Forecast for Educational Resource Market Has Bright Spots

While the news about state and federal education funding may seem gloomy, new findings from Education Market Research (EMR) reveal some surprising results for the educational resource industry. The Supplemental Products Market: 2011 report says that supplemental instructional materials and hardware/equipment/furniture sales were up in 2010. (Only school supplies sales were down.) More important, the consensus of the 180 companies reporting to EMR’s survey is an optimistic forecast for 2011 with a projected sales increase of 3.2%. In fact, 22.2% of the reporting companies are expecting a sales increase of 15% or more in 2011.


  • In terms of sales derived from print vs. digital products, print still accounted for the majority (59.3%) in 2010, and is expected to stay about the same (57.5%) in 2011.
  • At the same time that “online/digital delivery,” “interactive whiteboards,” and “e-Reader/mobile devices” showed big jumps, the “print” medium also exhibited a significant increase compared to last year. So, although the increase in the use of online/digital delivery and interactive whiteboards is a strong general market trend, at the same time print is still alive and well.
  • Regarding supplemental sales by subject, the largest portion is in Reading and Language Arts, and Mathematics. Those subjects represented 67.1% of total supplemental sales by subject in 2010. Following Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics, Social Studies and Science are the next highest ranking subject areas.
  • The “direct to school” channel still has the highest volume, and growth in this channel was a healthy +8.2% in 2010, following weaker years in 2008 and 2009. The “dealer” channel showed strong growth in 2010 (+17.2%), just as it did in 2009, 2008, and 2007.
  • “High-digital” respondents (companies with 11-25% or more focus on digital) tended to have a higher increase in sales in the first half of 2011, and were also more upbeat about personnel headcount, number of product offerings, volume of sales leads, and optimism regarding growth prospects for the full calendar year in 2011, compared to their “low-digital” counterparts.

For more information on The Supplemental Products Market: 2011 visit Education Market Research. AEP members receive a 15% discount off of the report.

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October 2011


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