A few days before the start of the school year, the school supply giants are in turmoil. Notebooks, binders, diaries… students are rushing for September essentials. But this year, there is a shadow on the board: inflation, which also affects stationery. The surge in prices is clearly noticeable in the basket of families this summer. A necessary evil for companies to survive, but also a situation to put into perspective for some professionals.
Éric Joan, general manager of the Hamelin group, a French stationery company born in 1864, assumes that he had to increase his prices “between 20 and 40%” depending on the products. In question: the “explosion” of the prices of raw materials during the year 2022.
Up to 25% increase expected next year
If, during this new school year, companies try to limit the broken pots, the situation becomes more and more tense. Éric Joan speaks of a “delay effect”, because the rise in the price of raw materials and energy continues. “At the moment”, the director believes that stationery does not have a big impact on the cost of school supplies thanks to “a stock effect and a promotional effect”. “The impact will be even greater next year,” he announces. “That probably means an impact of around 20%, maybe 25% at the end consumer level.”
The start of the 2023 school year will therefore, according to Éric Joan, be very disrupted, with “extremely strong increases in the shelves”. The entrepreneur also speaks of “break-ups”, because “all market volumes do not [pourraient] not be produced”, if “the winter is very difficult”. The shortage of notebooks is therefore a possible scenario. “We are trying to anticipate as much as possible before next winter in order to be able to face a few delicate months.
A contained price increase this year
Nevertheless for this year, the Director General estimates that stationery is not the element that weighs down the final bill for the start of the school year. “Things have to be put into perspective since Families of France, which carries out a survey every year on the cost of the return to school, has determined that the cost of school supplies for a child returning to sixth grade is certainly up by 4, 25%. But the stationery portion in this panel is down 2.78%.”
“It’s more sporting goods that pull this average basket up,” said the director. The latter are up 14.98% according to the National Federation Families of France. A few extra euros which are already too much for many families.