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Stationary & Office Supply Stores

Stationary & Office Supply Stores

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Executive summary

The Office Supply Stores industry has continued to experience challenges over the five years to 2022. Traditional office supply stores have long been under pressure from the changing digital landscape and fierce external competition. The changing nature of how information is presented, consumed and disseminated has led to declining demand for many of the industry's core products. Moreover, industry operators have contended with strong pressure from discount stores, supercenters, warehouse clubs and online retailers. As a result, industry has declined an annualized 3.8% to $11.5 billion over the five years to 2022, including an estimated increase of 1.2% in 2022 alone.
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industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; medium is $ 0.125 to $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; low is less than $ 0.125 of capital for every $ 1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

Colloquial Terminology

A retail store that is differentiated by its sheer size and large range of specialized products.

A store that has a physical presence and location, as opposed to an online retailer.

A retailer that primarily sells goods and services via the internet. Many of these companies do not have brick-and-mortar locations.

A terminal or, more generally, the hardware and software used for checkouts; the equivalent of an electronic cash register.


The industry has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, digitization and intense external competition. Discount and online retailers are able to offer products lower prices, which has been made possible by cost savings achieved through bulk purchasing and low overhead costs. In addition, many external retailers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, while online retailers present the further convenience of shopping at home. The growing popularity of these retailers has put high price pressure on office supply stores, which led many large industry operators to close hundreds of storefronts to retain profitability. To remain competitive amid changing conditions, the industry has experienced intense consolidation in recent years. For example, Office Depot Inc. (Office Depot) and OfficeMax merging just before the beginning of the current period. Also, Staples was acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners in 2017 and converted back to a privately-owned company. This consolidation trend is expected to continue moving forward, as unprofitable establishments are forced to close.

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