Every fan of the film “Office Space” knows that there's nothing quite like the classic red Swingline stapler.
But how about something in a fashionable clear acrylic. Very fashionable. With gold accents.
Yes, the world of fashion has come to office equipment, just in time for back to school shopping.
The design company Kate Spade LLC, best known for its high-end bags, has unveiled a series of office products under the “Strike Gold” name, although the predominant material users most come into contact with is the plastic that encases nearly all of the gold-colored metal, but I guess “Strike Thermoplastics” doesn't have the same ring to it.
But why is a bag designer getting into office accessories?
As noted in a New York Times story, back to school shopping has become a big new focus for consumer brands. The school season shopping period is a big driver of retail sales, with the parents of students grades K-12 spending a combined $27.3 billion on school supplies this year, up from $18.4 billion in 2007, according to the National Retail Federation. That doesn't include office workers who want to up their game year-round.
So what office products maker wouldn't want to get in on that action, whether it's a $28 stapler from Kate Spade's collection or a $10 version from a discount retailer, both of which use a lot of plastic. (I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same molder who produces the acrylic used for both the upscale and downscale staplers, though I'd hope that the supplier to Kate Spade's brand gets a better cut of the sales.)
It makes sense, then, that a company known for its handbags would want to branch out. What I don't understand is why someone would spend $24 retail for Kate Spade's Strike Gold tape dispenser, even if it is emblazoned with the clever turn of phrase “make it stick.” Or $38 for a note holder labeled “bits and bobs.”
But then when it comes to back-to-school supplies shopping, I was always more of a Trapper Keeper kind of kid. The PVC binder is back on the market these days, if you haven't noticed … and for half the price of a Kate Spade stapler.