National Stationery Week: Putting The “E” Back In Stationery

One of the goals the organisers of National Stationery Week were hoping to achieve last week was to correct our spelling; stationery not stationary.  Back to the old school mantra “E for envelopes”, and to the childhood love of all things stationery.

Looking back on last week’s 5th London Stationery Show it would appear that in this digital age, pen and paper are still as popular as ever with children and adults alike. With 134 exhibitors coming from all over the world, and a 20% rise in visitors, the show defined new emerging markets with a range of inventive and diverse products.

Paperchase’s CFO David Bateman and Stationery Buyer Pamela Cartwright in their presentation “Stationery in a Digital Age” explained the growing market of stationery as a fashion item.  Stationery sales are on the rise, with fashion and personalised stationery becoming increasingly popular with consumers.  In a world where reliance on mobile devices and tablets grows by the day, the fashion led stationery market is thriving.  A new market of social stationery; recipe and menu planners, journals, shopping list pads are all now seen as complimentary products to these digital devices.

This trend for fashion stationery was seen clearly in the range of products taking part in the show’s Stationery Awards. Judges from leading industry brands including WH Smith, Paperchase and Foyles Bookshop judged over 200 entries, including the Happily Bendy After notebook, The Bright Ideas journal and the intriguing Magic Pencils.  Three of the awards went to brands managed by Lime Stationery & Art. This included the coveted Judges Award which acknowledged how the company had brought its range of innovative products to smaller independent retailers.

This year’s National Stationery Week and” Get Britain Writing” campaign coincided with International Stationery Day and social media channels were enthusiastically involved with the celebrations.  Major retailers including Tesco and Marks & Spencer ran creative marketing campaigns and offers, reaching hundreds of thousands of their fans and followers on Facebook and twitter.  Even celebrities got involved with the trending hashtag #NatStatWeek.

Plans are already taking shape to make next year’s show and campaign bigger than ever. So get your pen and paper ready and write this date down in your diary.  Next year’s London Stationery Show 2016 will take place on 26-27th April at the Business Design Centre in London.

Until then, we leave the last word with comedian Sarah Millican who tweeted this to her 1.4 million followers last week; “…for some of us, every week is stationery week”.

Sam Rose