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How The Pen Industry Hangs on in a Digital World

Karyn Martin uses only one type of pen for everyday writing: a Uni-ball Vision with pink ink. "I do a lot of writing and editing, and all of my notes are in pink," Martin, 36, said. "People know that when they see pink ink it's my comments."

At the same time, her firm believes that employees might like at least one expensive pen in their tool kits. "When you're at the company for three years, you get a Cross pen engraved with your name as an anniversary gift," said the executive vice president of 451 Marketing in Boston. The pens cost about $100 each. "That's the type of pen you write a check with for buying your first house or signing important contracts."

Martin's pen preferences illustrate how, even in an increasingly digital world, consumers haven't written off the pen industry, data show.The market research firm acknowledges that the growing adoption of electronic devices is pressuring pen demand.

Pen sales overall, however, are still growing for a variety of reasons. Corporate-branded promotional pens are also popular, with about half of Americans owning pens with logos.

Another Chicago specialty retailer, Century Pens at 231 S. LaSalle St., said revenues have been up about 10 percent a year for the past two years. "All year round people are leaving their job, and their office-mates come in and buy them a new pen," said Century owner Ed Hamilton, 68. "People have birthdays, and people can buy them a pen, or people just treat themselves." He said his clientele includes doctors, lawyers, firefighters, police officers and street cleaners.

The growth is "strong" in emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India and China, where educational levels are continuing to rise. About 15 percent of Cross' business today comes from stylus pens that can be used to write on digital devices.Consumers are changing the surfaces on which they want to write, such as glass vs. paper.





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原文見: How The Pen Industry Hangs on in a Digital World | SourceEC - Corporate Gifts Malaysia | Promotional Gifts | Door Gifts Blog
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