Brand Competition within the Stationery Market
Mr. Wang Li-ping
President of Guangbo Group
The stationery industry is one of the fastest-growing and most perfect trades in light industry of China. China’s stationery market volume has already exceeded RMB100 billion, and recently the growth rates of the stationery market are all over 10%; the development of domestic economy, together with the improvement of group’s purchasing power will speed up the development of the stationery industry. Many foreign large-scale stationery manufacturers and dealers entered China just because they thought highly of the prospects of China’s vast stationery consumption market.
Some time ago, a large U.S. purchaser came to China inviting a public bid for notebooks worth RMB16 million, which are used by Iraqi students, and a number of domestic large stationery enterprises compete for the bid. After overall evaluation, the purchasing delegation finally bestowed “Olive branch” to Zhejiang Guangbo Group. When being asked why the purchaser selected Guangbo, this purchasing representative who speaks very fluent Chinese said: “in the U.S., Guangbo brand is the embodiment of China’s stationery industry, and the albums as well as account books produced by it are both popular to the American people; furthermore, the time for delivery is quite limited while the quality demand is rather high, it seems that only Guangbo Group has such huge production capacity.”
If we divide the development of the stationery industry into three phases: the initial phase, the competition phase and the mature phase, now it has already entered the post-competition phase, that is, a brand-creating era, and the competition will turn from pure price competition to multi-faceted brand competition consisting of service, management, shopping environment, etc. Consumers have more choices to select from various types of stationeries; the entrance of foreign competitors will make the competition in the whole market more intensified, the future competition will become be crueler.
Presently, the development of stationery industry has five important characteristics:
I, The market has huge potential, and the purchasing power is on the increase. Presently there are about 190 million high school and primary school students, 40 million university and secondary school students, 5 million adult school students, as well as 34 million enterprise officials. The social development requires improving citizen’s literacy level further and increasing significantly investment in education, thus the stationery industry shall have very huge consumption market.
II, The pluralisation and multi-level structure of culture equipments has come into being, and is developing to more superior products.
III, The development of computer network technology brings new changes to traditional working and studying methods.
IV. In terms of commodity distribution, foreign enterprises such as Wal-Mart, Ek Chor Lotus, etc, have entered wholesale and retail sectors, and they have shown strong growing tendency in e-commerce. Last year, the opening of “an international office equipments flagship shop chain enterprise” started business in Shanghai, which further intensified th