New Printer Cartridge Buyer Group to Go Universal

New Printer Cartridge Buyer Group to Go Universal

New Printer Cartridge Buyer Group to Go Universal

New Printer Cartridge Buyer Group to Go UniversalA new concept in the retail supply of printers and consumables has been launched in Australia and New Zealand with the plan to roll it out in other countries in the near future.

Cartridge Universe already has 16 retail store owners “signed up as members” but the owners of the initiative are emphasising there are no long-term lock-in contracts and members are free to leave the group if they want to.

“Members pay a fixed monthly fee,” said the newly appointed frontman, Anthony Kirk-Duncan. “It is not based on a percentage of sales or turnover but is just a fee and members can give three month’s notice to leave.” 100% of all membership fees are used to promote retail sales in-store as well as through e-commerce platforms.

Buying groups have been successful in many industries but not fully implemented in the printing supplies industry. Kirk-Duncan argues that membership is a low, fixed, monthly cost and members (retailers) are free to sell as much volume and set their own margins and profits.

New Printer Cartridge Buyer Group to Go UniversalKirk-Duncan explains that retailers are also free to use their own independent branding, or they can use the Cartridge Universe branding, as have three stores in Victoria, Australia and two in New Zealand. “Five additional stores are preparing their look using the Cartridge Universe design to be launched in coming weeks,” Kirk-Duncan added.

The purpose of Cartridge Universe is to provide its members with a buying group benefit where printers and cartridges can be obtained at better pricing than what one individual store might be able to obtain by itself. “The focus is 100% on retailer profitability,” said Kirk-Duncan. “The network provides an umbrella for independent printer and cartridge retailers to benefit from the buying power a big group can provide. To this end, we have established and will continue to build strong links with global OEMs and aftermarket suppliers of quality products.”

According to Kirk-Duncan, there are other benefits for members as well. Apart from enjoying the advantages of group purchasing, members have a network for information sharing, legal support and the feeling of a team environment. “Many independent store owners are looking for such a network where they can work together in a large group, avoiding conflicts of interest, sharing knowledge, skills and branding.”

Cartridge Universe has the support of the Global Cartridge Alliance (GCA) and other respected key distributors. All products are quality checked and screened to ensure fair, value for money pricing. Cartridge Universe branded products are also factory-backed by the suppliers for quality and indemnification against any legal challenges. “This gives retailers confidence and a level of legal security to move forward with their businesses,” said Kirk-Duncan.

The management and financial backers behind Cartridge Universe have significant global printing industry experience and lend their skills, counsel and support to those brick-and-mortar and online retailers wanting to operate differently in order to prosper in a rapidly changing market.

Leveraging off long-term supplier and distributor connections and forming strong local partnerships is a key benefit offered to members. To this end, Cartridge Universe claims it can “provide on a global scale, a flexible, bespoke solution to provide members with benefits individual operators do not enjoy.”

Cartridge Universe has been testing the buyer group concept in Australia and New Zealand and Kirk-Duncan says existing members already report consistently higher sales and profits and better future prospects than before they joined. Cartridge Universe is expected to expand into other countries later in 2021.

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