What’s in store for the stationery sector? – An interview with Sonja Koschel and Eva Barth-Gillhaus

The pandemic saw a €2bn sales slump on the German market for paper, office supplies and stationery in 2020 and 2021, making the question of what’s in store for the stationery industry all the more exciting. The “Stationery Industry Report 2022” provides the answer to this question by outlining scenarios for future trends with the aid of well-founded market and sales analyses. The publisher is Marketmedia24, a market research and consultancy institute founded in Cologne/Germany in 2010. Owner and managing director Sonja Koschel publishes market studies and advises international partners on all aspects relating to the market and communication. Eva Barth-Gillhaus is a specialist journalist whose job it is to make the complex interrelationships of the studies easy to understand. In this interview, the two authors of the Stationery Industry Report 2022 provide insights into what is in store for the stationery industry.

Since when has Marketmedia24.de been doing the “Industry REPORT Paper, Office Supplies and Stationery” and what makes your figures stand out?

Sonja Koschel: The stationery industry has been one of our core research sectors for many years. Particularly as regards figures, including panel and futurology research. Our market research manager, Karl Oerder, has been observing the stationery market since the late 1980s. Formerly for BBE Retail Experts in Cologne (a subsidiary of the German Retail Association HDE).

How have the months of the pandemic influenced your market research activities?

S. K.: Our future research, i.e. the market and trade scenarios up to the year 2030, but also our primary research among the consuming target group are in even greater demand than before.

Major challenges also open up new opportunities. Which ones have you seized at Marketmedia24?

S.K.: We have entered into new, strong partnerships – also with other research institutes – and this has enriched our service portfolio. Especially in the field of digital market research based on artificial intelligence, Marketmedia24 now offers very exciting opportunities to analyse products, brands, topics and services on a global scale.

The “Industry REPORT Paper, Office Supplies and Stationery” shows what the last two years have meant for the stationery market. What is your advice to market participants on how to strategically evaluate the results?

Eva Barth-Gillhaus: Our data show how a market segment, such as products or distribution channels, is developing. That’s why it’s important to compare how your own market segment has performed in parallel, either better or worse. And which of your competitors is doing better and why. Based on this, our clients can specifically deduce where adjustments can be made for revitalisation or expansion.

Consumers like to say that they prefer sustainable products, but they still reach for the items they’re used to. How much turnover do companies actually make with environmentally friendly alternatives and what are the sales prospects like?

E.B-G.: Insiders estimate the sales share of sustainable products to be at least five and at most 15 per cent. We expect that sustainability will become increasingly important, especially in creative, individual product areas as well as in products for schools and children in general.

What do you think will endure in the stationery range of the future?

E.B-G.: Sustainable concepts, creative concepts, and digital or hybrid products.

Which stationery product can you simply not do without on your desk?

Sonja Koschel: My pencil!

Eva Barth-Gillhaus: A carafe of fresh water, my notepad, my talisman from Meissen.

Sonja Koschel and Eva Barth-Gillhaus, thank you for talking to us!

Are you dying to get more information on what’s in store for the stationery industry?


You can find more facts and figures about the paper, office supplies and stationery sectors in the Stationery Industry Report 2022 by Marketmedia24.

Go to the Stationery Industry Report 2022.

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