Number of office and stationery retailers in Germany 2002-2017

The number of businesses in German office supply and stationery retail has been declining year after year, as can be clearly seen in this graph. If in 2002 there were close to eight thousand businesses, in 2017 numbers had dropped to a little over 4.7 thousand.

On paper

Office supply and stationery retail developments are being influenced by a number of factors, the leading one being perhaps the widespread and successful rise of e-commerce and as a consequence the growing global popularity of online shopping among consumers. True, online sales of office and stationery products in Germany still only make up a small share of the total and may need some time to grow. These goods are easy to buy physically and are also available not just in specialized shops, but in supermarkets and drugstores, to name just a few examples. German consumer spending on store-bought stationery has not increased significantly, compared to other European countries.

Amazon in the lead

The most popular online store in the hobby and stationery segment in Germany was by far Amazon. Trends therefore point towards stationery purchasing not exclusively in shops focusing on specifically those products, whether online or offline, but from larger retailers selling a wide variety of products.

Number of businesses in office supply and stationery retail trade in Germany from 2002 to 2017

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2002 to 2017

Supplementary notes

Considered were businesses with an annual revenue of more than 17,500 euros (before 2003: 16,620 euros). Prior-year figures are based on earlier publications of the source. As of 2009, figures underlie a new classification of economic sectors. They can only partly be compared to figures from the years prior.

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