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.
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!
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