*NEWS*OFFICE STORES STOCKING UP ON INK !

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*NEWS*OFFICE STORES STOCKING UP ON INK !

 user 2006-07-02 at 8:59:00 pm Views: 60
  • #15924

    Stores Get More Ink
    Consumers looking to buy ink, toner and other printing supplies–the most profitable part of the printer business–are increasingly turning to retailers’ own brands, according to a study released this week.Technology research firm InfoTrends says that retailers like Staples and Office Depot  are grabbing a growing chunk of the $100 billion imaging supply market by selling in-house brands of ink, toner and other supplies. The losers, for now, are third-party companies like Franklin, Tenn.-based Nu-kote. But eventually the trend may bite into the bottom line of printing powerhouses like Hewlett-Packard , Canon and Lexmark.Right now, the printing giants own 84% of the print supplies market, InfoTrends says. The remainder is split between retailers that sell their own brands and the Nu-kotes of the world. Currently, retailers own about 60% of that market, and they’re going to get more, says InfoTrends researcher John Shane.Shane says he expects stores’ brand sales to grow at a 40% compounded annual growth rate through 2009, while aftermarket sales will grow at only a 1% clip. Print giants like Hewlett-Packard will grow at an 8% rate, he says.But without a serious investment in advertising and promotion, that growth spurt “will probably slow down,” since “most large stores out there are already selling their own ink,” Shane says. There is one notable exception. “ Wal-Mart is the wild card. It’s not clear if they will pursue it,” he says.Still, printer manufacturers aren’t totally safe from the shift. “Store brands are definitely whittling away from OEM [original equipment manufacturer] market share,” says Shane. But companies like Seiko Epson and Canon have more to lose. HP, Dell  and Lexmark  bundle their ink and toner cartridges with printer heads–which are protected under strict intellectual property rules–while Epson’s and Canon’s printer heads are sold separately