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Radio Matters

Current news, information and insights about broadcast radio growth brought to you by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), a not-for-profit trade association representing America’s broadcast radio industry.

Use Radio for Office and BTS Supplies

Author: Victor Texcucano, Content Coordinator, RAB

Pens, pencils, paper, staplers, sticky notes… Even more expensive things like computers, printers and office chairs. These days, it’s practically impossible to run a modern office without such items. Whether you work from home or work at a business office, supplies get used daily, and while e-commerce retailers are fierce, office supply retailers have a need to reach consumers in their areas.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, office retailers had a tough time. Major office retail chains have been dealing with declining sales and store numbers. Challenges, such as the changing digital landscape and severe external competition, have plagued the industry over the past few years.

According to IBISWorld, office supply stores have more than 12K business locations which employ nearly 100k people. As of early 2024, the industry has a profit of $1.4 billion.

This industry, while threatened with major issues, also has a number of opportunities. First, as the hybrid work model trend extends into 2024, consumers will continue to need to stock their home offices.

In 2023, Forbes reported that 12.7% of full-time employees work from home primarily, while 28.2% work a hybrid model. They also predict that 32.6 million Americans, or 22% of the workforce, will work remotely in 2025. And currently, 16% of companies operate fully remote. These are staggering figures for office retailers. Whether consumers work from a company office or they share their home office with their office, consumers are concerned with doing the best they can at their jobs, so the need to keep their workplaces fully stocked is important.

Back-to-school (BTS) season is an amazing opportunity for office retailers, but these retailers should also remind consumers that they can purchase school supplies throughout the school year as needed. Office retailers must reach out to parents to let them know their stores have what their children are looking for since some consumers looking for school supplies may not have office retailers at the top of their radar. It is crucial for retailers to have a continuous campaign informing consumers of their inventory of items suitable for offices and backpacks alike.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average family spent $890 as part of their back-to-school spending in 2023. And in 2023, 25% of consumers started back-to-school shopping in June – that’s less than three months away! Now is the time to prepare campaign strategies and goals.

Office supply stores have had increasing number of competition from discount stores, large supermarkets and online-only platforms. Office and school supply retailers should use a medium that reaches consumers on the go or is their companion while working. Radio is an effective tool for this.

According to the 2023 Fall MRI- Simmons Doublebase, 85% of radio listeners work primarily from home, and 88% have an office set up in their home. Consumers are no strangers to office retailers, as 87% of radio listeners report buying from office retailers one to three times in the last 30 days, per MRI-Simmons.

Additionally, 89% of radio listeners converted a room in their home into an office in the last 12 months – great targets for office supply retailers.

Although the school season is quickly coming to a close, the ramp up to BTS sales is drawing nearer. Eighty-six percent of radio listeners have children who are of school age years living at home. With so much prep to do, it’s never too early to sharpen the pencils to plan home, office and school supply needs.

This post was originally published on Radio Matters.