Xerox Corp, having earlier this year launched itself into reclaiming its former dominance in the office equipment market and declaring war on Hewlett-Packard Co with the launch of a range of digital office equipment (CI No 3,145), is now going for HP’s highly lucrative consumables business with the launch of a line of Xerox-branded toner cartridges for HP LaserJet printers. The toner cartridges, which come with a one-year warranty, are available today through retailer Staples Inc in the US, and next month throughout Canada. The company says future key distribution channels will include retail office suppliers, contract stationers and catalogue houses as well as computer resellers. The market for post-sale toner cartridges is valued in excess of $3bn with 36 million units shipped this year, and set to grow to 46 million units shipped by 2,000. The cartridges are high volume, high profit products, and fit with Xerox’s recent restructuring, which saw it gearing itself away from the low volume, high margin sales of its old $100,000-plus copier days, towards high volume sales of lower cost digital office equipment. Analysts still reckon Hewlett-Packard will be a ‘tough nut’ for Xerox to crack, but the once dominant copier firm is obviously serious about trying.
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