Sales of dot-matrix printers are tiny compared to other printers, but that hasn’t stopped Synnex Canada from adding another manufacturer of the peripherals to its product line.

The distributor is now carrying Fujitsu Ltd.’s five models of 24-pin printers and the company’s consumables, alongside

dot-matrix printers from Epson, Okidata and Lexmark.

“”It’s a strong and viable market,”” said Alex Nobile, Synnex Canada’s vice-president of product management. “”It is a declining market, but certain applications still require that kind of printer.””

Those applications are mainly the production multi-part forms, which need a high-impact printer that can strike through multiple copies. Lasers and ink-jets printers can’t do the job.

According to Evans Research, dot-matrix printers accounted for a mere 1.9 per cent of all Canadian printer sales in the second quarter this year. Still, growth was up almost 10 per cent over the same period in 2002.

The decision to add the dot-matrix line is an extension of Synnex Canada’s move earlier this year to add Fujitsu’s notebook and storage products to its offerings, said Nobile.

“”I prefer to keep my vendor line-up small and carry more product categories from each vendor,”” he said.

“”We have several other manufacturers we do well with in the dot-matrix segment and we thought this was a good opportunity to add another one.””

The Fujitsu line of DL printers – which include both wide and narrow carriages, and optional colour cartridges – is also carried by four other distributors: Tech Data Canada, EMJ Data Systems, Pro-Data Inc. and Taknology (Canada) Inc. Several other distributors carry Fujitsu consumables.

That doesn’t bother Nobile. There are customers who want Fujitsu products, he said, and if he doesn’t have them won’t get the sale.

Nor does it bother Fujitsu Canada. “”There will always be some overlap (with other distributors),”” said Steve Oblin, the company’s marketing manager, “”but we believe Synnex Canada has some customers loyal to them and would not purchase from other distributors. So we believe by going with Synnex we’ll have access to incremental business we won’t have had otherwise.””

Although he wouldn’t give sales figures, Nobile said Okidata dot-matrix printers are his biggest sellers, followed by those from Epson, with Lexmark lagging behind.

To push the latest line Synnex Canada will be bringing in inventory, working on promotions with Fujitsu and trying to expand the number of resellers carrying the line.

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