A Happy New Year to OPI readers and welcome to our latest European Annual Review that is coming out just in time for Paperworld in Frankfurt.
It’s likely to be an interesting, possibly transitional, year at Europe’s largest office products trade show. We’ve covered the topic both in this publication and in our December/January issue of OPI, but it’s clear that Paperworld needs to find a new relevancy for the office channel.
Whether that is in the form of category expansion, more added-value seminars and/or educational programmes aimed squarely at European office resellers, or even the return of the European Office Products Awards (!), remains to be seen, but Messe Frankfurt has said that changes are afoot for 2015. Let’s hope that these live up to all our expectations.
Looking back over 2013, it was a year of further industry consolidation, profit warnings and category uncertainty as digitisation gathered momentum in the workplace in many European markets, probably faster than anyone had really anticipated. It’s certainly interesting to hear German resellers say that some categories have “collapsed”, even in a relatively robust economy. That definitely puts the onus on both manufacturers and resellers to come up with new and innovative growth solutions.
Andy Braithwaite , Editor