During the COVID-19 pandemic, luxury writing instruments and stationery suffered a dramatic drop in sales. This is due to the category reporting negligible sales of store-based retailing during the national lockdown periods due to the closure of non-essential retail outlets.
Despite considerable losses across the category, luxury writing instruments fared better than luxury stationery within luxury writing instruments and stationery in 2020. This is since these products are more relevant to French consumers who would rather invest in or gift luxury fountain pens rather than other stationery products.
All brands in luxury writing instruments and stationery suffered declining sales in 2020, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Not even the popular German brands were able to withstand the negative effects of the pandemic, even though they hold the lion’s share of luxury writing instruments and stationery.
Chinese and other Asian consumers are a key target audience for luxury writing instruments and stationery, as tourists from wealthy European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany, can purchase such products in their own countries. Due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian consumers are not expected to make a rapid return to France.
Even though e-commerce sales have accelerated during the pandemic years and are likely to continue progressing over the forecast period, supporting value sales via this channel will remain a challenge for the most upmarket brands of luxury writing instruments. Specialised stores are increasingly facing rising competition from e-commerce marketplaces, especially now that there is a huge amount of online stock that can be sold with cut prices.
Most manufacturers and retailers in luxury writing instruments and stationery expect the category to see limited growth in the coming years, with the category not expected to recover pre-COVID-19 sales performance until the latter end of the forecast period. This is due to the impact of digitalisation which is expected to be stronger than the loyalty to the tradition of writing.
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This includes luxury writing instruments – pens and pencils – and luxury stationery. Excludes colouring, markers & highlighters and writing accessories. Pen inks and refills are also excluded from this category along with all industrial or specialist pens (such as pottery pens, etc.). Luxury stationery includes personal organisers, diaries, notebooks, address books, writing paper, envelopes and greetings cards.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Writing Instruments and Stationery research and analysis database.
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