STATIONERY sales statewide have picked up since the reopening of schools and start of physical classes in March, says an industry association.
Johor Stationers and Booksellers Association president Annie Chia said there had been an increase of about 30% in the sales for such businesses statewide.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses selling stationery and books, along with printing shops, were badly affected.
“Some also turned to online platforms to help supplement their income and there were a few that had shut down.
“However, since school reopened in March, we have seen an increase in sales, with more students now needing school supplies for physical classes,” she told StarMetro.
She noted that the businesses had diversified into selling hygiene products too, such as face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves, to help keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.
“They were able to maintain their business by selling these products, which became a basic necessity during the pandemic.
“Many are still selling these products at the moment.
“While there are positive signs of recovery, it will still take some time for the businesses to fully recover,” she said, adding that there were some 70 members under the association.
Chia, who is also Federation of Stationers and Booksellers Association Malaysia president, said similar improvements could be seen in other states.
Lim Mui Geak, 44, a stationery store supervisor in Taman Sri Tebrau, hopes that sales will continue to improve in the next few months.
“It is a huge relief to see more people coming to the shop these days.
“We have also been getting orders for supplies from schools since earlier this month.
“Now that the border has reopened, we are getting a lot of customers from Singapore as well.
“It is still a far cry from pre-pandemic times but a very encouraging improvement nonetheless,” Mui Geak said, adding that many parents had been coming with their children to look for school supplies lately.
Meanwhile, Andy Lim, 46, who owns a factory producing files, said there was a marginal increase in demand for his products.
“There is a slight improvement in business but we are facing other issues, such as lack of raw materials and inconsistent shipments for some materials.
“The price of raw materials has also increased and as such, some of the items sold at stationery shops is pricier by 10% to 15%,” he said.
“We hope that business will continue to improve and so far, it seems like things are moving forward,” he said, adding that his company also supplied files to other states such as Melaka and Selangor.