The next 3 weeks will see parents frantically searching for all those bits and pieces needed for the new school term. These days it seems as if each school has its own list of ‘things to get’ but there are some products which are rock solid, ‘everyone needs them’ type products. All school children need stationery and while the primary sector tends to provide this as part of the service, children may still need a set of essentials for home. The secondary and tertiary sectors are rather different: all learners are expected to provide their own stationery and in some cases, notebooks, files, folders and paper.
Two years ago one of our retail customers, Osbornes Stationers in Birmingham, run by John Waits, asked if we had a ‘schools essentials’ stationery pack. We didn’t but we did have all the bits in the M&G range. John sat with us to define the M&G Back to School pack which is aimed at secondary and above. The pack consists of 8 ‘essential’ stationery products: A5 mesh zip bag, 4-colour ball pen, erasable highlighter, multi-use mechanical pencil (a unique M&G product), 3×3 sticky notes, a 9g glue stick, mini correction tape and a geometry set (2 x set squares, protractor and 15cm ruler).
The pilot trial in 2014 was such a success that the 2015 version was upgraded with a full retail bar coded face and put into a cellophane bag. The trial packs were all done locally but now M&G have taken over production in Shanghai (yes, even though they are a global giant, they respond to special
requests from even the smaller sales areas with great enthusiasm). The packs are now available in boxes of 8 and cartons of 96.
In addition to many customers who sold the rial product last year we have already had a flood of new customers taking this product.
While we expected the peak sales to be around the start of the new school year in September with smaller peaks at Christmas and Easter, we have found that sales continue right through the year such is the appeal of this pack.
Since the trial we have added a spin-off product, the primary school essentials, at the request of a Preston based dealer. This pack consists of a clear A5 zip bag, traditional wood pencil, 20cm ruler, eraser, pencil sharpener and retractable ball pen. We now look to add other variants as customers request so if you have any specials, get in touch and if at all possible we will respond without delay to meet your needs.
A final mention has to go to the class pack: this is a bespoke pack that a teacher needs for the class for the term: all they key products. This is in trial this year so watch this space for updates.
All M&G school pack products can be found in the school section.