— The office supplies store in Tulsa is a major hub for office supply sales.
But the place has become a magnet for online sellers.
A number of websites have sprung up selling office supplies at an ever-expanding number of stores in the state.
And the online sales have been taking off.
The Oklahoma Office Supply Association, the trade group for office supplies retailers in the United States, estimates that the online business will bring in $10 billion in sales by 2020.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth, and the sales growth has been phenomenal,” said Chris Soto, the association’s president.
“It’s been a little bit overwhelming, especially when you’re seeing people who are new to the business.”
The association’s goal is to keep pace with the demand for office items.
Its members specialize in furniture, office supplies and supplies for home use.
They also sell some office furniture, furniture and supplies that are made by third-party manufacturers.
Soto said he was recently approached by a person who wanted to sell a pair of pants made by the maker of the popular Air Jordan sneakers.
But Soto cautioned that the individual would have to pay more than $2,000 for a pair, even though it’s a standard pair of shoes.
He said that people are looking for “a quick buck,” especially when they see deals online.
Sotos said that if they’re not able to find the right deal online, they’ll likely order online at one of the more than 400 online office supply stores that dot the U.S. Sometime in 2020, the group plans to launch a website that will allow members to buy online at any of the over 300 office supply retailers in Oklahoma.
“People are searching for cheap office supplies,” Soto explained.
“The demand is very high.”
Soto pointed to a growing number of online stores offering office supplies that aren’t made by major manufacturers, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, appliances and household appliances.
“They’re a lot more affordable, and they’re being sold by people who have some expertise,” Sotosaid.
“That’s a good thing for people who can’t afford to pay retail prices.”
For example, a $1,400 laptop can be found for less than $100 at the local Walmart, but a $500, $1.0-million desk can run about $10,000 at a local store.
Sotsosaid said that he doesn’t have a specific number of locations, but he said that the group has seen online retailers expand to locations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
He also said that more and more people are trying to find a job as a hobbyist.
“A lot of people are really just looking to make money as a way to support themselves,” Sotosaid.