Stationery stores in Manizales face increases between 40% and 60% in school supplies


The season has begun in which the country’s stationery stores are filled with parents and children looking for notebooks, pencils, colors, pencil cases, erasers and other school supplies to face the school year.

This year, like the previous one, the shortage of paper persists, production is affected and the increase in the price of the dollar, which today closed at $4,691, marked the season.

For example, LA PATRIA found in different stationery stores that the cheapest stitched 100-page notebooks ranged this year between $3,200 and $3,800, while in the previous school season they were around $2,800 illustrated notebooks with superheroes. , like Spiderman, Superman and Wolverine, movies like Avatar and Enchantment, as well as with soccer players like Neymar, Mbappé and Messi.

Likewise, other merchandise related to paper also presents price increases, such as the letter-size ream paper package that in the 2021 season registered a price of $10,000, in the 2022 season it reached $17,500, now it costs $21,000. an increase of 20% in the last year.


The National Federation of Merchants (Fenalco) set off the alarm last week in a statement in which its president, Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente, expressed his concern about the excessive growth in the price of school supplies in the national market.

“There is no type of speculation, this is due to the production of supplies that have been made with an increase in prices of raw materials,” said the union, which called for families to buy school supplies in advance to prevent them from being left behind. without some products, given a possible shortage.

Fenalco Antioquia even indicated that there are increases in the price of notebooks close to 471%, as well as cardboard and folders.

In Manizales

Although the increases in the stationery stores in Manizale do not seem to be as high, María Quintero Giraldo, one of the administrators of the Linear Stationery, assured that today a 100-page stapled notebook costs $3,150, against $2,800 last year, a variation of 12.5%. One of 50 sheets currently registers a price of $2,000, before it was worth $1,700, an increase of 17.6%.

The administrator said that in her opinion the price of stationery products varied between 40% and 60% compared to the 2022 season, although she says that there is a wide variety of prices and qualities among the available inventory.

The figure is close to the calculations of Natalia Sandoval Morales, supervisor of the Occidental stationery store in the center of the Caldas capital. The merchant estimated that on average a school list for primary grade currently costs $250,000, although last year it could be worth $180,000, a rise of 38.8%. Said purchase would include pencils, a box of colors, cheap notebooks, correctors, highlighters, plasticine, erasers and even crayons to develop motor skills, rulers, among other products.

Michell Barreto, administrator of La Norma stationery, pointed out that on average in all the variety of notebooks the increase in prices can be established between 10% and 30%. “We are expectant because we see that the market is normalizing after the pandemic. However, this year the shortage of paper persists, which is notorious especially in the price variation of some products such as notebooks,” Barreto noted.

It depends on the taste

The administrator of La Norma expressed that although the increases are notable, these establishments have different prices that fit the pocket of different clients according to their purchasing power. She added that while there are notebooks for $3,200, they also have others worth up to $9,200.

“The value that a person spends on acquiring their school list depends on how much they want to please their little one, because here we have low-, medium-, and high-end products,” said the merchant.

For his part, Sandoval explained that a strategy applied in this establishment is to ask people what budget they have so that Occidental workers help them by choosing the products that best suit the pocket of each client.

shortage persists

It is practically a problem left by the covid-19 pandemic and that is why since December 2021 school supplies have increased. Currently the paper and cardboard industry in Colombia cannot recover and the world cannot recover.

Henry Ramírez Ramírez is the owner of BM International Papelería Nacional, a company from Manizale that sells retail stationery items and has close to 250,000 clients in the country. The supplier explained to LA PATRIA the problem of a shortage of paper in the world.

“Everyone excused themselves in the war between Russia and Ukraine, but it is also because there is less production of long fiber in the world, which is a composition for paper, since not all this raw material is produced based on the sugar cane. The long fiber is obtained from eucalyptus and there is a shortage of this material in the world,” said Ramírez Ramírez.

He added that this has been going on for a year and a half, which has caused an exaggerated increase in some products, especially cardboard, bond paper and notebooks.

“Last year a 100-sheet sewn notebook was bought for $950, today it costs $2,950 (supplier prices), the increase is 210%. Cardboard is an exaggeration, we ended up in 2021 with prices of $350 for 150 grams, now they charge us $1,270 for 130 grams and there is a shortage.

According to Ramírez Ramírez, the merchandise that is saved from the high increases are: pens, colors and microtips, as well as everything that does not contain paper.

Customers say

Oliver Chavez

“The normal thing is that they ask for notebooks, pencils and pens. It is not what one thinks to invest but what one touches, because it is an obligation with the children, so that they are well and do well. At least each one must allocate between $150,000 and $200,000. Last year I invested $180,000 each and I have two children.”

Maria Posada

“Everything is very expensive, the notebooks, the accessories, the folders, the colors. We are going to buy little by little, because it is not enough to buy everything at once. Last year we got notebooks for $2,500 and this year they are for $4,000 500. There are even $12,000 notebooks.”

Angie Herrera

“I study at the university so I’m only looking for a 7-subject notebook. They are more expensive than last year. I estimate spending about $250,000 this year, in 2022 I invested about $180,000. You have to quote several stationery stores to find the best prices “.

Helena Ocampo

“Notebooks have gone up a lot. I buy $10,000 and $12,000 notebooks, these were $7,000 last year. In total, I estimate spending about $150,000 on supplies for my two children.”

Ana Maria Betancourth

“I see the prices well. I quote in various stationery stores, at the moment I am only quoting a notebook of 7 subjects and I hope to spend $30,000 on a pencil case.”

Upturn in sales

María Quintero Giraldo, one of the administrators of the Linear Stationery in Manizales, estimated that during the school season, sales increase between 30% and 40% compared to a normal month of the year.

Products 2022 2023 Variation
100-sheet sewn notebook $4,200 $4,600 9.2%
50-sheet sewn notebook $2,800 $3,150 12.5%
Color box for 15 units $13,500 $14,650 8.5%
Pencil $500 $900 80%
Eraser $700 $700 0%
Ream of paper $17,500 $21,000 twenty%

Stationery stores in Manizales face increases between 40% and 60% in school supplies