Stationery and Office Supplies Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the domestic stationery and office supply market and has found out the market trend by product, the trend of market players, and future perspectives.
The domestic stationery and office supply market in FY2018 declined by 1.4% on a year-on-year basis to 457.6 billion yen, recording two consecutive years of negative growth. All three categories had shown a decrease from the previous fiscal year, with writing instrument by 0.4% to 97.5 billion yen, paper products by 2.7% to 154.4billion yen, and office supplies by 0.9% to 205.7 billion yen.
The domestic stationery and office supply market had risen significantly during the period from FY2012 to FY2016, when there were great hit products in writing instrument for personal use which supported the market growth. However, with the continuous growth in writing materials finally ended to record two consecutive years of slight decline by FY2018, the market environment came to face predicament, reflected by sluggish corporate demand for paper products and office supply, the declining population of school students, and progressive shifting to digital items.
Free-Address-Conscious Product Development in Progress Against a Backdrop of Diversified Work Styles
It seems that increasing number of companies have adopted a free-address system, which refers to the system that allows employees to choose whichever place in the company to work at every time rather than allocating a fixed place, in order for the companies to conform to propelled workstyle diversity, a part of the Workstyle Reform addressed by the Japanese Government. This arose some well-selling stationery and office supplies conscious of or being convenient at such a system.
Currently, the products of stationery and office supplies that are made to be convenient in the free-address system have mainly been developed with the concepts of “storage,” “carrying around,” and “portability/being compact.” These products are projected to be upgraded to equip with higher functions and higher-values added, after pursuing and absorbing improvements by solving complaints of the users and by increasing convenience. Also, as tele-work and other diverse ways of workstyles to be prevalent, in addition to the free-address system, the necessity of developing and suggesting new products that cope with various changes at workplaces and in working styles is likely to be intensified.
Considering stagnant corporate demand triggered by the recession and structured diminishing demand stemming from shrinking domestic population, many of the makers in the stationery and office supply market have plans to stimulate new demand by releasing highly functioned products added with higher values for personal use, as well as to explore the overseas market.
Also, in the recent years, the market is in the environment where stationery and office supplies attract attention of and be spread around by the female users. Such products are called Joshi-stationery, or female stationery. Strong interest and purchase power by the female users toward stationery and office supplies have shown how big their influence is, through their posts to SNS including Instagram and Twitter. Therefore, female stationery is projected to increase the presence within the stationery and office supply market hereafter.
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