Coimbatore

Innovative stationery in demand

Children having a look at the stationery on display at a store in the city.- Photo: M. Periasamy

Children having a look at the stationery on display at a store in the city.- Photo: M. Periasamy  

Pencil boxes attached with battery-operated plastic fan or LED lights that help students study even during power cuts were among the host of new stationery that were in demand this year. The demand for such value-added products is on the rise every year, the sellers said.

Six-year-old R. Vidhya of Saibaba Colony saw a pencil box that her friend brought to the class. It had buttons to open various sections. She was so attracted that she wanted one for herself.

“For school stationery segment, children are the customers as they are influenced by novel colourful items of their peers,” says retailer A. Arulraj.

Other interesting products on the shelves of the retailers include fountain pen like painting brushes that come with caps. A set of 10 such brushes of different colours can be carried easily in the pocket. This helps children avoid making a mess in their drawing classes as they need not clean their brush when they want to use a different colour, point out the retailers. There are new designs, value-additions, and accessories in tiffin boxes, study tables, notebooks and bags.

There are pens and pencils with gripper for better handwriting, supportive gear for geometry box items which help students do their work with better accuracy, and safer scissors – that could be used by children as young as two years old. V. Karthikeyan, Chief Executive of Sapna Book House Private Limited, Coimbatore Branch, said that the base product is the same and the companies were only capitalising on value addition to the product. “They also come at an affordable price, making it a big hit in the market. Most of these products are by Indian manufacturers,” he said.

Customers play an important role in helping companies come out with innovative products. “We constantly get feedback and expectations from customers, who are children, and share them with companies. This helps in new products hitting the market regularly,” he said. According to him, only about 30 per cent of such stationery products are from China.

Though stationery items are sold throughout the year, for retailers selling products for schoolchildren, the peak season in the year is from mid-May to mid-June, ahead of the reopening of schools. Wholesalers said that the stationery manufacturers start approaching them from as early as December with their new products. Based on response for those products, the successful ones are stocked up on the shelves.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 9:58:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/Innovative-stationery-in-demand/article14419049.ece

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