Establishments in this industry are primarily engaged in manufacturing stationery, tablets, loose-leaf fillers, and related items from purchased paper. Products include correspondence-type tablets, paper desk pads, loose-leaf filler paper, memo books, newsprint tablets and pads, notebooks, stationery, and various other padded paper products.
322233 (Stationery, Tablet, and Related Product Manufacturing)
Sales for the stationery products industry increased throughout the latter part of the 1990s. The value of industry shipments increased from $1.95 in 1998 to $1.99 billion in 2000. On average, the industry was growing at about the rate of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The stationery products industry consists of three categories: stationery; tablets, pads, and related products; and stationery, tablets, and related products not specified by kind (NSK). Tablets and pads accounted for a great majority of industry products in the late 1990s, with 79 percent of industry shipments (by value), followed by stationery with 16 percent. The NSK category accounted for the remaining 5 percent.
Within the tablet and pad category, the leading product is bound notebooks, followed by tablets and pads and loose-leaf paper fillers. The two leading products in the stationery category are boxed stationery and portfolios, and wedding and social announcements.
Stationery products are produced by a wide range of companies. Some of the larger paper manufacturing companies have divisions that convert and distribute their own brands of stationery products. Smaller independent stationery converters have also managed to survive and thrive in this market.
Consumers account for the majority of stationery products purchased, at slightly more than 50 percent. The remaining customers for stationery products comprise a wide range of businesses and government agencies, including retail trade, wholesale trade, and doctors and dentists.
As one might expect, paper mills are the largest supplier to the stationery products industry, providing almost 60 percent of all product inputs. Other suppliers of products and services include the wholesale trade; paperboard mills; motor freight transport firms; and railroads.
The stationery products industry is considered a mature industry, meaning that sales increases are likely to track closely with general growth in the economy. The industry has been negatively impacted by the increased use of personal computers for home and office use, which has reduced the demand for a wide variety of stationery products. While computer printers have increased the use of paper in general, such increases have come in the use of continuous-form computer paper and laser printer paper, which are not included in this classification. Also, extensive downsizing at many U.S. companies in the early 2000s negatively affected the use of all office paper products, including stationery. The trend toward home-based offices, however, has been a bright spot for stationery product manufacturers.
One major change in the stationery products industry has been the manner in which its products have been marketed to consumers. While stationery products were once sold primarily by small, independent stationery stores, much of that sales volume has been captured by office product "superstores" such as OfficeMax, Inc. and Office Depot, Inc., which have been able to force smaller retailers out of the marketplace and drive wholesale prices down.
Several large paper companies are leaders in the stationery products industry, including International Paper Company of Purchase, New York; Georgia-Pacific Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia; and Mead Corporation of Dayton, Ohio. However, there has remained room for some mid-sized independent converters such as Smead Manufacturing Co. of Hastings, Minnesota.; Ampad Corp. of Dallas, Texas; Demco Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin; and Roaring Spring Blank Book Co. of Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania.
The stationery products industry employed a total of 8,271 people in 2000, down from 9,217 in 1997. The 2000 total includes 5,940 production workers who earned average hourly wages of $12.61 per hour, which was comparable to other industries in the paper and allied products group.
Lazich, Robert S., ed. Market Share Reporter 2000. Detroit: Gale Research, 1999.
Paper, Paperboard, Pulp Capacity and Fiber Consumption. Washington, D.C.: American Forest & Paper Association, 1999.
Stationery, Tablet and Related Product Manufacturing, 1997 Economic Census, Manufacturing Industry Series. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, August 1999.
United States Census Bureau. "Statistics for Industries and Industry Groups: 2000." Annual Survey of Manufacturers. February 2002. Available from http://www.census.gov .
U.S. Trade and Industrial Outlook 2000. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999.