Independent retail sales of laser printers accounted for 19 per cent of the indirect market in November 2002, according to the latest figures from market analyst Inform.
This meant independent retailer sales ended up just 9 per cent behind those of corporate dealers. This was due to a 132 per cent year-on-year increase in laser printer volume sales. Sales by corporate dealers grew just 2 per cent.
Overall volumes of laser printers grew 6 per cent. Value sales increased 16 per cent.
“The increase in laser values has been spurred on by an increase in business spending and with the advent of both lower priced colour machines and the increasing popular and faster single-pass models now available,” Inform reported in its weekly market roundup, Infocus.
The inkjet market also continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. Year-on-year figures for November showed inkjet volumes grew by 5 per cent. However, the increasing popularity of higher-priced photo quality printers pushed the value market growth up to 18 per cent. Again, independent retailers were the big winners with 21 per cent of all inkjet sales.
Mass merchants still led the way with a 42 per cent market share, down 2 per cent on November 2001 figures. They also dominated the multifunction device sector, increasing their market share by 83 per cent in November.
“This is in stark contrast to the corporate dealer channel which, despite holding a 10 per cent share of all multifunction sales in November, experienced negative growth of 13 per cent year-on-year,” Inform chief printer analyst, Stuart James, said. “Perhaps this is the result of a more protracted business buying environment for higher end multifunction solutions, as distinguishable from that of the rapidly increasing low-end multifunction range on which the mass merchant and independent retailers depend.”