The Warehouse will consider asking authorities to investigate
tactics by a rival as competition for the back-to-school
stationery dollar heats up.
In full-page newspaper advertisements, it has called for
parents to tell it about instances when schools insist they
buy certain stationery packs and refuse to give out
Warehouse Stationery and Warehouse chief executive Mark
Powell said so far the response had been strong, with many
parents saying schools were being excessively prescriptive.
Most instances involved competitor Office Max, he said.
"Parents should be able to get the [stationery] list, without
having to chase it, and some parents had to be very forceful
to get anything."
But the move has been dismissed by Office Max as a campaign
for market share.
Myschool.co.nz, run by Office Max, lets parents buy all
required stationery for their children by entering a school
name and class.
Supplies are paid for online and delivered, and the school
receives a small cut of the sale.
In most cases, the required stationery is itemised and can be
removed, letting parents shop around. But for some schools,
contents of students' stationery packs are hidden on the
website, which reveals only the price.
A previous Herald survey found prices from Office Max were
generally competitive. But a few items, such as pencils,
coloured pencils and highlighters, could be bought at a big
Office Max general manager (education) Suzanne Flannagan said
fewer than 30 schools had chosen to list "closed" packs on
the Myschool website.
She said schools selected a supplier to provide commonality
and ensure all children started the year with the correct
- Nicholas Jones of the New Zealand Herald