*NEWS*FILL ER UP !

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*NEWS*FILL ER UP !

 user 2005-10-21 at 11:47:00 am Views: 71
  • #14129

    Fill ‘er up!
    refilled ink-cartridge franchises growing
    Since
    Eric Heineken opened the first franchise store in Fairfield County that
    refills printer ink for computers, faxes and copiers at a significant
    discount, he says, the only thing that has surprised him is the number
    of customers who walk through the door.
    “I’ve had more business than
    I expected right off the bat,” he said. “We’ve had a surprising amount
    of interest from business customers.”
    Heineken, who opened his
    1,800-square-foot store in Monroe on Aug. 8, sets his prices at 50
    percent of those at Staples for inkjet cartridges and at about 70
    percent for laser toner. The two Cartridge World franchisees in
    Westchester County, N.Y., do the same.
    The newly franchised industry
    is just beginning to open in the New York area ’Äì’Äì’Äì small shops
    that refill inkjet cartridges at roughly the same rates that Heineken
    does. The stores have been opening up all over the country in the past
    few years, starting on the West Coast and heading east.
    The small
    refill shops, usually less than 2,000 square feet in size, offer to
    take used cartridges and in some cases fill them up with new ink while
    you wait or while you shop. Otherwise, they can give you a discount for
    your returned cartridge and immediately sell you another used one
    already refilled.
    Heineken said he researched a number of franchise opportunities before settling on a Cartridge World ink refill shop.
    He thought seriously about an ice cream shop, but the ink refill idea surpassed that idea, he said.
    “There
    isn’t a ton of competition, there’s a good profit margin and there are
    quality-of-life issues,” he said. “The hours are 9 to 6, Monday through
    Friday and 9 to 2 on Saturdays. Ice cream has two shifts a day, seven
    days a week.”
    Although Heineken may be the first franchisee in the
    industry in Fairfield County, a Norwalk company, National Toner
    Recycling and Supply, which does not operate from storefronts, has been
    in existence since the mid-1970s.
    Cartridge World, founded in
    Australia in 1997, opened its first U.S. franchise in January 2003. Now
    more than 240 locations are open across the country, with another 175
    under construction. The company has 940 locations worldwide.
    Lyra
    Research Inc., a Newtonville, Mass., company that conducts market
    research in the digital imaging industries, estimates big growth in
    what it calls the “after-market” industry in ink cartridges ’Äì’Äì
    companies that refill the cartridges, manufacture cartridges compatable
    with existing printers, or break down used cartridges into their parts
    and remanufacture them.