Notebooks, pens, schoolbags, the prices of school supplies are on the rise and the magnitude of the situation seems unprecedented. “My father and my uncles, who have more than 60 years of experience each, told me that they had never seen this, underlines Guillaume Nusse, CEO of Clairefontaine. He represents the sixth generation at the head of the brand. We combine an acceleration of crazy inflation and above all a shortage of constituent elements of products without substitution. The cover of the notebook in paper, thicker or in plastic, is complicated to find, and also the packaging. And at one point, we even thought that we would no longer have labels.
Inflation does not spare the school. The first federation of student parents, the FCPE, has made this observation and is asking for a revaluation of the back-to-school allowance as well as its payment from July. For the start of the 2022 school year, prices were stopped in January, before the war in Ukraine, but in a few months, the next increase will be even greater, no longer 10 to 25%, but rather 40%.
Worrying prospects that may push parents to stock up on supplies. “Often, on the back-to-school lists, teachers will ask to buy four notebooks. It can happen that parents say to themselves: I’m going to buy two and then I’ll buy the other two later”, recognizes Yann Lagrue, Bureau-Vallée purchasing manager.
“As soon as you have the school list, we advise you to take all the supplies. After the start of the school year and commercial operations, there may be price changes.”Yann Lagrue, Bureau-Vallée Purchasing Manager
In fact, we will have to watch for promotions over the weeks. “We really bet on buying in larger quantities than usual, 20 to 50% more, takes over this manager. This is what will allow us to carry out six commercial operations during the back-to-school period. We won’t have any shortages in the stores” but tight prices, competition requires.
This is not without danger for the 150 brands represented by Stéphanie Verrier at the head of the AIPB, the association of supply manufacturers: “This is a real risk for our companies since it is impossible to pass on such cost increases, she explains. So, we have to manage to pass the course while maintaining this capacity for innovation in order to be able to ensure the future of companies. It’s essential.” Professionals, like the three million beneficiary families, rely even more this year on the back-to-school allowance.
Rise in the price of school supplies: the start of the new school year promises to be difficult – the report by Sophie Auvigne