Is the stationery industry seeing interest switch from functionality to fashion? A recent rise in the purchase of upmarket stationery could certainly indicate so.
When thinking about the word stationery, we often link it to areas such as education and the workplace. However, as the popularity of upmarket stationery has risen over the past few years, consumers are seemingly keener on purchasing stationery for their personal use too. So why could the purchasing behavior of many consumers in the stationery industry have changed so much?
A Choice, Not a Chore
The co-founder of stationery store Milligram, Scott Druce, believes upmarket stationery has become popular due to less of a reliance on stationery as a whole. “People don’t need to write as much. It’s not a chore any more, it’s a choice. That changes your mindset, and you’re actually more interested in the quality of the product, the colour of the ink, what sort of paper you write on, that sort of thing.” Explaining a little further, Druce points out that a desire for upmarket stationery doesn’t just appeal to the extremely wealthy either. “Our cheapest pen sells for $24.95. And that’s a pen you’ll have for life. It’s refillable; you’re not going to toss it away. It’s something that you can love and cherish.”
Distinct and Unusual Styles
Whilst luxury brands and expensive design is pushing more consumers towards upmarket stationery, there’s also a portion seeking out unknown and unusual items too. The rising popularity of distinct and unique stationery has been boosted by forward-thinking brands and designer collaborations, as CEO of stationery specialist, Coles Pens, explains further. “It’s not just pens that are on the increase, journals, diaries and even the 80’s classic Filofax are back in-vogue, thanks to many fashion forward brands and the introduction of seasonal colours, limited editions and designer collaborations.”
Similarly, the nostalgic feel replicated by many stationery brands could be having an underlying factor on a new keen interest on upmarket stationery. Consumers are purchasing more ‘old school’ items to celebrate nostalgia and as gifts for special occasions for those who have never come across traditional journals or diaries. Increasing sales of upmarket stationery could also derive from the return of handwriting and calligraphy, as Cole summarizes. “In our modern age, we increasingly rely on digital and electronic gadgets; and the counterbalance is a yearning for traditional crafts and values, so that a beautiful handwritten note and the art of calligraphy are making a welcome resurgence.”
Do you often purchase upmarket stationery?
How important is fashion over functionality to you?
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