Office Supply Stores Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Office Supply Stores Industry Profile

Companies in this industry sell a wide range of office supplies, equipment, and furniture to businesses and consumers and may perform some business services. Major companies include Office Depot and Staples (both based in the US), OTTO Office and Pelikan (both based in Germany), Lyreco and Manutan (both in France), Officeworks (Australia), and Ryman (UK).

The global office supplies market is projected to reach $247 billion by 2020, according to market intelligence firm Beroe. Europe represents the largest global market, while Asia/Pacific is the fastest growing, according to Global Industry Analysts. Growth in the global market is driven by rising school enrollments and literacy rates, and an increase in the number of corporate and home offices.

The US office supply stores industry includes about 5,700 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $12 billion.


Demand is driven by the level of business activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising, pricing, and an efficient distribution model. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and the ability to stock wider ranges of products. Small companies can compete by providing superior customer service and by offering specialty items. The US industry is highly concentrated: the four largest companies account for about 85% of industry revenue.

The ongoing decline in general office supplies sales, driven by the transition from print to digital communications and heightened ...

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