E-commerce Sales Reach $1 Billion for Office & School Supplies in 2014, The NPD Group Reports

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Online Also the Only Channel to Experience Growth Across All Categories

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"The industry is experiencing a shift in its dynamics, and such movement brings opportunities to find growth areas, and capitalize on others that are ripe for development,” said Leen Nsouli, The NPD Group.

Retail spending on office and school supplies grew 1 percent in 2014 (52 weeks ending January 3, 2015) compared to 2013, with e-commerce serving as the push behind the increase, according to global information company The NPD Group. The e-commerce channel crossed the billion-dollar threshold for the first time, reaching $1.1 billion in sales, and was the only channel to experience growth across all categories.

“The e-commerce boom is one that we’re seeing across all of retail, and the fact that it has become a billion dollar channel for office and school supplies is significant,” said Leen Nsouli, office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This growth doesn’t show signs of slowing down, and I expect to see this brisk pace continue through 2015.”

Although brick-and-mortar holds the lion’s share of the retail market (91 percent in terms of dollar share), online captured 1 percent of its share in 2014, translating to 15 percent overall growth in sales, while brick-and-mortar sales remained flat, at $10.6 billion. The top growth drivers within both channels also differed, although Coloring & Art proved to be a popular category among both brick and click.

“Just as there’s opportunity for the industry beyond the back-to-school season, there are opportunities to be garnered from other channels besides online. Food, for example, is key because it serves as a convienent one-stop shop, which is appealing to consumers. Here lies an occasion for strategic planning and pricing,” added Nsouli. “The industry is experiencing a shift in its dynamics, and such movement brings opportunities to find growth areas, and capitalize on others that are ripe for development.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Weekly Retail Tracking Service, 52 weeks ending Jan. 3, 2015

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter:@npdgroup

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