Sales of luxury writing instruments and stationery slumped in 2020, like many other luxury categories, as consumers focused on necessities and coping with the lifestyle disruptions caused by the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, luxury writing instruments and stationery was already seeing slower growth than other personal luxury categories, as more consumers relied on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones for note-taking and communication and therefore did not use pen and paper.
Montblanc remains the leader in luxury writing instruments in the UK, followed by Smythson of Bond Street. The pandemic lifestyle restrictions in 2020 allowed many consumers to think about their life priorities, with many consumers concluding that they wanted high-quality, meaningful purchases.
During the pandemic, smaller brands, which are generally nimbler in creating an omnichannel presence, took the opportunity to capture customers’ interest through new technologies and emotional storytelling on their e-commerce sites. This met the demand of many consumers confined to their homes for much of the year, who spent more time online and also took up new hobbies such as journaling or drawing.
The lifestyle disruptions caused by lockdowns and social distancing restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 led many consumers to spend more time thinking about their life priorities, as they were no longer able to work, socialise or travel as they normally would have. These lifestyle disruptions, which led to home seclusion for much of the year, appear to have led consumers to develop a new appreciation for craftsmanship.
The second-hand market for luxury goods is set to continue to grow, as consumers, looking for meaningful purchases, seek out goods that are unique and exceptional. As more consumers look to purchase nostalgic luxury items, pre-owned writing instruments meet this demand, as they offer a way to revert back to the past.
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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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