The OPI State of the Industry report 2023-24

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Where is the Volume?

2023 was yet another turbulent year for the business products (BP) industry. As some demand patterns looked to recover from the COVID pandemic, sustained and significant inflation distorted the market significantly. Many BP suppliers congratulating themselves on achieving moderate – or even strong – value sales growth in 2023 found themselves looking closer at unit sales and asking “where is the volume?

As a result, BP vendors and distributors are asking some important questions:

  • What has been happening with core office products volume demand in 2023 and what strategies are being put in place to lessen the impact of falling unit sales?
  • Office furniture has performed strongly in recent years: what share of total revenue was accounted for by sales of office furniture in 2023 – and what is this expected to be in 2024?
  • Sales of education supplies are also widely reported to have been a haven for BP resellers recently: what share of total sales did this product category have in 2023 – and what will this be in 2024?
  • Which other new products and services areas have emerged as opportunities in 2023 – and what will be the rising star in 2024?
  • What is the estimated current market penetration of Amazon and Amazon Business and what can resellers still do to respond to Amazon?
  • Which new channels/distributors have emerged as opportunities in 2023?
  • How important are online marketplaces/platforms and which are the key players at present?

These vital questions all demand reliable answers from trusted sources. “The State Of The Business Products Industry 2023-2024”, the eleventh edition of Martin Wilde Associates’ (MWA) and OPI’s annual research study, provides those answers, based on c45 in-depth and online interviews with some of the best minds in the industry – the senior executives of key BP companies in Australia, Benelux, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the USA.

As usual, the survey will also focus on crucial KPIs for the industry, including:

  • What are respondents’ overall revenue and margin trends in 2023 and 2024?
  • What share of distributors’ sales are accounted for by JanSan supplies, breakroom/catering supplies, workwear/PPE and MPS in 2023 and 2024?
  • What share of resellers’ sales are via the web in 2023 and 2024?
  • What are resellers’ average order values in 2023 and 2024?

Once again, the research will also report on these senior executives’ perceptions of the main growth (and declining) product categories and distribution channels in 2023 and 2024, as well as detailing the 2023 financial performance of the key 15 BP distributors in the US, Europe and Australia.

Research for the study will commence in January 2024, with the report being published in April/May 2024.

The BP industry continues to changing fast: to keep ahead of the curve, your future business strategy needs reliable, informed input from peers and competitors which The State Of The Business Products Industry 2023-2024 can provide. The report is available for only £725 if ordered before 31st March 2024, and for £995 thereafter