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Stationary: Shift from September to August for buying back-to-school products


Where we hoped to make up for two bad Stationery quarters with the back-to-school period, it didn’t achieve its goal.

We ended Q3 with a decline of 6.6% in volume and 4.6% in value, where the back-to-school period (Q3) decreased by 8.5% in volume and 6.5% in value. September was the cause of these bad results during the most important 3 months for Stationery. July and August did better than last year within the B2C-channel.

Colouring pencils suffered the most after the extremely good year 2015, due to the colouring hype together with the colouring books. The Color Felt Pens were able to find some growth at a few important retailers and also the Crayons did a good job by releasing new products.

Within the writing category especially the Graphite Pencils did manage to grow during Q3, due to the rising popularity of sets where brands are offering their pencils together with a free eraser and/or pencil sharpener.

We noticed that the ‘Beginners Range’ products are becoming more popular, especially during the back-to-school period, where manufacturers are offering their writing products, specifically aimed at children who are starting to write. They developed products that make it easier to learn where to place their fingers.

Stationery data will probably end up negative this year, after a positive 2014 and very positive 2015.

Cindy Van Mulders - Consultant Books & Stationary


Cindy Van Mulders