Digital Trends Drive the U.S. Office Supplies Industry’s 2019 Performance, Reports NPD

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NPD Reveals 2019’s Top Industry Performers Across Key Categories at Retail

The U.S. office supplies industry generated $12.4 billion in retail sales during 2019, according to The NPD Group. In-store sales were soft, although this continues to represent the majority of the business with 85% share. E-commerce compensated for some of those brick-and-mortar losses as online sales grew by 12% for the year, and 20% during the back-to-school season* alone.

Over $200 million in industry sales shifted online in 2019, which is nearly double that of the prior year. Organization and small business-related segments including traditional pens, binders, portable storage, glue, and adhesives are shifting sales online at the fastest rate.

“The digital transition taking place is impacting how consumers purchase their supplies, and is also influencing the types of products they’re buying,” said Leen Nsouli, executive director and office supplies industry analyst at The NPD Group. “At the same time, consumers are recognizing both the advantages and disadvantages of technology being incorporated into their daily lives. Manufacturers in the supplies space need to strike the right balance between technology integration, and maintaining a platform for consumers to achieve their much needed digital detox.”    

Top Performers

Here were the overall, top performing brands of 2019 across key office supplies categories, based on U.S. growth in market share over the previous year, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.

Top U.S. Market Share Increase in 2019 (Brand/Category)
Blue Sky (Dated Products)
Sterilite (File & File Storage)
Uboxes (Mail & Ship)
Five Star (Office Paper, Presentation & Reference)
Fellowes (Shredders)
Pilot (Writing Instruments)

“The ebb and flow of the office supplies industry is creating new and uncharted opportunities for players in the space. In the ever-changing retail landscape of today, competition is fierce, and growing market share is becoming more and more challenging, but the brands that are innovating and connecting with consumers are finding success,” said Tia Frapolli, President, Office Supplies, The NPD Group.

Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service/ 52 weeks ending January 4, 2020

*Back-to-school sales captured in the 13 weeks ending September 21, 2019


About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 29 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, video games, and watches. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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Marissa Guyduy
The NPD Group
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