Writing instruments immediately returned to recording positive growth in Asia Pacific in 2021, following the decline seen a year earlier, when Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in the region. Nevertheless, traditional writing instruments will continue to experience competition from the wide range of digital devices that modern consumers are using in their everyday lives, particularly among the younger generations.
The closures of schools, offices and non-essential retail outlets at the height of the pandemic had a negative impact on sales of writing instruments in Asia Pacific in 2020. However, the region quickly returned to recording positive growth in 2021, with China, the region’s biggest market, helping to drive this recovery. Colouring weathered the COVID-19 storm better than some categories, seen as a useful activity to keep children occupied during extended periods of home seclusion, but also increasingly being adopted as a pastime among adults in some countries.
The rise of digital technology continues to undermine demand for writing instruments, with some offices even rolling out paperless initiatives. Digital technology is also increasingly penetrating into schools and universities, with students having access to all kinds of electronic devices. The younger generation in general is becoming increasingly digitally-savvy, with writing instruments being replaced by phones and laptops as learning devices and communication tools.
Although store-based retailing continues to dominate sales of writing instruments in Asia Pacific, home seclusion, the closure of physical retail outlets and a fear of contracting COVID-19 when out in public helped e-commerce record strong growth in 2020, with further gains made in 2021. The biggest shares for online sales are seen in China, South Korea and Singapore.
Writing instruments will see positive annual growth rates over the 2021-2026 period, although they will be gradually slowing year on year. Pre-pandemic sales levels are not currently expected to be reached until 2024, and the spiking COVID-19 case numbers in early 2022 could even push this date back a little further.
Personal Accessories refers to a diversified group of personal products including Bags & Luggage, Jewellery, Watches and Writing instruments.
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