Office Supplies and Stationery Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,500 firms in the US sell office supplies, school supplies, stationery, computers, office equipment and furniture at retail. Firms may also offer business-related services, such as printing, copying, mailing and shipping, or technology-related services, such as software installation.

Competition from Alternative Stores

Office supply and stationery retailers face stiff competition from a variety of alternative brick-and-mortar channels, including wholesale clubs, discount stores, mass merchandisers, food and drug stores, and computer and electronic stores.

Competition from Online Retailers

Like most of the retail industry, office supply and stationery retailers face intense competition from online-only channels, which offer convenience and enjoy lower overhead costs.

Industry size & Structure

The average office supply and stationery retailer employs about 30 workers and generates about $4 million annually.

    • The office supply and stationery retailing industry consists of about 2,500 firms that employ 77,700 workers and generate about $10 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top eight companies account for 84% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Office Depot (Office Max) and Staples. Stationery retail chains include Papyrus (Schurman Retail Group) and Paper Source (Investcorp).
                                Industry Forecast
                                Office Supplies and Stationery Stores Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Coronavirus Update

                                Apr 22, 2022 - Slow Progress on Return to Offices
                                • New COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant fell as quickly as they rose, giving many employers hope that more of their white-collar workers return to the office. However, the return to offices has been slow. During the first week of December 2021, the workplace occupancy rate was about 40% in the ten cities monitored by security firm Kastle Systems. By April 18, 2022, workplace occupancy was 42.8%. Hybrid working models are expected to be the new norm, with long-lasting impacts on workplace occupancy.
                                • Retail openings are expected to outnumber planned retail closures in 2022, according to Coresight Research. About 1,910 openings are expected, compared with 742 planned closures over the course of the year. That would continue a trend from 2021 when major retailers announced 5,083 store openings compared to 5,079 store closures, and it is an improvement over 2019 when a record 9,300 stores closed.
                                • Commercial bankruptcy filings increased 26.4% month over month in March, according to Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions. For the first quarter of 2022, total commercial bankruptcy filings were down 25% compared to the same period in 2021. “March is typically the month with the largest number of new bankruptcy filings on an annual basis,” says Chris Kruse, senior vice president at Epiq. “We continue to watch closely the bankruptcy activity as we emerge from the global pandemic and expect a return to a more active market in the months to come.”
                                • Top priorities for home office upgrades include chairs (36%), desks (33.3%), keyboards (25.8%), and headsets (25.3%) to make remote work more enjoyable, according to an Office Depot survey of remote workers. About 60% of respondents indicated that they received a stipend from their employer for working from home.
                                • New shopping habits resulting at least in part from the coronavirus pandemic may be benefiting general merchandise retailers at the expense of specialty retailers like office supplies and stationery stores. Target CEO Brian Cornell has said that many hours at home have translated to "outsized growth in electronics," such as purchases of computer software, video games, portable electronics, and office equipment.
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