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May 31, 2001 12:00 AM

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I.T. Strategies (Hanover, MA) reports that unit sales of wide format printers grew more than 50 percent in 2000. Sales of wide-format printers in the corporate market (in-house graphics, ad agencies, etc.) more than doubled, indicating a growing market opportunity for 24-inch units from Epson, Hewlett-Packard and others.

Although wide-format output is currently created by businesses for marketing and advertising, with a large percentage of the output used in trade show and POP applications, I.T. Strategies sees the business-to-consumer market as an untapped market opportunity. For instance, Epson’s Stylus 7000 printer with a list price of under $5,000 has paved the way for business-to-consumer applications. Price points are becoming so low digital photographers and home users can now purchase wide-format printers.

Hewlett-Packard and Epson accounted for more than 72 percent of worldwide sales in 2000. Michael Flippin, I.T. Strategies consultant, notes however that as HP and Epson focus on selling larger volumes of units, "other hardware suppliers continue the trend toward application-specific solutions, such as outdoor signage and flatbed printing to further differentiate their products." For more information, contact Martha Popoloski at (781) 826-0200 or email: