writing and communicating than their older peers. Additionally, businesses throughout the country have moved toward conducting operations online and are demanding fewer industry products. “Cheap imports are also putting pressure on domestic manufacturers,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Kevin Boyland. As a result of these trends, industry revenue is expected to decline 2.6% per year on average during the past five years to $3.4 billion, including a drop of 3.3% in 2012.

The industry's profit margin is contracting as a result of diminishing domestic demand, intense price competition and external competition from substitute technologies and imports. Consumers are not buying office supplies as much as they used to and, amid a price-competitive environment, domestic producers have been unable to pass operational cost increases on to downstream wholesalers and retailers. According to Boyland, “this factor has cut into firms' bottom lines and forced them to cut staff numbers, lower production levels and, in some cases, exit the industry.” During the five years to 2012, the number of industry firms is expected to decrease at an annualized rate of 3.6% to 560. Major players in the Art and Office Supply Manufacturing industry, including Newell Rubbermaid Inc., ACCO Brands Corporation and Crayola LLC, have staved off major contractions in recent years but suffered greatly during the recession.

As firms deal with falling demand and high competition, downsizing and consolidation are expected to continue throughout the next five years. Over the five years to 2017, industry revenue is expected to contract at a moderate pace. This decline is expected to continue to put downward pressure on prices charged to downstream customers, pressuring profitability. On the upside, price decreases will also make industry products more competitive against cheap imports. Companies are also expected to improve their products and use newer, environmentally friendly technologies to compete in the higher-margin products market. However, these attempts will likely only improve profitability; the volume of sales of art and office supplies is expected to continue declining as electronic communication cements itself as the primary way consumers and businesses write and communicate. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Art and Office Supply Manufacturing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry purchases ink, wood, plastics and other materials to manufacture a range of art and office supplies. Industry products include pens, pencils, art goods, staplers, marking devices and carbon paper. End customers include businesses, consumers, wholesalers and office-supply retailers.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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