In Brazil we call this store by the generic name of papelaria, something like "paper store".

What is the correct name for this? Is "Stationery" the name in any country that speaks English? I read about it in Wikipedia, but I am still not sure.

  • In the US, they can be called "stationery supplies" store or "office supplies" store. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 17:41
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    In the US, they were called "stationery stores". As @asj7388 says, they have mostly been driven out of business by large chains which are called "office supply stores". In the UK, I believe they are called "stationer's". Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 17:43
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    Ok, Stationer's is more for UK and Office Supply is for USA. For me, "Office Supply" make more sense than "Stationers" :)
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:40
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    No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationary. ;^) BTW, you might also be interested in the sister site for English Language Learners.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:09
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    Ummm. It's not good (i.e., TERRIBLE) that folks have been misspelling stationery in the comments above. Stationary = staying still. Stationery = pens and paper.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 13:25

5 Answers 5


In America, the place you're looking for is usually called an "Office Supply Store".

Unless you are looking for construction paper, drawing pencils, inking pens, and other supplies for creating art. Then you would go to an Arts & Crafts Store.

You might find such supplies in an Office Supply Store, but a store that more specifically caters to the arts would be an "Arts and Crafts Store".

Stores that sell only paper and drawing tools would be called a Stationery Store, but are fairly rare. So there isn't really a name for those kinds of stores beyond that. More common are stores that offer supplies for businesses (Office Supply Stores) or artists/craftsmen (Arts & Crafts Stores).

  • Office supply look like a better name for this! :)
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:22

In the UK, a shop that sells stationery is a stationer’s, but there are few shops that sell stationery and nothing else.

  • Nice, simple and to the point. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:15
  • So, stationery are stores that sell kinds of papers not the type of store I was looking, that sell ordinary office things :) So this is a "very" literal translation for papelaria!
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:26
  • Or in UK, stationery IS a name for this type of store but for USA the name if Office Supply store? (The USA name is better for me :)
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:32
  • You might also find stationery over the name of such a shop. The only chain I can think of is Rymans, and they do sell things like office equipment as well. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:38
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    Rodrigo, in the UK, stationery means the products dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/stationery The shops that sell them are stationer's (plural stationers) dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/… The word shop is more common than store, in the UK.
    – Tristan
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:43

The traditional U.S. term was stationery store or simply stationer; however, use this term carefully. Margins on ordinary paper are very low, as it is a commodity good and many uses have been rendered obsolete by computerization. As such, the U.S. market has diverged.

The establishments which call themselves a stationer or stationery store are likely to focus on "social stationery"— greeting cards, high-end gift wrap, and other specialty and luxury papers, cards, envelopes, and the like, as for handwritten letters. It is not the kind of store where one would buy ordinary loose leaf printer paper, for example.

If purchasing from a retailer, you are likely to buy paper from an office supply store which in addition to paper will sell office furniture, calculators and other electronics, printer toner, business software, and the like. In some areas you may find a school supply store, selling ruled paper and notecards as well as bookbags, flash cards, maps, and other assorted goods for use by schoolchildren and teachers.

The shift is reflected in industry classifications; NAICS code 453210 for "Office Supplies and Stationery Stores" supersedes four former SIC codes.

This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) retailing new stationery, school supplies, and office supplies; (2) selling a combination of new office equipment, furniture, and supplies; and (3) selling new office equipment, furniture, and supplies in combination with selling new computers.

  • 5049 School supplies stores (retail)
  • 5112 Other office supplies stores (retail)
  • 5943 Stationery stores
  • 5943 Office supplies stores

Art paper, furthermore, is not likely to be found at either a stationer or an office supply store. Construction paper or origami paper, perhaps, can be found at a school supply store, but otherwise you'll need to check at an art supply store (industry term) or arts and crafts store (vernacular term).

  • Great! Stationery store has focus in selling types of papers or "things" in papers! This make sense!
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:46
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    Sheez: Due to the lapse in government funding, census.gov sites, services, and all online survey collection requests will be unavailable until further notice.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 21:17
  • @mplungjan Some agencies can't or won't risk having potentially outdated information on their website, so they remove it entirely— even if it's something that hasn't really changed since 1997. But you can see the page on archive.org as well as the Google search cache.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 23:23
  • It's not there because US is shut down
    – mplungjan
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 7:46
  • @mplungjan I was trying to explain why not all government websites are shut down in the same way. Some hosts are totally unreachable, some have all their content hidden, others simply display a warning that the data may be out of date.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 14:15

In the UK a paper shop, which you could literally translate papelaria to, is a shop that sells newspapers. They may also sell stationery as well as other things found in a convenience store. Someone selling just newspapers at a railway station operates from a paper stand.

This abbreviation of newspaper to paper, can be heard in phrases such as

it's what they said in the paper!


I still call it stationery. Don't confuse between stationery and office-supplies.

An office supply store sells furniture, candy, peanuts, M&M dispensers, office party paraphernalia, software, phone cards, facsimile and copying services, public notary services, UPS/Fedex services, coffee makers/strainers, toys to keep your kid busy/happy when you have no child-care for the day, printers, computers, shredders, office-kitchen supplies, cameras, iphones, androids, at&t/verizon/t-mobile services, etc

and, guess what, stationery too.

Walk into an "office-supply superstore", there will be an aisle or two labeled "stationery".

When you walk into an "office-supply superstore" (and even Walmart), and you feel so bedazzled, you would ask the nearest store "associate", "Excuse ma'am/sir, could you show me the stationery section/aisle ?"

  • Back when we had an actual stationery store in town, they still sold facsimile and copying services, decks of cards, chess sets, puzzles of several types, and paperweights and other knickknacks, as well as stationery. Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 2:09
  • That was when stationery was 50% of the business. Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 2:17
  • I don't think stationery was ever 50% of the business, at least not when I was alive. They sold most office supplies as well. The furniture, computers, printers, phones, and cameras are the things which office supply stores have and stationery stores didn't. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:53

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