Research: State of the Industry preview


Last year was another turbulent one for the business products industry. As the world gradually emerged from the restrictions of the COVID pandemic, it was hit by global raw material shortages, inflation and major currency fluctuations – not to mention the far-reaching effects of the war in Ukraine.

As all the various sector participants look at 2023 and beyond and what it may bring, they are evaluating a long list of questions:

  • Although prices have been increasing in 2022, what has been happening with volume demand and what strategies are being put in place to lessen the impact of any falling sales and market volumes?
  • What has been the fallout from the ongoing war in Ukraine?
  • What has been the impact of the fall of the euro and pound against the US dollar?
  • What is the current market penetration of Amazon and Amazon Business; what can resellers do to respond to this giant?
  • Which new product areas have emerged as opportunities in 2022?
  • Are there any new potential channels/distributors worth investigating?
  • How important are online marketplaces and platforms; what are the main players?

Where can they find the answers to these questions? Look no further than The State Of The BP Industry 2022-2023, the tenth edition of the annual research study by Martin Wilde Associates (MWA) and OPI. The report is based on approximately 45 in-depth and online interviews with some of the best minds in the industry in seven geographies – the senior executives of core business products companies in Australia, Benelux, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US. 

As in previous editions, the survey will also focus on some crucial KPIs for the industry. What were respondents’ overall revenue and margin trends in 2022, for instance, and what lies in store for 2023? What share of distributors’ sales were accounted for by jan/san supplies, breakroom and catering products, workwear/PPE and MPS in the same period?

[Leaders] have to arm themselves with as much business intelligence as possible to find a way through the turmoil

Establishing market values

E-commerce has become hugely important, but what were the real revenue figures last year and how will they alter in 2023? And what about average order values – how are they changing in this new – and persistent – era of hybrid working? Finally, what is the value of the core OP market, last year and going forward?

The study will report on respondents’ perceptions of the main growth – as well as declining – product categories and channels in 2022 and 2023. It will further detail the 2022 financial performance of the key 15 distributors in our sector in the US, Europe and Australia.

More than ever, leaders in our industry need a yardstick to measure against as they seek comprehensive answers to the aforementioned questions. Quite simply, they have to arm themselves with as much business intelligence as possible to find a way through the turmoil in order to emerge alive and thriving at the other end. The State of the BP Industry 2022-2023 provides just that.

The State of the BP Industry 2022-2023 will be published in April/May 2023. The report is available for £690 (approx. $850) if ordered before 31 March 2023, and for £950 ($1,150) thereafter. To order your copy, go to