Ecommerce Sales Reach $1 Billion for Office & School Supplies in 2014

Online Also the Only Channel to Experience Growth Across All Categories

Port Washington, NY, February 5, 2015 – Retail spending on office and school supplies grew 1 percent in 2014 (52 weeks ending January 3, 2015) compared to 2013, with e-commerce serving as the push behind the increase, according to global information company The NPD Group. The e-commerce channel crossed the billion-dollar threshold for the first time, reaching $1.1 billion in sales, and was the only channel to experience growth across all categories.

“The e-commerce boom is one that we’re seeing across all of retail, and the fact that it has become a billion dollar channel for office and school supplies is significant,” said Leen Nsouli, office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This growth doesn’t show signs of slowing down, and I expect to see this brisk pace continue through 2015.”

Although brick-and-mortar holds the lion’s share of the retail market (91 percent in terms of dollar share), online captured 1 percent of its share in 2014, translating to 15 percent overall growth in sales, while brick-and-mortar sales remained flat, at $10.6 billion. The top growth drivers within both channels also differed, although Coloring & Art proved to be a popular category among both brick and click.

“Just as there’s opportunity for the industry beyond the back-to-school season, there are opportunities to be garnered from other channels besides online. Food, for example, is key because it serves as a convienent one-stop shop, which is appealing to consumers. Here lies an occasion for strategic planning and pricing,” added Nsouli. “The industry is experiencing a shift in its dynamics, and such movement brings opportunities to find growth areas, and capitalize on others that are ripe for development.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Weekly Retail Tracking Service, 52 weeks ending Jan. 3, 2015

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