Setting political views aside, the women’s movement has positively influenced the sales of office supplies.
Demonstrations during the Women’s March took place in over 600 cities around the world. To communicate their thoughts and emotions, those participating in the march came with a variety of signs. Most signs were homemade, which showed that their makers clearly put a lot of work into creating them. The week before the Women’s March, sales of poster boards in the U.S. were up 33 percent and foam boards by 42 percent versus the same week last year, according to retail sales data from The NPD Group. Over 6.5 million poster boards were sold during the month of January, with nearly one-third being sold during the week of the Women’s March. Sales of easel pads/flip charts also grew, by 28 percent. Tools used to assist in making the poster messages stand out also grew during that week, including paint markers (+35 percent), specialty markers (+24 percent), and permanent markers (+12 percent). Poster makers also included images and letters on their posters using craft tools such as glue (+27 percent), adhesives (+12 percent), scissors (+6 percent), and paper punches (+4 percent). In addition to holding their posters, some wore t-shirts with personalized messaging; fabric paint sales the week before the march were up at least three-times as much compared to the other weeks in January.
More events have taken place since the January march, and there is discussion that similar events are planned for the future, presenting an opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to monitor and prepare for product demand in larger cities where they typically occur. Regardless of personal views on the current political climate, consumers’ demand for products that allow them to creatively express themselves represents an opportunity for incremental sales.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Weekly Retail Tracking Service