Unit sales are up 2% year over year
Port Washington, NY, August 5, 2022 – According to The NPD Group, back-to-school sales are seeing early growth in the office supplies industry with unit sales up 2% through the first three weeks of the season compared to last year (three weeks ending July 23, 2022, excluding storage categories as well as janitorial and breakroom supplies). This unit sales increase is being driven by sales in the e-commerce channel for school list items. In fact, e-commerce unit sales are up 35% year over year, after a 2% decline for the same period last year that resulted from consumers returning to stores and strong e-commerce performance in 2020.
Revenue sales are up 4%, which is in line with NPD’s Future of Office Supplies forecast expectation of a 6% revenue growth during the third quarter (Q3) of 2022. Top selling categories from a unit sales perspective include crayons, portfolios, and color markers.
“Unit performance this back-to-school season has been stronger than anticipated and the growth in e-commerce speaks to the importance of a digital strategy and omni-retail strategy in promoting convenience for the office and school supplies consumer throughout the season,” said Leen Nsouli, executive director and office supplies industry analyst for NPD. “We expect the brick-and-mortar channel will see dollar growth as we near the mid-season period, as more consumers head out to stores to take advantage of back-to-school promotions, tax-free holidays, and prepare for the return to classrooms.”