Companies in this industry manufacture office, school, and art supplies, excluding paper products. Major companies include ACCO Brands, AT Cross, Crayola, Dixon Ticonderoga, Pentel, and Sargent Art (all based in the US), as well as Bic (France), PILOT (Japan), and Germany's Montblanc International, STAEDTLER Mars, and Faber-Castell.
Demand is driven by white-collar employment and educational enrollment levels, as well as the growth of small businesses and home offices. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Larger manufacturers may benefit from strong relationships with larger retailers and better brand recognition. Smaller operators tend to compete through specialized products and superior craftsmanship. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest firms generate about 85% of sales.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products include pens, pencils, markers, crayons, chalk, modeling clay, and staplers. Other products include hand-operated stamps, inked ribbons, and pencil sharpeners.