LEXMARK SPYING ON LOCAL CARTRIDGE WORLD !

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LEXMARK SPYING ON LOCAL CARTRIDGE WORLD !

 user 2006-03-01 at 10:05:00 am Views: 62
  • #14670

    Cartridge refillers get makers’ attention
    Lexmark plans to focus on value(YEA RIGHT )

    Peter
    Healy knows how the market is supposed to work: Lexmark loses money
    selling many of its printers, but it makes it back by selling
    replacement ink.
    So Healy knew that he was going after the
    Lexington-based printer maker’s profit center last summer when he
    opened a Cartridge World store that refills empty ink cartridges about
    four miles from Lexmark’s headquarters.
    “We’ve gotten a lot of Lexmark employees coming in and looking around,” he said.
    Last
    year remanufactured and refilled ink cartridges made up about 17
    percent of the $11.5 billion replacement-ink market in North America,
    according to Lyra Research, a Boston-area firm that tracks the printing
    and imaging industry. By 2009, off-brand ink is expected to bring in 20
    percent of replacement sales.
    Lyra analyst Elisabeth Wightman said
    refillers’ revenue is expected to grow by 22 percent over the next
    three years, compared with 8 percent projected growth for branded-ink
    sales.
    The growth of refillers and remanufacturers has sent printer makers to the courts.
    In
    October, Hewlett-Packard sued Cartridge World North America, a company
    that sells remanufactured cartridges and offers in-store refilling
    services, for allegedly violating patents on HP’s inks. Cartridge World
    is to open its first Louisville-area store in April in Clarksville, Ind.
    On Tuesday, printer maker Epson sued 24 cartridge remanufacturers, claiming ink-patent infringement.
    Lexmark
    spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick said the company sees the refill market as a
    niche business at this point, and it plans to compete by continually
    upgrading its products. To address consumer concern over high cartridge
    prices, Lexmark last year launched a line of cheaper units that contain
    less ink.
    “Our job at Lexmark is … to provide a compelling value
    that gives consumers high-quality printing and the ability to choose
    economical cartridge options,” Fitzpatrick said.
    Jana Munford, a
    Dallas-based analyst with market research firm Current Analysis, said
    Lexmark and HP have little to fear from ink refillers now because the
    public does not believe the smaller companies can offer the same
    quality. Even Walgreens’ entrance into the market isn’t a huge problem
    as the drugstore chain has never been a major supplier of printer ink.
    But
    if superstores such as OfficeMax, Office Depot or Staples begin
    advertising heavily and guaranteeing quality, “that could start a major
    change,” she said.
    Healy said he doubts the refillers will force any
    of the printer manufacturers out of business, but if their services
    take off, it will force companies to change their business models.
    “Right
    now, we’re a small part of the business, but as that grows to 30
    percent of the market or so, something will have to change,” Healy
    said. “Who knows? Maybe HP or Lexmark will buy Cartridge World
    .”