To others, this may sound silly, but these are my customers and this is what keeps them coming back. Recently, I have noticed an increase in "non-regulars." Their stories are similar, they have a sentimental pen or one that they "picked up somewhere," fell in love with, and now can't refill. It's these narratives that make my day: the 30-years of service pen, the exorbitantly priced guilty pleasure pen, the "daily driver" (the pen you write with every day and would be lost without), etc.
Where have all the refills gone? As giant office supply companies continue to absorb each other, SKUs are cut, product lines are thinned, and profit margins increase. Why sell a pen refill for $4 when you can buy a dozen for 99 cents? What big business fails to see is that there is no character in a pen that was made in China for fractions of a penny. Without the emotional connection, a pen is just a pen.
Now I can understand why high end manufacturers, like Montblanc, have coined the term "writing instrument." In 2007, Montblanc sold a
So, pen refills, welcome to the Office Graveyard.
Come on in, get comfortable, and stay a while.