Writing instruments is expected to record some recovery as schools resumed offline classes from the start of the new academic year in March 2021. Fountain pens is expected to achieve the slowest growth in 2021 due to the maturity of the category while pencils and ball point pens will experience the strongest growth rates as they suffered the steepest declines in the previous year.
Although the overall demand for writing instruments is set to recover in 2021, bricks and mortar channels, especially stationers/office supply stores, will continue to struggle due to a channel shift. Stationers/office supply stores located near schools are struggling as consumer footfall has dramatically fallen away since the onset of the pandemic, largely affected by school closures.
In terms of marketing strategies, leading manufacturer of writing instruments, Mon Ami Co Ltd, continues to focus on premiumisation in order to increase its value per transaction. This strategy is being implemented in a bid to eventually compensate for diminishing demand for pens.
Leading manufacturers will continue to collaborate with other industries, seeking additional revenue streams and to raise awareness among consumers as demand for writing instruments stumbles along as South Korea has the lowest birth rate among OECD countries. For instance, Mon Ami Co Ltd launched a soft drink that resembles its best-selling product which is being exclusively sold via GS Retail Co Ltd’s convenience store channel.
E-commerce stationery stores, such as Nelna Shop and Tordy, are likely to become more popular as the penetration of smart devices, such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops increases. Such online stores will also offer an increasingly diverse range of products, including note templates and stickers made in PNG files as well as drawing brushes that can be used on digital devices.
The shift to e-commerce is expected to accelerate over the forecast period as consumers will form the habit of purchasing writing instruments through online shopping malls. Moreover, the e-commerce channel’s provision of a wide variety of product offerings and trendy designs will further drive consumer traffic.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Writing Instruments industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Writing Instruments research and analysis database.
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