*NEWS*CARTRIDGE MARKET SET FOR BIG CHANGE

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*NEWS*CARTRIDGE MARKET SET FOR BIG CHANGE

 user 2006-12-04 at 11:03:00 am Views: 42
  • #16950

    Cartridge market set for big change
    Refill market to undergo dramatic shift as retail giants take over, says research firm report.
    Retail
    cartridge-refilling franchises have proliferated over the past two
    years, but analysts claim that office supply superstores such as Office
    Depot and OfficeMax, along with drugstore chains such as Walgreens,
    will dominate the retail refilling landscape by 2009.An industry
    research report reveals that the retail giants will account for 62
    percent of cartridge-refilling locations in North America in less than
    three years’ time, a staggering 55 percent increase from 2005.What’s in
    Store for Retail Refillers in North America is a comprehensive report,
    released last month by Lyra Research, covering retail toner and ink
    cartridge refilling. In addition to forecasting the size of the market,
    the report includes the results of approximately 40 in-depth interviews
    with owners of independent refilling stores, executives at several
    major franchises, ink and toner cartridge remanufacturers and suppliers
    as well as other industry experts.Lyra Research believes that retail
    ink and toner cartridge-refilling franchises such as Caboodle
    Cartridge, Cartridge World, Island Ink-Jet, and Rapid Refill Ink will
    continue to open new stores at a rapid pace over the next few years as
    the entire cartridge-refilling market grows, but their share of retail
    locations will decrease from 62 percent in 2005 to only 29 percent in
    2009.Retail cartridge refillers are widely regarded as the latest
    threat to the lucrative imaging supplies business of printer OEMs.
    These firms have been successful in tapping into the apparent
    frustration of businesses and end-users with the high cost of OEM
    inkjet and toner cartridges. As a result, cartridge refilling services
    at retail level have grown rapidly in number in recent years.These
    services offer consumers and businesses a low-cost alternative to
    purchasing replacement cartridges. Some outlets also offer a
    maintenance service, convenient pick-up of empty cartridges and
    delivery of refilled cartridges as well as other support services.Their
    target customers are consumers and small businesses interested in
    saving money on ink and toner supplies, and willing to try something
    new.At the moment, there are three main types of retail refillers
    operating in North America. First are dedicated retail refilling
    franchises, second, independent refilling retailers and, third, chain
    stores offering refilling services.And while some of these businesses
    refill toner cartridges, the majority of retail cartridge refillers
    predominantly deal with inkjet cartridges.The Lyra report claims that
    retail refillers will have a greater effect on the aftermarket than OEM
    cartridge sales although the dedicated refill franchises will
    increasingly have a smaller part in a bigger market.It forecasts that
    the number of refilled inkjet cartridges sold in North America through
    retail refillers – independent stores, chain stores and franchises –
    will grow from seven million cartridges in 2005 to 40.4 million in
    2009.But the report urges caution and for an understanding of the
    cartridge-refilling market’s size and its degree of saturation, which
    is crucial for location selection and achieving profitability.”The
    explosion of franchised refill stores over the past two years
    demonstrates the frustration of businesses and consumers with the high
    cost of OEM inkjet and toner cartridges, and they are looking for
    inexpensive alternatives,” says Tom Baratz, an industry consultant in
    Lyra Research’s Custom Research and Consulting Group.”Large chain
    stores that enter the refilling market have the infrastructure and
    marketing engine already in place to become major players quickly.
    Consumers also enjoy the convenience of refilling cartridges while
    shopping for other items, rather than making a separate trip to a
    franchised refill shop.”