The U.S. office supplies industry is no exception to the shopping trends emerging this holiday season, as there are several products trending for holiday crafting, gift giving, and home décor. Do-it-yourself holiday crafts and activities are prevalent on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, which are great sources of inspiration for consumers in the holiday spirit.
Decorating trees with holiday ornaments has evolved into a family crafting opportunity, with ornament decorating and painting becoming more popular with consumers. Paintbrush pens, which are an essential tool for ornament decorating, grew sales by over $1 million during Holiday 2016* from the previous year. The ornament decorating trend has prevailed on holiday blogs this season, and paintbrush pen sales have grown by over 60 percent in the four weeks ending October 28, 2017.**
Wrapping gifts in attractive paper has been popular for centuries; however, with the popularity of home crafts and washi tape, gift wrapping has been taken to a new level. Several trends are emerging with washi tape, such as Christmas tree wall art, homemade holiday greeting cards, and décor. Washi tape sales grew by $2.8 million during the 2016 holiday season, and continue to grow, showing a positive trend for Holiday 2017.
While crafts and décor are necessary during the holidays, the gifts themselves are still at the top of many consumers’ lists. Planners, small notebooks, and journals appear on holiday gift guides across the Internet, and are sure to be a classic gift this season. Small notebooks and journals added $3.7 million in sales to the office supplies industry during Holiday 2016, and have already shown 35 percent growth heading into the holiday season this year. Additionally, appointment books and planners grew by nearly $6 million last year, and are showing double-digit growth heading into this holiday.
Consumers are showing their creativity during the holiday season and engaging with products in fun and whimsical ways. Many of the more recent trends that have moved the needle for the office supplies industry were sparked by social media, making it a strategic platform that retailers and manufacturers should utilize to build brand and product awareness – both during and outside the holiday season.
*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail
Tracking Service, 3 months ending January 2017 vs. prior year
**Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service, 4 weeks ending October 28, 2017 vs. prior year