The Retail Market for Stationery Products in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Despite a forecast increase in revenue over the next five years, competition from online-based forms of correspondence continues to threaten the market. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Retail Market for Stationery Products to its growing industry report collection.

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Demand for stationery products will grow steadily alongside rising disposable incomes

The Retail Market for Stationery Products is composed of retailers (both physical and online) that sell writing materials, envelopes and related products. Demand for these products – and, consequently, the retail market's success – is largely driven by consumers' purchasing power. Over the five years to 2013, per capita disposable income fell for the first time since 1991 as the recession took hold and unemployment skyrocketed to new heights. “With less cash on hand, shoppers cut discretionary purchases like stationery, which ultimately hurt industry performance,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Nikoleta Panteva. In 2009, disposable income fell 3.6%, leading to a 6.4% decline in revenue for the year.

Consumer budgets have since begun to recover and the performance of the Retail Market for Stationery Products has followed suit; revenue is expected to grow 0.5% in 2013 as per capita disposable income increases an estimated 0.8%. “Mounting competition internally and externally, however, has largely defined the industry's past five-year performance,” adds Panteva. “The stationery retail market is slowly reaching its saturation point, with the number of locations selling these products growing at an anemic 0.7% annualized rate from 2008 to 2013.” Additionally, operators face external competition from electronic communication, including e-mail and electronic invitation websites. These conditions have combined to suppress industry growth over the past five years; revenue is expected to decline at an average annual rate of 1.4% to $9.2 billion by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, industry profitability has also remained constrained as retailers engage in price competition to gain customers.

The top four firms operating in the stationery products retail market, including major player Staples Inc., make up just under a third of its revenue. The remainder of the industry is highly fragmented, and includes discount retailers, department stores, and single-location stores both with and without hired employees. In the five years to 2013, industry concentration has been on the rise. Discount stores, warehouse clubs, supercenters and e-commerce websites have had an increasing presence in this retail market by providing convenient shopping experiences as well as low prices. This trend has caused underperforming operators to consolidate or exit the industry; over the five-year period, the total number of enterprises is expected to have declined 0.6%. Competition is forecast to continue over the five years to 2018, likely causing the industry to become more concentrated.

As the economy improves over the five years to 2018, the Retail Market for Stationery Products will also display steady growth. Per capita disposable income is projected to grow, driving an industry revenue increase through 2018. Still, despite this positive outlook, competition will continue to threaten the market. The percentage of services conducted online is anticipated to expand, pulling consumers away from traditional paper correspondence and subduing industry demand. Additionally, the retail market will continue expanding slowly, limiting opportunities available to individual operators. Competitive tactics for retailers will include a heightened focus on customer service, targeting a younger demographic and providing value-added services like customizing stationery products. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Retail Market for Stationery Products in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies in this industry sell stationery products used for writing, drawing, filing and similar applications. Greeting cards and printer paper are excluded from this report. This report discusses the size of the retail market for stationery products and includes sales from all major retail channels, including specialty stores, general merchandisers and internet 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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