Limited demand for stationery, despite in-person education

(Photo: Ameer Khalefih/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Students returned to school for in-person education Sunday, but so far there has been limited demand on stationery compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is expected to change and the demand for stationery to increase next week, once the education process proceeds with regularity of employee get their salaries.اضافة اعلان

The head of the Stationery and Office Supplies Dealers Syndicate, Ashraf Kawar, told Jordan News in a phone call that the current limited demand on stationery and school supplies will witness an improvement as a result of the positive decision to return to in-person education.

The pandemic, he said, increased the financial burden on merchants, who, in turn, opted to lower expenses by reducing the number of workers, and, some, temporarily or permanently closing their shops.

“Dozens of bookstores were closed permanently or temporarily to reduce expenses during the pandemic, which made merchants offer their goods at a simple profit or at cost because of their need for liquidity,” Kawar said.

“Many merchants offer to sell students some of the items accumulated in warehouses and bookstores at lower prices, because there are no seasons to sell them,” added Kawar, stressing that there is enough available stationery at prices close to those of previous years and that suits all needs.

Estimating that, on average, a student needs JD40 to JD50 to buy school supplies, Kawar said the sum spent of these by the  two and a half million students in Jordan would make the volume of sales by the sector to some JD100 to JD125 million, but this figure was not reached during the pandemic.

Kawar also urged action against street vendors of school supplies who peddle wares, usually of low-quality, affecting the sales of bookstore owners who pay taxes and fees, and great obligations.

A bookstore owner said he would have liked the government to announce well in advance the decision to start in-person education so he could stock more stationery and school supplies, which he did not do for fear of stockpiling goods that are not needed if the ministry decides to switch to e-learning, and not to add to expenses, since he incurred losses during the long-distance learning.

He said the sector should be lent support, by reducing taxes on imports, as it was greatly affected by the pandemic.

A shopper who was wandering around the markets to get an idea of the quality of goods and their prices said he will return to the shop that suits him to buy school supplies when he receives his salary.

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