Sunday, November 20, 2011

IKON brand Copiers & MFP's to Disappear

Once upon a time there were three Independent Copier Companies in the US and the time came for them to leave home and seek their fortunes.

 Before they left, their Stockholders told them   “Whatever you do, do it the best that you can  because that's the way to make your shareholders lots of money.

The first Independent Copier Company built their brand by acquiring dealerships, the second Independent Copier Company built their brand with Konica and Canon, and the third Independent Copier Company built their brand with Sharp, Canon & Ricoh.
Then in the course of two to three years, there were THREE large wolves, who dearly loved to gobble up copier companies. The first wolf swooped in devoured up Global, the second wolf feasted on Danka and the third wolf barbequed on Ikon.
There's no happy ending here, and that’s a shame, the likes of Xerox, KonicaMinolta and Ricoh thought they needed to preserve market share and instead of supporting dealers, they went out and bought market share.
So, with April 12th fast approaching another iconic brand will disappear. Ricoh will drop the IKON name as of April 2012. Those branches will now carry the Ricoh Americas Corp banner from here on.
For those who don't know, I'm still in the business of selling copiers, actually going on my 32nd year in 2012. I've sold for a Minolta, Mita, Adler Royal, and Ricoh dealerships in that time.

Seems to me, is that the business of selling copiers & MFP's is not selling anymore, especially with the likes of the Direct Branches for Xerox, KonicaMinolta, Ricoh, & Sharp. It's about giving the cheapest price and giving the least amount of service and support!
I could go on and on, however we've heard it over and over from the Manufacturers telling dealers there is an equal playing field, I'm claiming BS and would like to see them open their books.
Back to Ikon, formerly known as ALCO Standard Corporation which was a holding company that dabbled with a variety of industries including steel, gift and glassware, food service, aerospace, paper and office products.
 Back in 1994 to 1998, Alco starting buying copier companies here in the US. Most of the dealerships that were purchased were Sharp dealerships. Alco/Ikon bought something to the tune of 450 dealerships in a 5 year period. During the mid 90's Alco/Ikon did business with Sharp, and I must say during that time Sharp was the brand to beat. But one day Alco/IKON dropped the bombshell that was heard around the copier business...., they dropped the Sharp line in favor of Canon (hope I'm right here), Sharp was devastated because they had most of their eggs in one basket with Ikon. Ikon had bought most of the Sharp dealerships to that point. I think the number was 80% of Sharps copier business was gone in one day! Thus the Japanese copier companies changed forever and started to develop and buy market share in the US. Go here for the exact IKON history
-=Good Selling=-

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