Wednesday, October 9, 2013

School & Office Supplies: Looking Ahead to BTS 2014

Recently I attended the ECRM School & Office Supplies meeting—four days of nonstop meetings with over 100 of the leading school & office supplies vendors in the industry. These manufacturers presented and reviewed new products, marketing initiatives and promotional opportunities for the 2014 selling season across all channels. Some of the highlights include:

Eye-catching, fluorescent neon colors really look fantastic and bright. The first fluorescent highlighters were introduced in 1963 (Happy 50th Birthday!). While neon clothing has been around for many years, it’s made resurgence in your apparel departments. Neon binders, folders and wirebound notebooks are making a big push for 2014. This offers a great opportunity to cross merchandise departments and upsell your customers.
EcoVerte is an independent company that manufactures and markets eco-friendly office, stationery, and school supplies – necessities like pens and pencils made from bamboo, recycled plastics and papers, and biodegradables. All items meet a standard of being at least 70% recycled or biodegradable.

NEW from Roaring Spring Paper Products
Roaring Spring will be the exclusive collegiate distributor of the Studio C Tech Collection. Studio C is Carolina Pad & Paper’s signature brand, from hip and trendy, to classic and timeless, the collections are designed to showcase the customer's own personal style. Roaring Spring will offer Studio C laptop totes and sleeves as well as backpacks and messenger bags. Also included is a collection of iPhone 5 cases.

Zipit Bags
Zipit bags are created from long formless zippers, which, when zipped become witty carryalls—gadget pouches, messenger bags, laptop sleeves and tote bags. Zipit bags are produced in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit endless usages and personalities.
Fashion Patterns
New fashion patterns will be unveiled for 2014 BTS from Mead and Top Flight. The Mead collection of designs includes:

“Shape It Up”: This collection combines the best of two trends -- opaque watercolor and deconstructed patterns.

“Pretty Please”: The floral pattern is a great blend of bold and graphic to petite and playful.

At Top Flight, “2be” and “Wired” will be redesigned for 2014. Cover designs display the classic flowers associated with 2be
– this year influenced by the Golden Era with a gray floral overlay. Wired, designed with the “wired” student in mind, sports new patterns and color palette with a really fresh mid-century “Mad Men” design.

Also from Top Flight is Evolution (New Leaf Paper) offering a contemporary perspective on caring for the environment. New cover designs feature contemporary objects transforming into nature. 100% Recycled Paper with 95% post-consumer waste.

We will be working with these companies to develop product and pricing programs for ICBA members for 2014 and the BTS season. Look for these exciting new programs as we announce them during year. Fun new additions are coming your way!

Written By Marty Duncan, ICBA Program Manager