With the latest array of tablets, smart phones and interactive whiteboards, it would be fair to assume that traditional writing materials, such as paper and blackboards may be in decline. However, recent market trends in the UK suggest otherwise.
With Christmas fast approaching, there will undoubtedly be a rush to purchase the latest smart phone, i-pad or Kindle. However, in the second half of this year, UK manufacturers of Blackboards and Chalkboards have been boasting record sales.
Beyond this, Google Trends has shown a sharp rise in people searching for the word 'blackboards'. You can see this here.
It does seem counter intuitive that, in a world rapidly becoming paperless and heading towards digital writing, we would see a sharp rise in sales.
There could be a number of explanations for this. The main reason is price. The United Kingdom has a very fragile economy and is the only country left in the G20 to still have a smaller economy than before the financial crisis. While people of a certain income bracket will be investing in digital goods as Christmas presents, many people may opt for something cheaper and simpler for their families.
This is especially the case with young children, their parents would have had small chalkboards growing up, and when learning to write, an i-pad is not going to be helpful for young people.
Another explanation is sustainability. With people in around the world, and in the United Kingdom, becoming more environmentally aware, there may be a drive towards purchasing things like Chalkboards that have a significantly lower carbon footprint than imported electronic goods.
Whatever the reason is for the increase in blackboard and chalkboard sales, it is interesting to see growth in a more traditional sector as we head deeper into the digital age.